Thursday, March 26, 2009

Incident Number the First

I had my very first Incident on Tuesday, though by now it has largely panned out to be nothing.

The children here are well-behaved, by and large. Sometimes they are a bit punchy, but usually not actually disruptive. There are exceptions, of course. One of them is a kid whose English name is Alex but for in-joke reasons we all refer to him as PM.

He yells, calls out answers, crawls under things, and chatters constantly in Korean (class time with the foreign teachers is supposed to be conducted in English as much as possible). As a result, I'm constantly on his case to get him just to sit down and shut up, which seems to make him grumpy and resentful and act even worse, but my options with kids I can't actually talk to are limited. I'm sure I'll figure something out eventually, though.

A charitable reading of his behavior would be unmedicated ADHD or something, but he just seems to be a huge attention whore, because the more the kids react to him, the worse he behaves. I've considered trying to ignore him but that would be useless because the other students don't. (I do have another student who's a likely candidate for $untreated_developmental_disorder, though. He eats his snot and licks his erasers. Gross. Dumb as a post, to boot.)

Anyway, back to Tuesday. After being especially grumpy because I docked his team a point when he wouldn't stop calling out answers, he started to pack up early. Two of the students called him out on it—they're not supposed to pack up until the bell—and he responded by calling them some insult in Korean, which was apparently so awful that the students went home and said they didn't want to come to class anymore—two of the better-behaved, smarter students. And when my Korean partner teacher, Mina, called PM's house to talk to his mother about it, she wasn't there and PM picked up instead. So Mina told him about what happened and said she'd tell his mother what he said, at which point he started crying and asking her not to. Mina doesn't take shit from any of the kids and said too bad. (Too bad his mom's never actually home to pick up the phone.) Whatever he said must have been a pretty serious deal. Mina wouldn't tell me what it was in Korean or what it meant, except that it was a "bad word."

Thankfully, it all has a happy ending. Or well, at least not the worst possible ending—a happy ending would be PM getting kicked out of Sherlock academy but I realize that's highly unlikely. The two students in question returned to class on Wednesday and seem to have largely gotten over it, according to Mina, which is good because I like them. I have this class again today (Thursday) so I'll be able to see for myself how it goes down.


  1. so --- how did it go down?

  2. The other two kids (Julie and Jay) were fine, PM was a spazzoid again but ignoring him seemed to do the trick, at least partially.