Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Korean Kids Say the Darndest Part IV

Here we go again. My kids are so stinkin' cute sometimes, that even when they're being "naughty", I still laugh. It's the curse of being a teacher. I need them to respect/fear me, yet I think they're all hilarious.  For example:

In my everyday 2SAP class (which now consists of 5 boys, instead of 3 girls who have now moved on to 3SAP), they tease each other incessantly. Like, I don't understand it. I guess because I didn't grow up with brothers. And thank goodness too, these boys drive me nuts.

Anyway, one of them, Jin, he is smart. He knows exactly what to say to irritate the crap out of the other boys, especially Brian and Benny who I think have some kind of emotional problems. But the thing is, what he says makes no sense, yet the other boys get so OFFENDED by it! From what I can understand, he says "congratulations" in this annoying sing-songy voice at the most random moments. And that of course sparks the, "Teacher, Jin tell me 'congratulations'!" Oh, NO! Anything but "Congratulations!"


Another thing Jin has figured out that annoys the other boys is saying "Oh my gosh GRANDMOTHER"... which yet again is followed by "Teacher, Jin tell me "Grandmother"! I don't understand why they can't see that if they IGNORE him, he will shut up! But they don't get it and I have to repeatedly tell them to stop talking, stop crying, stop crawling on the floor, stop dancing, stop screaming, stop yelling, stop doing gangnam style or gentleman.... *sigh*...

The youngest kids I teach are in their 3rd month of phonics. I've taught them their ABCs, and we are now learning short vowel sounds. It's the MOST boring class EVER. But they are so darn cute! They babble away to me in Korean, forgetting every other day that I don't speak Korean. But they hug me and hold my hand walking down the hall. When the little girls see me in the bathroom washing my hands or something, they scream "Chelsea Teacher!!!!!!!!!!!!" with so much shock and awe you'd think I was an alien they've just seen descend from a UFO into the bathroom at our school. (I guess I, too, remember when I realized teachers had lives outside of the classroom.)

Monday, one of the phonics girls, smiling sweetly up at me, pointed to my stomach and said something in Korean. I looked at her confused. She proceeded to pat my stomach and say "Baby?" -_____- Not amused! But, I couldn't help myself. I started laughing as I told her no and pretended to be angry. They know so few English words that I have to give myself little devil horns with my index fingers and scowl while saying "Angry!" Everyone in class was in hysterics. I hate to love those little guys.

In my middle school class, where we do boring listening practice 3 days a week, I was trying to explain some vocabulary words to them. One was "stereotype". Okay, how are 5th grade students learning a foreign language supposed to understand "stereotype"? I did my best, and to test their understanding I asked them "What do you think of when I say 'Russian girl'?" (In Korea, if someone asks me on the street, "Are you Russian?" it means "Are you a prostitute?" -- I guess there are lots of Russian girls here who are in the profession...). Well, per usual they are all silent as the grave. Finally I look at Sarah, and she gets a shy smile on her face and does the "come here" finger gesture. I couldn't help busting out laughing and saying "Yep! You got it!"

Then, there is my infamous Henry-class. They are Leap High 1-4, soon to be 2-1. Anyway, they crack me up. I can't help laughing at their craziness. Monday, Henry asked if he could retake his quiz (he got an 80) and I said no. He kept asking "Please!" and I kept saying "No." so they decided to test my persistence with "no." Henry asked "Can I bungee jump?" acting like he was going to jump out of the window. "No." "Can I play cell phone game?" "No." "Can I rip my book?" holding his textbook with some pages in hand ready to tear out. "No." "Can I not retake my quiz?" "Yes, you cannot retake your quiz."

Collective groan from the class, followed by laughter.

In the same class last week, John (my favorite of the boys) was tearing up bits of eraser and throwing them at Eric. I told him to stop and he says "Yeeess" and pretends to pay attention but I catch him throwing the bits again. I get onto him again, he says Yeesss again. The third time I call him out, glaring and ready to move his desk to the front of the room. But, he starts laughing. And I start laughing. And my credibility is shot. I can't be seriously mad at him!

I think I love this about my job. Even though the curriculum is super boring sometimes, and we do the same type of thing every day, the kids never cease to crack me up. And I've been here long enough that I know most of them and can talk to them in the hallway. One kid was waiting at the elevators at the same time I was, and we started talking about snacks. The Korean adults around us just kind of stared in amazement. It was cute.

It's getting hot here in Korea and the classrooms are starting to stifle. I was warned about this, but it still sucks. All the kids constantly complain "Teacher, so hot!" I know, me too...

But, only 2 more days and I'll be on my way to Busan for a beach mini-vacation! :D

1 comment:

  1. OK How many times have you been asked if you are Russian?!


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