Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Been Feeling Down Lately

I've come to several conclusions about my job.
1. I don't enjoy yelling at small children, or even large children. Hell, I don't enjoy yelling at anyone on a regular basis.
2. Yelling at children and making them upset makes me feel like a bad person. Perhaps I should start worrying when it doesn't make me feel like a bad person, but until then, it still does make me feel like shit when it does happen, even when, in my opinion it's deserved.
3. On a reverse note, children can also be assholes. This shouldn't surprise anyone. Most people, in my opinion (the loveless cynic) are assholes. Children really aren't that much more innocent in general or nice than adults. This makes them much more interesting than they're made out to be. However the fact remains, many of them are assholes.
4. not job related but still true, I've realized I'll probably never see either of my grandparents again and that they'll most likely die before I go back to America. As a general rule, I don't talk about personal things here, so enough said.

On a lighter note, yesterday was K9-83 day, which is always a highlight of my day. After begging me in a way that can only be described as piteously for a couple minutes to look over their vocabulary before the quiz, which I sort of gave them. It's one of those balancing acts between wanting to be a nice person in the face of five 12 year olds saying, "Please, PLEASE!" in a heartrending way, and trying to be professional and not be manipulated because, well, see item 3 above.

Afterwards, Willy, during the break, told me. "Last week, my father was very angry because I got 70 on my quiz, so he hit me. No, not hit me. He made me write out the words 10 times." I also asked him where he goes after class, and he said, "To another school to study Chinese." people here often say that kids born after 1983 are really selfish and spoiled, but I would say that some kids here work really hard.

Finally, one of the words I had to teach was energy. Energy is also the name of a boy band here. The sentence patterns I had to teach was So and so wants something. They have to do something. The final sentence we did was K9-83 wants Energy, K-One, 5566, Tsai Jolin, the Twins, and Jay. We have to buy their CDs, DVDs, MVs, and T-shirts. Also at some point I asked Tina if she was a member of 5566 because she kept tapping her feet, in a similar manner to their lame, lame, lame music video. Her friend Lucy retorted, "No, teacher. She is 2266."


nien said...

2266? I don't get it...

lovelesscynic said...

the intended meaning, I think, was that Tina isn't as good as 5566, so she is merely 2266, adding up to slightly less than half.

Anonymous said...

An alternative to yelling at children: speaking to them in a very low, creepily calm voice. Set your jaw. Narrow your eyes. Get across via expression and contained anger that you are not happy with whatever they have just done to deserve your wrath. It is quite effective.

Alternatively, my fourth grade teacher would switch from her bubbly self to a stern matron and say "my hands are on my toes are curled...I am NOT amused." We got to the point that all she had to do was place her hands on her hips and give us the look, and we'd quit it. Nobody really wants to have someone ashamed of them, but kids can reach the point where they try not to care so much that they blow everything off.


Laurel said...

Item 3 is almost verbatim something my mom said to me a few years ago, that she said was one of the hardest things about working with kids (especially really young kids). I think it's because most of the time we don't really think of kids as having personalities, you know?

kvr said...

You need to perfect your Evil Eye. When kids get used to you yelling, nothing will scare the hell out of them more than you being quiet and glaring in an exaggerated manner. The Evil Eye is your best friend.

The peer pressure that 12 year olds can produce is the strongest peer pressure known to man. I have seen usually dignified scientist-types turn into babbling, giggling idiots and throw effigies of dogs made of crisco into a nearby lake at their behest. Don't feel bad about buckling, and you'll feel less bad about yelling.

That may be bad advice.

Jamaica said...

Another alternative to yelling is perfecting Teacher Voice. This is a lot like Parent Voice, and once perfected, combined with the aforementioned Evil Eye, will make even the rowdiest child quiet down (at least for a bit).

Once you get level 1 Teacher Voice you can tab out to segue into Ultimate Teacher Voice for extra combo points. ;)

Uh, ignore that. Anyway, I'm sure you're doing fine. :)