Kreative Koreans

benf

 

My students have to read nonfiction books. Then they have to write a creative story integrating the topic into the story. For example, Topic: Grand Canyon… so the setting is in the Grand Canyon. Tell a creative story and use some facts about what you read in the story.

 

K – Topic: Benjamin Franklin

Story Summary – “Benjamin Franklin is a very naughty boy.” (Whoa good start) He often gets into trouble for buying games without his parents permission. He tries to fight the biggest guy in school and loses, so of course they become best friends. Oscar, the big guy, wants to kill everyone at school except himself and Ben. So they build a bomb. But the teacher sees it and gets rid of it (somehow). The next day, she puts sleeping medicine in their lunch and slits their throats. Also… this book is not recommended by K because it is boring and Benjamin Franklin looks boring.

o.O  ?????

 

M – Topic: World Atlas

Story Summary – The air goes on an adventure around the world and sees cool sights. Being the air, it goes for free and flies around the world. It also manages to switch the time on Big Ben and confuse people until the top of the tower hits it and it gets hurt. Then it breaks off the nose of the Sphinx in Egypt. It is hurt again because “those rocks are really big.” So it goes home and tells of its adventures to its friend, the air (same name, no relation), and they decide to do it all over again even though it is dangerous to travel.

 

J – Topic: Motorcycles (((ps this is a girl who chose to write about motorcycles.. sweet)))

Story Summary – A racer buys an expensive motorbike and wants to race another racer. So the racer sees the other racer’s bike and is nervous because one bike goes 305 km/h and the other goes 306 km/h. HUGE difference. So number 03 and number 04 race and number 04 is winning until number 03 comes through and wins.

—-I have no idea which racer was which. She refused to name them or identify their numbers—-

 

 

 

Which Teacher am I?

Which Teacher am I?.

At some point in my life I said I wanted to be a teacher. This was probably inspired by some of the wonderful teachers I had growing up. And then not too long later I said I would never be a teacher. This may have been inspired by teachers I had later in life. It could have been because I saw how horrible kids can be, as I got older. It may also have had to do with the low pay. At any rate, I said ‘Screw you’ to teaching and became a massage therapist. Over many years I took aptitude tests and they often stated my ‘ideal’ occupation is … teacher. Of course. Well, I wanted to leave the US and the easiest way to do that is with a job as a TEFL teacher. And here I am.

I spent April 2012-2013 teaching at a private bilingual school and an after-school academy in southern Thailand. The private school had me teaching eighteen 5thgraders and nineteen 3rd graders. In the after school program I was teaching mixed ages based on their English abilities. The younger class was between ages 4-7. The older class consisted of 8-12 year olds. The third graders in the bilingual school were great. We had fun. We got all of the work finished. AND they were able to learn songs by Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and other fun artists. My managers praised me for having amazing classroom management. My students did their homework. We could joke around a little bit. They even Skyped with my friends from back home. But I yelled occasionally. I’m short and often a pushover. But I can get loud (thank you theater teacher). I can get scary loud. If I have to raise my voice, I don’t get attention – I COMMAND attention. And the point is made that someone has done something wrong or made me upset somehow. Then I talk in my normal voice and everything continues as expected.

My older students weren’t as great as the younger students. These little darlings didn’t do homework, refused to speak in English, fought each other, tore my homework and test papers, said explicit words, and were generally naughty. The director of the school had to talk to them on several occasions. Parents came in because their students were getting bad reports and they wanted to know why. Of course the camera in the back of the class captured the horrible behavior of the students. Parents came in apologizing on behalf of their kids. So I wasn’t a mean teacher? Oh thank goodness. However, after the first semester, I was switched from teaching 18 5th graders to 32 2nd graders. And I had never wanted to drink more after a class. I won’t even go there.

My biggest criticism from my management that year was that I didn’t smile enough in class. I was strict and they liked that but I needed to have more fun with the students. I responded that when the students did their work and were not ‘little darlings’ then we had fun. We played games and I taught them how to sing and moonwalk. I left feeling a bit more confident as a teacher.

Now I teach in South Korea. The land where students have better English speaking abilities than some native speakers I know. I don’t teach a few different classes: I teach 7 different classes. The youngest I teach are 3rd or 4th grade and the oldest are in 7th or 8that a private academy. These kids are in school until 10pm. I teach elementary and middle school students. The elementary students are brilliant. Yes, they have a long way to go grammatically but they are creative and attentive and are always doing their work. It’s a pleasure to teach them. Yes, I do get loud still. I have strict classroom rules and I stick to them. I let them see the fun side of me though. I make funny voices or draw silly pictures. But the work is done and the classroom is always in order.

The middle school students have been a totally different story. They have the same rules.

1. English only please. No Korean unless you ask for permission/if communication is so difficult you HAVE to translate

2. Finish homework before class starts. Come prepared.

3. No writing on the desks.

4. No cell phones in class

5. Smile

Those are basic rules that every classroom (anywhere in the world) has. The difference is that I apply the rules in my class. The other teachers are way more lax about it. The middle school students are at THAT age. The age of rebellion. The age of snide comments. The age where ‘asshole’ is a new personality trait they MUST explore. I get it. I’ve been there. But I’m an adult and I know better now. And I don’t accept the bullshit like the other teachers do. I have replaced a few teachers who were the ‘let’s watch videos’ type. I make my students do their work…especially after they missed a month of class due to exams. Have I raised my voice in class? Yes. Of course I have. When they talk in Korean and cheat on tests and don’t turn in homework, I get annoyed. I approach the class nicely to start and when they continue to steamroll over that, I break out the scary loud voice.

Recently, a couple of teachers have come to me asking if everything was okay. I stated yes, other than the few students who were disruptive or unprepared in class. Apparently parents are calling complaining that their students want to quit because the loud foreign teacher is mean. MEAN? Me? Yes I can be mean but never to a student and never in a school setting. Strict? Absolutely. “And that is why I hired you,” said my director, “I have your back. I am on your side. But the students must not quit.” Oh I get it. Well, why haven’t the parents come in to see me if their child is complaining? I’ll put 20,000won down that they didn’t realize their child never comes to class with homework done. Or that their child writes bad words on the desk in Korean with my name next to it. Or that their child does not even answer a simple yes or no question when called upon.

I have sat down with the middle school students and had a ‘heart to heart’ with them. I have explained my methods and my reasoning for my frustration. They even offered why I have yelled. They know they’re in the wrong. I know I could be ‘easier’ on them. Am I a mean teacher I asked? “No” they said. Except the one student who wants to watch soccer videos instead of answering the one question I assigned for homework.

I’m a strict teacher. I’m not an evil teacher. Maybe I am the scary teacher. But I’m one of the best teachers. When I asked the many teacher forums if I am a mean teacher, their response was yes: MEAN –  Making Excellence a Necessity.

I’m cool with that.

An artists's rendering of a strict teacher: Bane the Lumberjack

“You merely became a mean teacher. I was born into it.” – Bane, gym teacher

 

Halloween Stories written by TEFL students

All of my classes have to write an essay each month as required by my school. The younger students have to write a minimum of 100 and the older students write between 200-300+ depending upon the class levels. This month I gave my students the essay topic ‘Write a scary story’ ((The younger students wrote about their halloween costumes)). The purpose of the scary story essays was to get their creative juices flowing. Also, I wanted the students to get used to using descriptive words to make their stories more interesting. I’m not going to write or post each essay on here but I want to give you all an idea of the different story ideas they came up with.

Lucy F – A prince and princess want to secretly meet at an abandoned house. They are looking for each other when a male ghost arrives. He kills the princess before she can get to her prince and eats her flesh. Then he stalks the prince, falls in love with him, kills him and marries the Prince’s ghost. (((A gay ghost story?! Brilliant)))

Alex S – The story starts out with a brilliant description of a haunted house (“the steam from the pot looked like the breath of the Devil”) when two ‘creatures’ come to life from said pot. They are ‘Limon’ and “Strawkenstein”. Basically, they’re halloween candies (lemon and strawberry, respectively) who get put into pumpkin jail. Then are given to ‘two bloody ghosts’ as treats who then eat the candies and ‘the worst part is… the ghosts smiled when the candies screamed to their deaths’ ! Brilliant! Candy’s perspective of halloween.

Fred M – Astronauts find a person who can live on the moon without a spacesuit… until they realize it’s a goblin. 😛

Chris S – A boy gets lost in the woods looking for his dog. He comes across a ghost who is known to eat humans but can mimic any sound perfectly. So the boy tells him to sing like EXO (a korean boy band) and he does. So the boy captures the ghost and makes him audition for SuperStar K (american idol of korea). The ghost sings so well that he wins the contest and becomes famous. He earned a billion won and since he’s a ghost he can’t spend the money. So the boy gets it and becomes rich. ((((aka – a scary agent story)))) **fun fact, this kid wrote nasty stuff in Korean on the desk about me and is now in a lot of trouble with the school **

Sally M – A time traveling father-and-son-duo do just that. They find a time machine space ship and enter a room where they find Queen Elizabeth I. Robots are trying to steal her brain for their spaceship so they can control everyone in the UK. Father and Elizabeth fall in love. Father goes back to get his jacket from another room, but upon returning to the Queen’s room, she’s already long dead because that’s how time travel works. ((So original, but not scary))

Sarah j – A lonely girl is at an overnight stay at school. She goes to the bathroom and encounters a ghost. She can only see the ghost because the girl is so lonely. The ghost asks her to be friends. She goes back to the main area with her peers because her only friend is a ghost. Then her school peers take her to the roof and push her off. She dies and becomes a ghost with the other ghost.

Adam F – A guy goes into a haunted house and finds a ghost there. He leaves and thinks its a dream. So he goes back and finds a lot of money in the house and takes it. But when he goes outside again, he is now in a forest. And there are zombies trying to kill him. He runs out of the forest from the zombie and meets a devil. The devil tries to kill him so he runs back into the forest and finds a castle where the haunted house was. He goes in and sees a vampire. So he ends up being killed by a vampire, devil, and zombie.  (((A+ for vocabulary usage)))

Those are only a few of the many stories I received from my Korean students.

%d bloggers like this: