Archive for the ‘second grade boys’ Category

Cake Fail

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Oh 2.9. My least favorite second grade class. I’m pretty sure they know it too, as they’re the only class I’ve had to scold pretty much every class. When they’re awake, class is good, but I teach them first period and they’re just so tired. It also probably doesn’t help that they have the scariest most intense homeroom teacher, and I teach them on Tuesdays, otherwise known as death days.

Yesterday I taught them for the last time, and when I walked in they presented me with a cake. A cake. These students for the most part can’t be bothered to wake up when I enter the classroom. And they got me a cake.

 A. Cake.

I promised them that while we would continue the class as per usual, I’d make sure we had enough time to share and eat the cake. They insisted that because the cake was so small I should eat it all myself. I told them that I couldn’t possibly eat  a whole cake by myself at 9 am, and that they should help me. We decided that as the cake was too small for the entire class, I would decide how many slices we could cut the cake into, and then we would use a computer program that generated random numbers to fairly choose which students would receive a slice.

I decided on 8 slices because that seemed reasonable, and so they decided that we would choose seven student numbers. The seconds in-between calling each number were fraught with tension, as each student waited with baited breath, and the seven students whose names were called jumped out of their seats, more awake and energetic than I have ever seen them in my class.

After class, I asked a student to come up and cut the cake for me, as I have cake-cutting anxiety (true fact. I never cut my own cakes. ever.) This student for some reason divided the cake into six slices. The students then realized that they had cut the cake into six instead of eight slices, and so then played rock-paper-scissors to lower the number of cake eaters from the lucky seven to six. After a pretty intense game of rock-paper-scissors, the lucky six grabbed their slices of cake and shoved them into their own mouths and into mouths of friends, like a wedding gone hideously wrong.

Here’s the thing, though – they forgot to give me a slice of cake.

Hair

Friday, June 28th, 2013

“TEACHER. Your hair looks nice today.”
“Thank you! Your hair looks nice everyday.”
“I know. I’m a handsome guy.”

That’s a specific conversation that happened today, but it could be pretty much every conversation I have with my second grade boys.

Pet Peeves

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

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!

Teacher -

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.

This semester I…

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

“hope I can sleep tight.”

Closing Statement – 2.10

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

“And today, I think about all the student’s seen throughout our the year in school – the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that South Korean creed: Yes we can. Please vote us.”

I told students that they had to make a short “closing statement” at the end of their debate. I left it very vague, and just told them that it should be something that would make students want to vote for them. After telling them that, I gave them five minutes to decide their speaking order, finish their posters, and write their closing statements. The above is what a group came up with independently, without asking for any help from me.

The Ultra Skull Party

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

This lovely party was created by a group of 5 boys in 2.9.

“1) What is your party’s name?

Ultra Skull Party

2) What is your party’s symbol?

Skull and Crossed Bones

3) What is your party platform

A. Issue 1: Defense
Stance: Increase the number of hackers and buy more weapons because we are responsible for our people’s safety. Also, we should make more women soldiers.

B. Issue 2: Education
Stance: We think children don’t have to take further education. When children graduate elementary school, they should go military to save our nation.

C. Issue 3: Trade
Stance: We think we can lend our armies to other countries and make money.

D. Issue 4: Civil Rights
Stance: We think people don’t have right to speech because we have tank, gun, etc.

What sort of monster have I helped create?

The Party Bus

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Today I taught 2.9 (all boys, second grade), and at the end of it I told them to have a great field trip. As I had told class 2.5 that I would probably see them on their trip on Friday and they shrieked in despair (thanks guys, thanks for that) I didn’t feel the need to be shot down by more high school boys so I didn’t mention anything about seeing them there. As I packed up to leave, a student shouted out “but wait, teacher! You’re on our bus.”

“Wait. What? Bus?”
“LOOK AT THE PAPER!” The students shrieked as another student rushed forward, jabbing his finger at the bulletin board.
I looked, and yes, sandwiched between a bunch of 2.9 students is my name. They put me, heaven knows why, and my rockstar co-teacher, on the 2.9 bus. I looked at them and smiled and said “yay” and the room suddenly turned into a crazy moshpit of second grade boys screaming at the top of their lungs “EMILY TEACHER IS ON OUR BUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.”

Friday should be interesting, to say the least.

What Makes You Happy?

Friday, July 13th, 2012

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You can’t keep them all… but at least you can keep some of them

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

The hardest part of my job, harder than classroom management, lesson planning, or editing, is saying goodbye. I only teach first and second grade, so that means that when students become third years, I lose them. Not only do I not teach them anymore, but I don’t haev many chance to talk to them, because they’re so busy and they rarely leave their homerooms.

One of my favorite students last year was a third grade boy. Other than during the D-county English Competition I rarely talked to him one-on-one, but he has a thousand kilowatt smile. I know that the usual saying is a thousand watt smile but you’ve never seen this kid. When he smiles, his mouth become wide and his eyes light up, and you can’t help but grin too.

When I started this semester, as I was halfway through my introduction lesson I was surprised to see almost the same exact smile peering out from one of my new first grade classes. I think I actually stopped talking mid-sentence and stared, before catching myself and continuing. It turns out, thousand kilowatts has a younger brother, who looks nothing like him except for when he smiles. In fact, when I asked this first grader if he had a brother at CPHS, he was surprised that I recognized that they were related. The similarities end with the smile.

My third grade student is sweet, super sweet. Even when he was doing other work in my class and not paying attention (which was rare), when I caught him he’d look up with a big old apologetic smile, close his book, and continue to beam in my general direction. He recently came up to me, shoved a note at me which stated “I cannot speak English well, but I want to become better. Maybe we can practice after the 수능 (entrance exam)?” I told him of course, and asked him when. “Is everyday okay?” Of course, kid, everyday.

His brother, on the other hand, is snarky, cocky, speaks English really well and knows it. He’s the kind of kid that doesn’t walk, he saunters. Instead of bowing when he sees me in the halls, he does a half wave with his hand and an upwards head nod. He’s always talking to people during my class. Self-confidence just exudes from his pores.

Maybe his brother was like that, as a first year. I’ve only taught him as a second-semester second grade student, and any high school teacher who works at a Korean school will tell you that there’s a huge change in students’ attitudes between first and second grade (it’s part of the reason why I like second grade better, as a general rule). I somehow doubt it. This first grader is just saucy, and though his smile is a bit dimmer, (probably a result of being a thousand kilowatt 동생) and has a bit of a bite to it, I can’t help but love him.