Spot of shame


So this will be pretty random again, as I’ve only got about 20 minutes before class starts again.

In one class yesterday, a class I like a lot, one boy was being a jerk, when I remembered a method used by my elementary teachers for such students. I put “Spot of Shame” on the chalkboard, drew a circle and filled it in heavily with more chalk, and then had him stand with his nose in it.

It worked really well.

In a later class, also one of my favorite boy classes, one student joked with me about the “magic stick” from last week, and I was in a very good mood. Another student asked me where my green tape was. A different student told him he’d seen it in my kabang (bag). Then I realized they were talking about the duct tape. Seems the threat of duct tape has spread between the classrooms.

So I decided a few weeks ago that I would write the rules of my class on the board every day. It’s the third week now, and I am asking THEM to tell ME what the rules are. Sounds simple, right? One would think. Only this time, my good boys were being real jerks and just blowing me off as I stood up there. Finally, I threatened them with a writing assignment.

Of course they didn’t cooperate, (what the hell was Mr. Lee doing?) so I left the classroom, got some ESL reading material, and returned. I asked for total silence while I dictated, and told them that if they were talking during the dictation, that they would get dictation again the following week. Of course, they couldn’t stop talking, so we now have dictation for four weeks. I stopped at the desk of one boy who was smirking about this and continuing to joke around with his friend, only to notice he hadn’t written much of what I’d said, but had instead written many smutty words. (the “f” word, the “c” word, sexy, body parts, etc.) I ordered him to wait in the hallway until class was finished.

After class, he returned and was getting high fives like he was a hero or something, so I marched him down to his home room teacher’s office and presented THE EVIDENCE to him. With an English speaking translator, the horror of what the boy had done became evident. The boy offered up his friend as being equally complicit in the crime (some character/ great friend, huh?) and meanwhile (typical) all the teachers were at a loss for what to do about it (because THEY don’t want to punish anyone).

So I turned to the boy and lectured him how it was NOT OK to disrespect me like that, and then sensing that I wasn’t really going to get anything more than “this is really bad” verbal support from the Korean teachers, I got in the boys’ face and told him that next week, HE was in charge of the entire class being silent. And if he wasn’t, then I was going to go to his home and visit his parents.

The boy looked like he was going to cry. We’ll see how this plays out next week…

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