Horrible Phonics Class
I like teaching, I really do. Although I don’t see it as a long term career for myself, since coming here in September I have come a long way in terms of teaching skill and I really enjoy the majority of my classes. That being said, yesterday I had the worst class that I have had in the four months that I’ve been teaching.
My Phonics class is definitely not one of my favourites. What started with two kids who barely knew the alphabet, has grown to eight kids with English levels ranging from not being able to name specific letters in the alphabet to being able to spell words like dinosaur without my help (granted, I taught them that word a few months ago). Two of the students in this class are siblings and obviously pretty spoiled kids. The girl (who is the older of the two) and is a strange mix of teacher’s pet and self appointed ring leader. This means that she will try and say things over me, or before me one day and the next she will chatter in Korean every time I speak, refuse to talk to me and try to encourage the other children to do the same. The boy mostly trails around in his sister’s shadow, but his English skills are much better and he an impressively quick learner. One of those kids who will really be able to grasp concepts as he moves through school. Herein lies the issue, the little boy has gone and worked through about half the book I am teaching to this class right now meaning that unless we are playing games, he is horribly bored. When you’re seven, this translates to talking to the other kids, shouting answers and generally being a pain in the ass to me.
Getting back to yesterday’s class. I took the boy’s book away from him because he was showing it to the other students so they could copy his answers. This of course, spurned a giant temper tantrum where he shoved all of his own belongings in his bag before proceeding to throw the contents of his sister’s pencil box at me. I told him to stand in the hall because he was being bad (which he ignored), so I tried to steer him towards the door. His reaction to being guided in a direction against his will was to start hitting and kicking me. Considering the class time we were wasting, and the fact that I had no idea what to do in this situation I gave up and got the woman who works at the front counter at our school.
When I came back to the class, the boy is in tears which of course makes me feel like the most horrible monster in the world. She asks the students what happened, and I have no idea what they tell her as the entire conversation is in Korean. She finally guides him out of class (after he takes a few swipes at her), and order is restored. It’s actually a good thing that the class expanded from the original three kids, because the kids that have registered in the last few weeks are nice, polite, sweet kids who have restored my opinion of the nature of seven and eight year-olds. Monday I will be back in that class, so we’ll see how it goes but I figure it can’t get too much worse than that.
To any of my friends in Teacher’s College/Education backgrounds in general, any advice?