Monday, December 14, 2009

So this is what hell is (or A cry for help)

I got my BA in journalism and went to Korea to teach English. I've been here for a month and have 16 manageable classes and one hellhole. I'm *this* close to walking out and refusing to go back, and I haven't even gotten my first paycheck. I have this 50 minute class twice a week, and the brats are (to my shock and amazement every time) progressively getting worse.

I am the only foreign teacher at this private academy and have received no training whatsoever. The 3 other Korean teachers write the lesson plans for me to follow, which takes only the first 10 minutes of each class. After that, I ask the kids to play bingo or hangman, and they say "no." No? Wtf no? I'm the teacher!

The only logical conclusion is that these children were raised by wolves. How else can a class of coloring assorted animals so quickly devolve to coloring tables, tearing the coloring pages, and throwing about everything in sight? I am not being facetious when I say their parents have created an offense against humanity and the Lord our God in failing to beat the living daylights out of these terrors. I have about 36 hours to learn to hogtie seven 8-year-olds in record time. Do you think YouTube has a how to?

I know they understand "NO!" and "Sit down!" in English, but they ignore me. When I say it in Korean, they mock me. They have little to no English comprehension because they're answering questions based on key words as opposed to actually learning the vocabulary and the language.

They were banging and kicking the walls so hard (no matter how many times I told them to cut that shit out and moved them) that the teacher in the next class had to come in and yell at them. After class, I asked the other teachers if they had any suggestions what to do with these kids, and they just said they will scold them. Ok, that's all well and good after 40 minutes of chaos, but what am I to do in the meantime? They quieted down just a bit when I yelled at them for coloring on the tables, but then they were right back to the screaming at the top of their lungs contest.

(The silver lining is that this class will prove to be sufficient birth control for the remainder of my childbearing years.)

Please oh please there must be a solution out there short of cyanide. Can anyone offer some advice?


  1. I'm sorry you are under the misconception that you are an actual teacher and the students are there to learn. No, my friend you are a shaved monkey who is there to please the mothers of your students and convince them that paying 255,000-300,000 for English babysitting is worthwhile. What I do/did is buy lots of assorted candy write there names on the board and tell them if you can go the whole class without having your name erased( signifying you didn't piss me off) I will give you one piece of cheap candy. Also try word searches they take at least 50 minutes if you do them right.

  2. Thanks for the clarification Mike. I have been using a lot of word searches, and most of my classes enjoy them. There are a few students who still try to tell me "No," when I hand them the page though. "No? This is school and I am the teacher. Are you delusional?"