Ramble Post 2: Initial thoughts on last FBRS episode, school, and final thoughts on last FBRS episode

I’m back so soon? After putting up a post? Well, it doesn’t really qualify being counted as a real post, but still, I’m back. Felt like writing, letting a load off.

Anyhow, life’s busy. I’m watching the last episode of FBRS at the moment, and the fact that I felt able to pause in the middle and start something completely different really tells a lot about how much I’m enjoying it. I AM enjoying it, but as last episodes go, it’s kind of predictable. They had absolutely no noble idiocy in the first 14 episodes, then they restore balance on the K-drama world by sticking a truckload of it in the end. graah, but hey, at least we finally get some character development from Cha Chisoo. It’s about time, too.

On a different note, teaching is hard. Every class is different and requires a different approach. I have to be stricter with some, and with others I have to make it interesting or the kids don’t pay attention. My teacher sunbaes tell me I have to be REALLY strict, but I don’t want that. I remember my elementary school teachers as fun and sweet as sugar. I want people to remember me as the same, BUT I’m gradually starting to see where they’re coming from. These kids are different from when we were kids. They’re good kids, but their whole academic learning has been shaped in a different way.

I don’t think I’m qualified to psychoanalyze them , but I’ll do it anyway. They (the teachers) expect them to act all rowdy so the kids actually act like that. The expectations set on them probably do have an effect in making them the way they are, but before any further psychoanalysis, let me first give you a brief overview on the different types of kids in my classes.

First, there are the kids whom you can tell are light years behind everyone else, who probably were thought of by the past teachers as ‘lost causes’ and were therefore not paid special attention to by the teacher. Those kids are now so used to it, I have to look over them like a hawk to make sure they don’t fool around in class. It’s sad. Then there are the kids who do OK, who compare themselves to the stupider ones and think they’re all that. They think they know EVERYTHING, when in fact they do not. They shout out answers without raising their hands and are extremely cocky. Then there are the invisible ones. The ones that sit quietly, paying attention but not contributing to any class discussions. They seem to understand (I hope) but during Math class, they just copy down all I do on the board, which INFURIATES ME. The cocky kids talk while I do the examples and explanations then I have to go around the class individually re-explaining it to all the talkers. PISSES ME OFF. And you know what sucks the most about being a teacher?? That you can’t use ‘inappropriate language’ No bellowing ‘MOVE IT!’ ‘SHUT UP’ or ‘DON’T PISS ME OFF’ it all ‘excuse me this, excuse me that’, ‘please don’t do this, please don’t do that’. GRAAAHHH. I miss yelling when I feel like it.

Back to the topic at hand. The smart talkative ones finish their work before the others, and seem to not comprehend the concept of sitting quietly waiting for others to finish. They’ll turn around in their seats, or even go all the way across the classroom (while I stare in disbelief) and discuss their answers and shout,”I GOT THAT ANSWER TOO!” God. Don’t think I haven’t explained to them how I expect them to behave, but they keep falling back on their old habits. I’m bribing the older ones with class party points, but that’s not really working either, since they FORGET about them. At the end of every period, I express my disappointment in not being able to give them a point, and they all simultaneously express their disappointment. Loudly. I hate shouting over their voices.

I cannot understand it. Why isn’t my method of gentle love and care working? Why, when I set different standards for them, do they fail to live up to them? They all adore me, but fail to prove it by acting the way I want in class. This is mostly just one class I’m talking about, btw, the name of which I wont take for fear that some of the sneaky ones might discover my blog and expose me. Oh, that would be bad. I feel like those idealistic teachers you see in those movies where they go to a ghetto school and transform all the students. Except apparently I’m still in the everything-sucks-at-the-moment part of it.

Suggestions, anyone?

Oh, and I took a break and continued watching the final FBRS episode. YAY for crushing noble idiocy! Yay for toilet plungers! Yay for Coach-nim! (Was that the sweetest confession ever or what? I still kinda think she’s not good enough him, but looking at them a year later made me reconsider. *Squee* Dong-ju and Coach make the cutest couple. ‘Timing!’ *kiss*)  I usually hate time lapses in final episodes, where it feels too resolution-y, like an unnecessary short-cut to happily ever-after, but here I actually liked it. The two of them needed time apart. I just wasn’t feeling their chemistry for a few episodes. I kept thinking what would happen if they got together and it was less then what they’d hoped? Kang-hyuk out of the picture, would they live happily? How would they(read: Chi-soo) face living like an ordinary person? Would they have other problems? I dunno why I thought these things, when usually last episode reunions leave an image of a confident, happy future for the couple. Him going to the army, in that sense, served a legit purpose. It removed the effect of hormones and in-the-moment impulses and gave them both time to cool their over-boiling feelings down.  What’s left is obviously, undeniably something that’ll stay forever, and in that sense, I am happy they did it. I’m just over-flowing with happiness for them at the moment. He’s no longer a chaebol, but I do think his dad will come around. She’s doing well, he’s going to do well, all’s good.

I’m glad they kept the main flower boys limited to four. I’d completely forgotten about Chi-soo’s other friends. Where’d they disappear off to? I’m glad, since they were sort of uninteresting and cutting them out let us spend more time with the others. We got to see Ba-wol’s and Hyun-woo’s slowly budding friendship to the point of them crying at the thought of saying good-bye to each other. (I LOVE their bromance). We saw Chi-soo taken down a peg (or a hundred) and grow out of his shell to make decisions based on other people’s feelings and welfare. We saw Kang-hyuk develop brotherly feelings for Chi-soo. (I loved it when Chi-soo finally referred to him as hyung in the last episode!) We basically saw a family. The ramyun shop may come to an end, but the memories and relationships that were built under it will last forever. 

Thanks to Raine for the perfect screencap!

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About thejawavillager

I am a mad scientist with an underground lab rivaling Dexter's that I will soon use to rule the world. Join my army or be killed in the aftermath.
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10 Responses to Ramble Post 2: Initial thoughts on last FBRS episode, school, and final thoughts on last FBRS episode

  1. foraredrose says:

    Hi! I’m sorry about your teaching experience 😦 It might be that they haven’t adjusted to your new expectations yet or remember the party points because everyone else in their grade is not a part of it. (I remember when we had a reward system in 4th grade, all of the classes were a part, so it just seemed like a bigger deal!) Could you maybe ask the other teachers to participate as well? (if your school is set up like that)

    What age group are they? I’m trying to figure out if you could pull a Yankumi on them.. 😛

    • Haha, I wish. I’m not gangsta enough for that. They’re in 6th grade. I can’t ask the other teachers to do the same, since I’m going to foot the bill for the party myself. Thanks for reading tho!

  2. eva626 says:

    i didnt know you teach stuff! i tried that like some years back..it was 2nd and then 4th graders…fourth graders were a night mare. my brother was one of the students too LOL. six graders sound like murder.

    i think i will home school my kids…idk. anyway i missed your face

    • LOL, they let you teach your own brother? I can’t teach anything to my brothers. Do your brothers listen to you?
      And LOL, just a few days ago I said the SAME THING to my cousin. That I’m going to homeschool my kids.
      And aww, thank you! For missing me 😀

  3. alua says:

    I have never taught kids that age, only teens, I can only dish out advice on teens. With teens I found you have to be absolutely evil the first two weeks and then the rest of year will be fine. Plus, feed them. Ha ha, I would always bring in extra food (double portions of my own food, or especially made goodies – brownies, cake, etc.) because teens, especially teen boys, are ALWAYS hungry and love you so much more if you feed them. Funnily, because I eat pretty weird food (like Japanese rice crackers with seaweed, which is pretty weird in Costa Rica) or healthy food (like carrot sticks), I would get Moms thanking me for diversifying their child’s diet…

    I also discovered the kids of all ages love stickers. Doesn’t matter whether they are three or eighteen. They all LOVE stickers.

    “They seem to understand (I hope) but during Math class, they just copy down all I do on the board, which INFURIATES ME.”
    Can you change the way you teach them to solve the problem? Like doing it in such a way that they can’t just copy it down, but they have to do it themselves? I’m not sure how you could go about it (especially if there are a lot of kids in class, and also because I have no experience in teaching math), but it seems to me that this is an issue that can be improved with the way you teach – ask your sunbae teachers. They should have concrete advice. As a sunbae teacher once said to me, ‘good teachers steal’, as in, you use each other’s ideas. Don’t try to do it all on your own, someone else might have already come up with a way to deal with the problem you are struggling to resolve. So, steal (and share, when you come up with your own ingenious ideas).

    • That’s a good idea. Food. But I’ll have to mass-produce it. The teachers are having a party this week, and I can just make more of what I’m already making. (Chicken and capsicum sandwiches)
      It’s too late to be evil the first two weeks. YOU SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME THAT BEFORE! LOL. I’m trying to un-do my previous niceness, but it’s not working. They go on and do whatever they want, despite me telling them not to. *sigh* Must try that sticker idea out. I wonder what their reactions will be… 🙂
      I kinda have to do the first few problems in the exercise on the board. Or they go like ‘but that’s different from the questions you’re telling us to do!’ or they’ll never get done with the bloomin’ exercise. Seriously. There are some kids that don’t do anything if I don’t go over to their seat and ask them why their page is blank. It’s really exasperating. I’m trying to punish them in some way, like a note to their parents and such. Wish me luck!

      • alua says:

        Try being evil again (and enforcing all the rules). It’s hard if you don’t do it at the beginning, but you can try again… you just have to stick to what you say the rules are and enforce them (and they need to be enforceable)… I don’t envy you though.

        Make them earn the stickers. I would only give them if people got more than 90% on an assignment – which was hard for some, but you can do easy quizzes and challenging tests, that way everyone should have a chance at one point. (And very occasionally you can do a sticker-for-everyone-day. :-))

        Remember that if the kids don’t have anything on their page, it very often will not be because they want to annoy you, but because they don’t know how to do it or feel insecure. I wouldn’t start with punishing that – you’ve got to figure out a way so that they learn and are able to apply the material because a note to their parents will change nothing if they still don’t understand the material.

        Can you break it down in smaller steps what they have to write down? Give them a fun challenge with who is fastest with coming up with the first part of solving a problem (not the final answer yet, but perhaps steps if the problem takes several steps to solve)? Can you break it down, so that different kids solve different problems (like 3 options, a super-easy one -e.g. the one you just solved on the board in front of them -, a slightly different one, and a more challenging one?)?

        Even when you do exercises in front of them on the board, try and think of ways of eliciting things from them. Before you write a step, ask if anyone knows. Don’t ask yes/no questions, ask questions that require an answer. You might also implement a ‘no hands up’ policy, in other words, rather than calling on students that raise their hands, you pick a random person to answer (no punishment if they don’t know, but rather, pick a second person who can ‘help’). Do it in a way that everyone will get picked at some point. Actually, I hate the randomly picking method (don’t like putting students on the spot), but it has its good sides too – everyone has to be pay more attention. The BBC did a really interesting documentary (called the Classroom Experiment) a year or so ago, where they tested out things like this, and it was really really intriguing.

        Again, ask your teacher sunbaes! Some solutions will be specific to the population of kids you are teaching (e.g. in Costa Rica, where I was teaching, the ‘Catholic guilt trip’ worked well because it’s a very Catholic country).

        • NO no! Of course I don’t go hard on the poor kids that honestly don’t know how to do it! I’m not that horrible a teacher! Its the kids who don’t even TRY that piss me off. I don’t mind giving individual attention. I randomly ask kids to come to the board and solve a question. If they don’t get it re-explain it to them, and have them do it again. I do ask them questions, like what will the next step be, and I do make them compete with each other and I, surprisingly, do most of the other things you’ve mentioned as well. I give them challenges, and it does make me happy to see them absorbed in their books for like 2 minutes before the yells of ‘I’m DOME!’ start up. THANK YOU, Alua, for taking out the time to give me tips liek this! It really helped me re-analyze my position with them. Chincha Kumawo!

          • alua says:

            I don’t think you are a bad teacher! In any way!

            In any case, teaching is one of those professions that is difficult (and way under -appreciated), and the first year is the most difficult of all (not sure how long you have been doing it though?). Plus, even after years of teaching you will continue to learn new things and you’ll always come across things that others do, that you never even thought of doing but that are brilliant.

            Plus, I think you have got to find your own teaching style. The style that works for you, your personality, your way of acting, and your students. I have had teachers that are brilliant and that I loved, but whose teaching style I could never follow because I’m a different person than them. I’m not the teacher that makes funny jokes or gives super-easy quizzes. I’m the teacher that feeds everyone but marks harshly and even takes points off for not stapling assignments (a necessary tactic – my students hated it, but then they went to uni and wrote back thanking me!). 🙂 (I’m not a teacher now though… only occasionally teach at uni, which is a different thing of course.)

            Do keep us up to date with how things go. And feel free to whine and rant any time. It’s VERY needed at times and will make you feel so much better after a tough day 🙂

            • Truly, I feel so thankful to have this outlet for my frustrations. There’s only so much my friends are willing to listen to. I agree with everything you just said, and I do hope it gets easier as time goes by. I have kind of settled into a pattern, and am having fun while at it. Today’s math class went slower, but I made them do everything themselves till they got it perfectly. A sacrifice I am willing to make. I drew stars on the back of the early finishers’ hands. They were so happy!
              I realized the biggest problem tho- that they speak English as a second language, some of them more poorly than others, but since the medium of instruction is English, they have a hard time doing things like word problems. Trying to push them anyway, I don’t want to give up. Thank you once again, and hwaiting!

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