Teaching Moments: Conflict Between Close Friends

Yesterday during break time, I looked up from my Kindle to see one of my students repeatedly hitting another boy on the back of the head. He was clearly angry and exclaiming something I couldn’t understand in Korean. I immediately sat up and started yelling. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” The hitting stopped. “BOTH OF YOU […]

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Teaching Moments: When Everyone Decides to Go Cray

Sometimes I think teaching has literally made me insane. Or perhaps I was simply insane to decide to teach in the first place. Sometimes my students are great. Everyone comes on time with their books prepared and pencils sharpened, having gone to the bathroom and drunk a satisfactory amount of water. Whatever candy or toys […]

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Teaching Moments: Confronting Liars

I caught one of my students cheating yesterday. Well, a student in the following class caught her. The girl had written the longest vocabulary word on her test (delicious) on her desk and left it plain as day for the next student who used that desk to see. Not the most subtle technique. But even though the truth […]

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Teaching Moments: Fresh Starts

On Monday, I returned to work after a two-week vacation. I love returning to places after vacation. Everything feels so fresh. The time away gives you space to miss people, to miss the routine. Despite one student’s “No hello, Teacher” greeting on Monday, I couldn’t help feeling all warm inside as I welcomed the kids back. There was one […]

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Teaching Moments: Working Through Conflict

Last week, I saw an ugly side of one of my young students. English name of Brian. He is normally very cute and engaged during class (and I may even subconsciously favor him sometimes..). He just has the kind of attractive personality that makes you want to call on him all the time. But last week, […]

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Teaching Moments: The Whisper Technique

This week my voice got hoarse, which made it difficult to speak loudly during class, which made me realize how much I rely on yelling to control my classroom. Since that fallback was no longer an option, I resorted to a technique my roommate has mentioned a few times: the whisper technique. I started talking in a […]

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Teaching Moments: Unexplainable Feelings

Yesterday my boss came in to talk to me about one of my students. Apparently he had gone home and told his mother that I treated him unfairly, only punishing him and no one else. While that was not true, I knew exactly which student she was talking about even before she mentioned his name. […]

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Rewards

I could not stop smiling yesterday during my crazy class, the one packed with noisy third grade boys who like to fight with each other and test the limits of my patience. I was outright grinning from ear to ear. Because those kids were behaving SO WELL! At the end of class, I faced them […]

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