Friday, September 09, 2005

The Chaos in a Single Day

Somedays I just wish that there was a camera crew following me around so that you could all see the chaos that takes place in a single work day.

Fridays, for example, I teach six classes in a row. Which means that I have a five minute break between six - forty five minute classes. The kids range from a basic two level (six year olds), to the highest pre-middle school class that our academy offers. I will attempt to give you a few examples of what can take place in the classroom.

Today, I went into my M4-1 class (highest pre-middle school class) and about an hour or two before I actually taught this class 2 of the students had come upto me and said "Teacher, Ray is absent." Not out of the ordinary at all because lots of my students will say this about kids who aren't there. To which I reply "Ok, uhhh...thanks." Cause really I don't really care who's there either way, I'll see if they're there (or not) when I get to class.

Anyway, so I walk in and the class is pitch dark. The class that I had with these students before this one today, they had shut off the lights and hid under the desks, which, I assumed, they were doing again. Which turned out to be true...with a twist. I walk into dark class to find one student, who goes by the name of "Smith" (re: Matrix trilogy), who is a super nerd slash GENIUS (the kind that you're not sure if they're autistic or just really nerdy). Anyway this kid is sitting, hands folded in the dark waiting for me to come in. Less than a minute later the three girls pop out from their hiding place and I figured that the class was ready to go. This class only has five students, and since Ray was "absent" I figured we were all accounted for. So I started teaching, only to get about fifteen minutes into class and see Ray pop out from under the back row of desks. I immediately shrieked and brought both hands to my mouth in utter shock. I mean, what kid holds out for that long? And frick, I thought he wasn't there at the academy at all that day. Totally freaked me out. So the students laughed their head off cause they were all in on it. They actually got me.

Now that, a trick from older students, is only countered by the teeny kids that I also teach. A class called Basic 3 is probably one of the more dreaded classes to teach (so I've heard from Korean teachers), and I've scored one this semester (however doesn't top the M0 plus B3 Rob's got). These kids are off the handle. I walked in to find a teeny boy, James, bawling. I have yet to figure out why. I tried to get him in the hallway because I hate when they have to cry infront of everyone. So I get him out and try talking to him, but his English is limited. A Korean teacher stopped to help, but the kid wouldn't budge. He wasn't talking to anyone. Finally I let him back in and then another kid yells "TEACHER WHERE IS HARRY?" all smug and like he's upto something. So with a Korean supervisor watching (and semi laughing at my situation of shouting and crying kids) I walk to the back of the class where Harry is laying across two chairs under the desk (a popular pass time apparently). So almost forgetting how light these little Korean kids are, I put one hand on each of the two chairs and yank them, as if I am a magician pulling a cloth from under wine glasses and the kid splats onto the floor in the exact same position he was laying on the chairs. I actually laughed that I did this, so did the kid, and so did the Korean supervisor who was watching it all go down. In the meantime another student, Jason (who I'm sure is partly --or fully learning disabled. See pic below), is shouting his face off and not doing as he's told. So I throw him out into the hallway only to be watched by "the fat man" as Rob and I call him, aka "Sweatervest", aka The big boss dude from the main branch. I'm trying to discipline this kid but he's not cooperating. He's yelling in my face and not staying in the hallway. So I leave him out there and attempt to continue teaching with James still bawling in his seat and not participating and Harry getting loud cause he's so proud of himself for hiding on me. I totally know that bossman was checking out my classroom via the nine videocamera screens in the lobby. Ahh well.

Frick, it doesn't end. These are just two examples from the past two days of teaching. I could give one from each class, but I won't. I mean frick, reality tv has got nothing on the life I actually live.

Anyway, that said, I'm on vacation starting now until September 20th so I'm totally stoked. I leave for Jeju-do on Sunday morning and return Thursday and spend the rest of my time until Tuesday just hangin out in Seoul. I'm pretty excited about it. Plus I need a break from these crazy antics that seem to occur more than on a daily basis, I'd say more like an hourly basis. Geez.

Hope you're all doing well and having much less craziness in your own jobs at home!


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