Hagwon? I hardly know won!

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Mind Games September 8, 2010

Filed under: Travel Blog — olgathered @ 12:18 pm
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As the puppeteer of my classroom I like to make my students dance for me. A little competition here a little reward system there a viola! We are all paying attention.

Not only are they children, so they buy my bullshit, but they aren’t American children, so my bullshit is shiny and new to them. In the first three minutes of reading class, the last class of a long, sunny, hot day, I could see that my hard workers were worn out and tried and most of all chatty. So three minutes in, I asked them if they wanted to play a game. Holy shit! Did you say game? I don’t care what it is. Sign me up for a game. We are going to play the quiet game. Had these been American kids, they would have seen right through me, but they were delighted to spend the rest of the class trying to find out who would win.

I taught my older students the ancient art of the pinky swear. A few of them were vaguely familiar with the ritual, but none knew the meaning that once a pinky swear is broken, your pinky is cut off. I made every student pinky swear that they would finish their homework this week. Just to drive the point home I told them I would be wearing a necklace made of the pinkies of those who didn’t find time to finish their assignments. I topped it off with maniacal laughter.

We’ve been reading a lot of ghosts stories lately. The ghost is my friend. The ghost is really dad. The ghost is a ghost. This has been great. We’ve learned words like afraid of, scary/scared of, and best of all spooky. This lead one of my students to say
Student: Teacher is angry. Teacher is scary
Me: You think teacher is scary?
Student (smiling): yes
Me: Who thinks Teacher is scary?
One hand goes up
Me: Only one person thinks Teacher is scary?
Students: Teacher no scary. Teacher is kind… and funny. Funny, kind Teacher.
Well shit, my cover is officially blown. Those little buggers don’t even cower  at the sight of me. What is the world coming to?


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