Thursday, November 17, 2011

Boys Will Be Boys

So, we have a problem in my Kindergarten homeroom class. The boys. There are only three of them, down from five when I just started. Which would seem like it would make things easier. But, the two that left were the good ones (in terms of behavior), so now it’s me versus the three muskateers: Eddie, Sonic, and Daniel. First off, they can’t stay in their seats. Second, they won’t listen. Third, they won’t stop FIGHTING.
Let me explain the fighting part…At first, it was just confusing. They were always telling me that one of the others were doing something bad, then the other would deny it. I didn’t know who to believe, especially when I was just starting out and didn’t know who I could trust (if any of them). Also, as I mentioned before, they speak very little English. They aren’t supposed to speak Korean in class, but this is nearly impossible for them, since it would mean a room of five-year-olds sitting in silence (I wish).
So, the boys kept getting in these fights in Korean, and I wouldn’t know what the heck they were talking about. Supposedly it all started when they were playing together at Sonic’s house and Daniel got upset that Sonic and Eddie didn’t let him take more turns on the Wii game, or something. Now they are constantly arguing. Sometimes it even gets physical, and when they try to explain to me what happened (or what they claimed happened), it usually goes something like this…
Daniel: “Austinnn Teachhaaaa…Sonic is…me…this (hitting motion).” (Translation: “Sonic hit me”)
Me: “Sonic, did you HIT (insert hitting motion) Daniel?”
Sonic: (wide-eyed) “NO!”
Daniel: (equally wide-eyes) “YES!”
Sonic: “NO!!!”
Daniel: “YES!!!”
Me: “Sonic, Daniel, SIT DOWN! Both of you, BAD POINTS…stop fighting!” (as I dramatically walk over to the board and put red tallies by their names) “Three bad points is NO PLAY!” (at lunch time)
            My Korean co-teacher, Ellen, has been trying very hard to get these boys to behave themselves and to get along. When she discovered that I majored in Psychology she suggested that I use my Psych skills to figure out why they’re always fighting. I have absolutely no clue. She holds them after class every day, so they can talk to her in Korean about whatever happened between the three of them that morning. We also tried a strategy where we didn’t let them play during play-time for a week, and instead made them read quietly. Of course, “reading quietly” basically means me putting them in three corners of the room, facing the wall (with a book in hand), and yelling at them every minute or so when they start arguing again.
            On the plus-side (not really), I have gotten a new Korean word out of all of this…it sounds like ”il-i-ko”, and (Ellen explained to me) means something like “I will tell.” It is not a nice word. Daniel is not allowed to say it anymore. Daniel seems slightly sociopathic. He keeps lying. To me, to Ellen, to his mom. He can be very convincing, much too convincing for a five year-old. Anyway, needless to say, I find all of this fighting a little distressing. Am I not giving these boys enough attention, love, what is it?? WHY CAN’T YOU ALL JUST GET ALONG, SALMON CLASS??? I mean, the girls are PERFECT. They try very hard and do whatever I tell them, for the most part. They even spontaneously started massaging my back today; they called it “massage-ee.” But, I guess, boys will be boys.

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