It annoys me when my students complain a lot, which is something they’ve been doing more and more frequently.
Teacher I’m tired!
Teacher, English is too hard!
Teacher, our school is a jail!
I understand that they are frustrated, and this time of year is especially difficult, but complaining never solved anything. Well, you know, except when it does. Squeaky wheel and all that.
In order for my squeaky wheels to get some grease, this week I’ve been teaching a lesson on annoyances and pet peeves, and how to complain in English. Politely. We start by watching a video showing some very annoying things and having students vote on whether or not it’s annoying and telling me why, playing annoyance human bingo (I show 25 pictures, they write them down on a bingo sheet, then they must interview each other to find students who think thing is annoying.) Then finally, I have them write down their annoyances on a piece of paper using three sentence structures:
My pet peeve is _________.
It annoys me when ____________.
It drives me up the wall when ______________.
It’s been really interesting reading their answers. The following are the noteable ones from eight of my ten second grade classes. Interestingly enough, most of the responses listed below are from female students. The female students on average were more interested in playing with the structures and expressing their own annoyances, while the male students were more likely to just use vocabulary we had studied in class. Some of the following are funny, but there are also a few sad complaints.
It drives me up the wall when my friend is annoyed and just express her annoyance though she doesn’t tell me the reason.
My pet peeve is being woken by song in the morning.
It drives me up the wall when I must take care of babies.
It drives me up the wall when someone acts like a fool.
It annoys me when Ethics teacher gives questions to me in class.
It annoys me when I’m soaked with sweat after showering and wearing clothes.
It drives me up the wall when parents inquire my report card.
It drives me up the wall when insects creep my body or my bed.
It drives me up the wall when I see cells picture in biology textbooks.
It annoys me when my leg muscle cramps are sudden.
It drives me up the wall when I stay with someone who are selfish and use abusive language.
It drives me up the wall when I’m constipated.
It annoys me when I watch a show and Father comes and turns the channel to a fishing program.
It annoys me when math questions are not be solved.
It annoys me when I see the person who long time no shower.
It drives me up the wall when he bites my arm. [...what?]
My pet peeve is someone speaks me with nervous tone.
It drives me up the wall when someone sings song very careless.
My pet peeve is bring no spoon when in cafeteria.
It annoys me when my character die in the game
It annoys me when someone play piano at night.
It drives me up the wall when I can’t do what I want.
It drives me up the wall when there are too many tests and too much undone homework.
It drives me up the wall when there is a hair on my bed.
[From the same girl - note, there are frogs that live in the rice paddy right next to the dormitory] My pet peeve is frog. It annoys me when the frogs crying. It drives me up the wall when the frogs appear in front of me.
It annoys me when I smell people’s smell.
It annoys me when people talk to me or treat me when I am concentrating,
My pet peeve is baby hair.
It drives me up the wall when JW show me his middle finger.
It annoys me when I was angried about trivial things. [meta...]
My pet peeve is someone ransack my personal thing.
It drives me up the wall when [people] say [I am a] pig. I’m not pig. Pig is CW.
It drives me up the wall when people make fun of me.
It annoys me when people who lend me the money don’t pay back money.
It annoys me when you say to me a “black” [this comes from a student who has darker skin, and thus is told all the time that he is "black." Based on my experiences, and my friends' experiences (both Korean and foreign) I can say that shadeism issues are rampant in Korean schools.]
It annoys me when people don’t understand me.
My pet peeves are girls who love me.