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No classroom punishment ... at all?
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Marathe



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Spider Hole

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

itchy wrote:
Do what I did: walk around the class with a pair of scissors (on the pretence of giving them stickers if they're good). Snap, snap snap with the scissors, close to the face of a misbehaving kid. Better watch out, you might get cut! Teacher needs room to think and move around, otherwise there could be accidents.


i do that.

nothing freaks korean kids out like the threat that their hair's going to be cut if they misbehave.

that or just gesture to an open window once in a while and let the kids figure it out.
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Circus Monkey



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: In my coconut tree

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

schwa wrote:
They come into my classroom knowing theyre going to have fun but that there are limits, & none of them want to wreck a good thing.


kylehawkins2000 wrote:
I would suggest making up a list of rules (max about 7) and have them posted in Korean and english. Refer to these rules constantly......and make sure they are rules that you believe in.


And how you both of you suggest Bobster deal with a student who breaks the rules (i.e. conforming to the imposed "limits"). Look what he wrote. He can't even put a kid in the corner for a time out.

CM
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The Lemon



Joined: 11 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So, I followed the manager's instructions and played games for the next two classes...educational games of course.
The following week three mom's called in and said they weren't paying for their children to play games; they want their kid's reading, writing and speaking. The game playing stops or the kid's get located at a different institute. Guess who's fault it was? Yep. Both times.


Mr. Material is clearly speaking from wisdom here. Talk about ring of truth.

Somone on the boards suggested a while back an innovative way of dealing with hogwon director whims with regards to teaching practice: ask him to give a demonstration class.

The chances are excellent that the director you're working for has zero educational training or theory and is coming up with this stuff so he can feel like the boss, or to appease the contradictory and counterproductive demands of moms. Put him on the spot.
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The Bobster



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard a lotta good comments here. Maybe the right course is right down the middle between schwa's practical idealism and marathe's (hopefully) humorous suggestion to bring an uzi to class ...

For those wanting to know my boss's side of this, it is quite simply that the school has had declining enrollment in a smallish city that it beyond saturation point with hagwons. When I first arrived, there 3 foreign teachers and I was working only 70% of my contract hours, a good deal for me. Two months ago, one of the foreign staff finished his contract but was not replaced because we went from 4 kindie classes to only three, and I am working what my contract says I should. (Not complaining about that.)

The boss had decided that he does not want even one mom to take even one kid out of the school. He has told me clearly that he wants not a single complaint from anyone - and, of course, this means that any complaint that does come in will be handled by caving in immediately. Yeah, I've been around here enough to know what my boss oughta know, and what Lemon and Harvard Material allude to : if you change a policy to please one parent, you are just as likely to displease two or three for the same reason ...

I'm not apologizing for him, but the boss is not really a bad guy. He does know one or two things about education, and even if some of what he knows seems to be wrong or contradicts what I've been taught or what I personally believe, I'm willing to do what I can to give him what he wants - it's his house and I should follow his rules, right? ... within reason, that is. That's not only Korean-style but, memory serves, it's the way we do things back home also. And he's not a cold-blooded mercenary. He loves the kids, and really does want them to learn and I never saw any conflict between providing education and making a profit if it's done right.

But, as mentioned in the beginning, I do need to cover my own donkey so to speak. Yesterday I sent two kids out to the head Korean teacher so it could be explained to them in their own language that whacking their neighbor's head is not something that is going to happen in Bob-Teachuh's class. (These were not kindies, they were high-end elementary kids - more amazingly, they were sitting right next to me when they did it.)

The Korean teacher, who had not witnessed the event, seemed to feel I was overreacting and this kind of horseplay is to be expected of kids - expected, yes, but tolerated? And I was not worried about this incident but rather the next one and the one after that, and the very last one that really gets everyone severely bent out of shape because it results in an accidental but nevertheless serious injury.

And I should be clear that I really don't think the boss is intentionally setting me up to be canned. He's got a good track record with the other teachers who have finished their contracts and been paid out honestly and fairly - rather I think he's just got some impractical ideas.

But at this point I'll probably take Crazy Oz's advice and give it the best shot I can ... thinking about asking the boss to sign a document saying I won't be penalized for injuries that occur in my classroom, but that's just to make him know how serious I feel about the potential dangers of this policy ...
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Circus Monkey



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: In my coconut tree

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Bobster, but from what you've been saying I have to agree with Forrest and others. That hagwon is in a tailspin. The writing is on the wall.

CM
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kylehawkins2000



Joined: 08 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In response to Circus Monkey's Question:

I'm refering to a strategy to avoid misbehavior in the first place....not a system of punishements/rewards after the fact. I believe that most misbehavior can be avoided if we are careful to reflect on the actions are address the cause of the misbehavior. I do not subscribe to the theory that kids are evil and misbavior natural.
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Crazy Oz



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: Ilsan, Korea

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KyleH:

I have worked with some really bent out of shape kids for a long time (here and back home), and yes not many are evil as such, but kids do like to push the limits to find out where the boundaries are. As such, their actions could be described as misbehaviour. Usually letting a kid know where the boundary is, and what is inappropriate, is enough for them to get a basic grip on what society expects of them. The boundaries for Korean kids differ to those of other countries (as do those of most others), so we have to partake in a bit of a cultural juggling act. Identifying what leads to inappropriate behaviour is, as you mentioned, the key. Once that is addressed then strategies can be put in place for dealing with the behaviour eg behaviour management programs.
The ideal discipline is the one that governs the actions of most adults, that is, self-discipline. This is a learned response determined in part from reward/punishment history, and from the impact of the socialisation we recieved from family, social group, culture and education. Degrees of appropriate behaviour exist within different contact groups.
As for some kids being evil, I would have to say that some are. I use evil here to describe all the things we find unacceptable in all situations. Like back home, some of the kids here exhibit these sort of behaviours, and those behavaiours are totally unacceptable in any form, but especially in a school wher those behaviours can influence others.



Still crazy, still here.
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kylehawkins2000



Joined: 08 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crazy Oz,

It looks like we agree on most aspect of this topic. The most important thing is to address the root of the problem. Too often we punish the behavior and not the cause of the behavior then wonder why the behavior persists.

We also have to be careful not to lead our students to associate studying and learning with negative experiences (such as some forms of 'punishment') Unfortunatly, it seems to me that many Korean students come to their English Hogwans already programmed in this respect.

Children do misbehave. It would be horribly ignorant of me to deny this. If you want to call it evil fine. I think we could just as easily just say the kid is having some problems, or a bad day. I know that I have bad days and I say and do things out of anger sometimes that I regret. I suppose that this could be classified as misbehavior.....I'm fortunate that I'm not hit with a stick or yelled at when this 'misbehavior' occurs. I would also like to think that no one out there is referring to me as 'evil' becuase of my behavior.
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Circus Monkey



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: In my coconut tree

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kylehawkins2000 wrote:
I'm refering to a strategy to avoid misbehavior in the first place....not a system of punishements/rewards after the fact. I believe that most misbehavior can be avoided if we are careful to reflect on the actions are address the cause of the misbehavior. I do not subscribe to the theory that kids are evil and misbavior natural.


Fair enough. I too don't see kids as evil and misbehaviour as natural.

CM
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kylehawkins2000



Joined: 08 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps I should write a little more....

I think one failure of many hogwans in this respect is a lack of clearly articulated rules that are strictly enforced in a consistant and fair manner. THe Hogwan as a whole should have these goals and the consequences clearly stated so that there is no excuses from the rule-breakers.

For example I would say that there should be a zero tolerance towards Physical violence. When parents register their kids they should have to sign an agreement that says if their child breaks this rule they will be expelled for a day on the first offence, two days on the second offence, a week for the third, and indefinitely for the fourth (without refund). This is just an example....and not a very well thought out one I'll admit. My point is that serious rules and their consequences have to be clearly articulated.
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Crazy Oz



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: Ilsan, Korea

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KH:
Back a couple of years ago I suugested just such a thing to my then (and current) boss. He ummed and ahhed a while, and ventually ran with the suggestion. Unfortunately one of the kids eventually expelled was from an influential family in the area. The moms had a bit of a meeting and decided to pull their kids from the school. Fewer kids, less cash flow, idea scraped. I still agree with the idea in principle, but in the hogwon business it can be a lethal blow in these times of saturation. Hence the suggestion in my original reply to this post of going with the bosses idea (and from experience that implementing such a thing does sometimes work, due to the class becoming a self disciplining body).
One the nature of "evil", I think that may well turn out to be the topic for another thread.



Still crazy, still here.
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crazylemongirl



Joined: 23 Mar 2003
Location: almost there...

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok,
Bob I see the condrum you are in, and I feel very fourtante that my hagwon pretty much lets me do what I like (but the flip side of this is they pretty much let the kids do what they like). I would follow the advice of most of the others here but add this: don't forget the importance of postive reinforcement. One of the things I learnt on section (professional practice) at a special school is the importance of this. So following a similar system that I saw in action there my two worst elementary classes all have in their possession a star sheet. I give out a maxium of three stars a day but the kids have to have done all their work, behaved in class, and volunteered information etc sliding down to nothing if they have misbehaved and haven't attempted any work.

I sometimes give out extra ones, if a kid has done something above and beyond the call of duty (for instance one of my kids arrived early and helped me clean up the desks before class without being asked to) if they misbehave they lose a star and I write it on the board so that they can all see it. Five minutes before the end of the lesson I tell them I'm coming around to give out stars and they get out their sheets. And I very loudly award the stars. Once they get to 25 they get a candy, but you can use anything they like as reward.

It took a while for them to cotton on to the system, but I haven't had as many problems with the classes since. The best thing is that they have become very competive over it so they dob in eachother if they misbehave.

Also a great tip for getting queit. I started it at the end of class because I knew it would tick them off. If they have been being noisy, I get them to sit in their seats and hold up 10 fingers I start silently counting down from 10 but if they make too much noise I go back to ten again, and I point at the offender/s. Probably only works for smaller size classes of younger students. But I've started adding it in different types of situations, mostly when they want to do something they enjoy. It's just a way of letting them know who is boss.

Try and think of ways to get kids to police eachother. Peer pressure is such a powerful tool, it's just find ways to use it that's hard.

Hope this helps,
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Anda



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 3:20 pm    Post subject: Um Reply with quote

Go to immigration and explain what is happening to them and tell them that you are about to give a month's notice and then go back to your boss and give a month's notice and inform him that you have already had a word with immigration. There plenty of other jobs here.
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Harvard Material



Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 7:46 pm    Post subject: Discipline... Reply with quote

I like all your points Kyle. You make a lot of sense.

For those unfortunate teachers who are in a stranglehold with the managemnt/owner decisions? Our hands are tied.

There is a very troublesome boy at my location. Constantly kicking, punching, grabbing girls and boys on a daily basis. I send him out, the director coddles him. I look bad, he returns to class, the negative behaviour continues. I try to give him lots of attention, and don't blow troublsome moments out of proportion. You can't focus on negative behaviour and expect it to go away. You have to trade it for positive behaviour, and it has to be desired by the individual.

Three days ago one of my favourite boy's - happy, polite, intelligent, participates with class mates very well, shares his candy, pencils, crayons - was spun around by the 'not so good' boy. The good guy went into the corner of a table with his forehead, and received a huge welt. His mom took him to the hospital to get looked at. He couldn't sleep that night due to the headache, but he came back and participated as usual the following day.

Both mom's were contacted, and the manager was told by the owner not to do that again. The not so good boy's mom was told not to worry about it, it was an accident and her boy is wonderful...wrong.

The manager can't do anything. The foreign staff has their hands tied and the bad apple is protected. It goes on and on and on. One day someone's son or daughter is going to be badly injured. It is simply a matter of time. We foreign teachers have used positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, send him out of class...the behaviour continues because this kid has a problem. He is also developing a history that would have him removed from a school in Canada or the U.S. by now.

Yesterday and today he was spoken to by the Korean teachers again. For hitting, again. It is simply a given. Someone is getting a pencil case in the head today from this kid before he gets on the bus.

Sometimes the only solution is to evict a student, but it won't happen at this location until a student suffers an eye out, stabbed with a pencil in the stomach, pushed down a flight of stairs....and the director will put the blame anywhere else possible. If the hakwon director won't help make necessary adjustments to eradicate violent behaviour how can I?

I agree with the rules you mentioned for violent behaviour Kyle, but my boss doesn't see it that way. The suspensions you mentioned are very effective. Not my decision to make, but I agree that is the best course of action.
I think the best thing we can do is what we have been doing; watch his every move and catch him before he does cause another student serious injury.
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kylehawkins2000



Joined: 08 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2003 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only meant the suspension thing as an example. I don't know if I'd really ever use it.

I meant it just to highlight my greater point that rules need to be clearly stated and consistantly enforced.

I think that few directors would disagree to a general set of rules or code of conduct that is very carefully put together. It needs to be simple and make sense and everyone has to understand what the rules are and their consequences. Everyone in the school must work together to carefully and consistantly reinforce the rules. You can't have some teachers working with a separate set of rules so some teachers enforcing the rules and others not. I can't believe the number of times I've seen teachers turn a blind eye when they see a kid blantatly breaking a rule. I don't know if it's laziness or what?????
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