Not in my classroom

Dopey foreigners and mentally deficient Koreans

It's not that I love to discipline students. I don't. But it is part of my job and I accept that. I have precious little time as it is to teach my students the English they need to know, so I would rather not waste class time telling students to sit down, keep quiet, and stop throwing things.


The perfect storm

Dopey foreigners and mentally deficient Koreans part one

So Korea, go ahead and continue to hire unqualified native English teachers. You know exactly what you're doing. You're hardly walking and talking testaments to your own good judgement. A plague on all your houses!


Creating classroom culture

Cultivating universal values and striving for excellence

There are some good teachers out there to get you through these first rough few months of uncertainty. From those who say, "Lay down the law the first week of class. You're not their friend, you're their teacher", to those who offer good introductory first day lessons, there is a lot of good advice out there if one knows where to look.


A Thai student's diary

What it feels like to be a Thai student studying English in school

A foreign teacher contacted ajarn wanting to share a diary that one of his English program students had written. Although the student is only a youngster, the diary is a very frank account of what it's like to study at a Thai school. Top work!


Agreeing with Alison Empey

The downsides of teaching in Korea

What exactly is it that I don’t like about Korea, or that made me finally spit the dummy? In as objective tone as I can muster, and in no partcular order, here’s the nature of my gripes.


No magic bullets

Dave Patterson would most certainly like a word

Dave Patterson, who is a teacher at the Prince of Songkhla University in South Thailand, says it's about time Thai students took studying English seriously. And it's about time schools got serious about taking care of their students.


Caring or kinky?

Corporal punishment in public schools

According to studies and surveys, neither the majority of teachers, parents, nor students are against corporal punishment in school. In fact, an overwhelming majority are for it and see very little, if anything wrong with it, as long as it is meted out "fairly."


Cheats and copycats

Text messages and talking dics

It is a problem when students are more technologically advanced than you. They can figure out ways to outsmart teachers on tests. In one particular incident, one of the smarter students text messaged the answers to another student from the hallway. However, I often switch the order of questions on my exams so, unfortunately for them, the answers didn’t match.


Sweet spastic, silly swarms

Back in Korea again

Korea was the same as when I left it. New swarms of hagwons proliferated like rabbits on viagra and cheap wine. Every street twinkled with the latest corporate offspring – doe-eyed upstarts of whatever educational franchise chain. Small, independent, family owned schools struggled to compete; while saturating the nation themselves oblivious to supply and demand.


We're not just another brick in the wall

Hey teacher, leave those kids alone

I'm learning that ESL teaching is a useless endeavor unless there's a special student in your class. Someone who makes you care and feel. I'm learning that a wall around you, although useful at strategic times, is dangerous when students are relying on you to connect with them and deliver "the goods."


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