Thursday, August 1, 2013


I know you aren't supposed to play favorites. And don't get me wrong. I love all my students. I mean, if it came down to me choosing between my students and selling my organs on the black market, well, I'd get rid of every kidney, spleen, gallbladder, ovary, and small intestine I've got. Clean me out. Like, I love these kids. (What do you do with a gallbladder anyway??) But there are these particular students that have this power over me that some do not. My students don't get to push me around. I push them around. Sometimes I literally push them. Homework is a serious matter. But we have this one kid. This one. Eating the pizza. Sean.
I teach Sean reading. And sometimes he is the most defiant, annoying little ball of a Korean that ever existed. One day he decided that the only word he would write in his workbook was poop. So he had an entire workbook page covered in the word poop. With little piles of poop that he drew to go along with it. Our story had nothing to do with poop. Sometimes when he reads the only audible sound he will make is "blah, blah, blah." Ugh. So frustrating. And THEN after an entire day of talking only about poop and hotdogs and refusing to read his book he makes a perfect score on his test. It's the most aggravating thing under the sun. But I can't get mad at him. I can get very mad at my students. I can rant and rave and give detention like nobody's business. I had a kid write an essay yesterday about how i"m the god of detention. But not Sean. Nope. He's using some Korean magic on me. I've tried. I've tried to yell. I've tired to reason. I've tried to ignore. Nothing works. And he does this thing where he looks at you, says hotdog, and then licks his lips. It's weird and so cute. Gosh. and he will not stay in his chair to save his life. If I had 1,000 won for every time I said "Sean, sit down," well, I'd never work again. And the kid is smart. He plays dumb to get out of his work, but he doesn't have me fooled. He was taking a test one day and he had to write an essay. He knows how to write an essay. All of our kids know how to write essays. Fortunately for me I was proctoring this test and he probably had asked me audibly 10 or 12 times "teacher, how I do?" So I told him that he if spoke one more word I was going to throw him out the window. Well, I don't know how long he'd be staring at me waiting to make eye contact because I had looked back down at my papers. But when I looked back up at him he mouthed, "teacher, how I do?" and pointed to his paper. He'd probably been staring at me for a good 3 minutes. Just waiting. He's crazy. This one time we were reading Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Circus Clown. And he kept on with his weird voices and his blah blah blahing and I just couldn't take it. How is this helping our pronunciation? It's not. Not at all. So I told him he had to start over and he couldn't sound like a monkey under water anymore. So he starts the page over and in the middle of a sentence he looks up at me and says, "Teacher, how did the monkey get under water?" Well I don't know Sean. That's not even a real expression. And then we had an argument about how the monkey got in the water. Because that's productive. Last week he was being particularly rowdy, so I told him I was forbidding him from ever eating another hotdog or hamburger ever again. He walked into class the next Wednesday and the first thing he said to me was, "Teacher, last night. I eat hamburger." See. He just aggravates to aggravate. I'm powerless to fight back. I don't know how he does it. It's that combination of his bad bowl haircut and his missing teeth. I just melt. 
But I really could tell endless stories about all my kids. And I'm starting to freak about how little time I have left with them. They make me laugh everyday. 
Simon. Sweetest kid. I gave him my ramen leftovers. 
Jerry. The teachers and I could write a book just about Jerry. He's a few fries short of  a happy meal. But he's a blast. (photo credit: Ohio)

Yule (However, he just decided his name is spelled without an "e". He can't be convinced that changes the sound.) 

Evelyn and Donna. Hard at work. 

Jay, Jason, Cheryl Teacher, Lion, Luke, and Ted. 

Chan-young and Yul(e).