Who would have thought, as much of a pain in the ass as I was to my teachers in school, that I would turn into that strict teacher who doesn't put up with your bullshit and kicks you out of class! (The fact that I have to kick a 4th grader out of class in the first place is an entirely different story.) I never thought it would be me, I figured I would be the 'cool teacher' that everyone liked. While I am cool and fun and most my kids like me (probably just because I have blonde hair though) there are times when I find myself totally frustrated with a student and I lose that cool for a minute, just a minute, until the somber looking kid nods and pays attention again. Yes, I have made a couple students cry, (in my defense it is usually not my fault, they are just way too sensitive and have cried even when I am being nice) but that is rare and I am not a monster, I feel terrible about it afterwards. No one wants to be a mean teacher, but sometimes I have to yell so I won't hit them (I mean, we all know that has been illegal to do in Korea for like 5 whole months!) I am going to be a terrible parent....
I am the teacher who is up at the front talking, and when I see a student talking, sleeping or whatever, I loudly say their name with a smile on my face but in a sharp tone (so they know I'm not fuckin around) and when they look at me I simply say, "hello". This usually does the trick (mostly confuses them) but there are times when after several failed attempts at getting a student to pay attention, I have to put on my mean face and a voice that matches, give them a good straight-into-the-eyes glare, and say a bunch of stuff in English while they are totally lost. But if you say it in that "angry adult" voice, they pretty much get the gist of it. This seems to work in elementary school, high schoolers would have eaten me alive.
At the risk of sounding much older than I am, kids these days can be really awful. Shit, kids have always been terrible, and Korean students are no different, despite what you might have been told ( I was under the impression that they would be so respectful, well behaved and eager to learn because their culture dictated it, WRONG!) Turns out I don't have the patience for disrespectful behavior and I am turning into the meanest person I knew as a kid... my mother.