Teaching in "the county"

I am thinking about finding a job out in the county to (ideally) get away from talking to disrespectful 12 yr olds everyday. (I’ve heard things are better out there.) So,…

(1) Have you found students to be a bit more respectful in the county?

(2) Most job listings are for “big-city” jobs. Any suggestions as to where to look?


(I have posted about problems with younger children, and thanks to the help I got here, that problem no longer exists. But the older children are just plain out rude; I would rather quit and go home then teach them much longer – I take pride in my work, and demand a working environment from which pride can be derived. I have found this environment in all jobs before this one, including sales at Home Depot and picking berries during the summer – my standards are not that high.)

Ahh, but you have standards see? That’s the problem. :laughing:

Kids are kids. It has nothing to do with location, but has everything to do with your classroom management abilities combined with the support (or lack of it) of your school.

I know a perpetual lack of respect is not a quality innate within children.

I also don’t think that their behavior is (1) limited to me (actually I know this) and (2) new. These children are old enough to understand respect (11-13 yrs old), and that is preciously the problem: they enjoy being disrespectful (not all of them, actually only a few). The younger children at the school are great and have improved with me, and the older children (~14 yes old) are great too. It’s just this one class, but, I will not tolerate a perpetual lack of respect from several children who know I don’t have power over them: their parents don’t care (I have tried that avenue), and the school won’t act because they will lose money. I have heard that children in “the county” are prone to respecting teachers and learning in general. (Maybe this is rooted in a different upbringing.)

Perhaps you could define “the county.” Do you mean “the countryside”?

I personally know of two posters–Durin’s Bane, and Okami, who will have some good ideas for you on how to get kids into line. Perhaps you could PM them. There are several other posters who will also know how to get kids to respect you when they don’t want to.

I know full well that I don’t have the energy or patience to deal with children or young teens in any country, unless absolutely forced to by economic necessity. However, some people are born to it. You need to find those people and ask them how they deal with this sort of situation.

Perhaps that would be a good thread to “sticky”. Classroom management is a challenge. I can always use new ideas.

I’ve been at a private junior/senior high in JhongHe, Taipei County for 3 years. The class size ranges anywhere from 15 - 50, with most classes being around 45. Overall, I too would characterize many/most student’s behavior as rude. How else do you describe someone who continually chats or plays around while the teacher is teaching? You can write it off as kids just being kids, but when I was a kid, we didn’t talk when the teacher was talking. It’s rude to the teacher and rude to any students who may actually want to learn something. Rude is rude, regardless of the age.

In my day, I don’t remember teachers punishing students like they do here. Although recently determined illegal, corporal punishment is alive and well in Taiwan. It’s the only thing students will recognize. They learn quickly that we don’t do that and take advantage. Kindness by teachers, especially foreign teachers, is seen as weakness by students. Reason and logic, as in teaching manners and why they shouldn’t disrupt class, doesn’t work either, at least not with my junior high students. The high school students are a little better.

Where I teach now, the students are not beyond hope, however, like they were at another school I was at. I’ve just had to find things that worked.

First, when they start talking, I stop. Eventually, someone notices and shushes the class. I have to do this several times each class period. This has still generally been the most effective thing for me.

Second, we link their scores to class participation. Not all, but many students really care about their grades.

Third, given short attention spans, it’s helpful to break the lessons up into very short segments and keep them moving to different types of activities. If an activity takes too long, some lose interest and play around.

Fourth, I reward good scores and good behavior, usually with chocolate or some other goodie. That will capture the attention of a few more students.

Finally, I am lucky enough to have the support of my colleagues and the school. Although I am not into corporal punishment, the homeroom teachers have no problem with it. A brief note to the homeroom teacher about who was causing trouble and WHAMMO.

Bottom line is to not take it too personally. Find a balance. Another way to look at it is that these kids are tortured for hours and hours by their Taiwanese teachers (at least in jr/sr high). About the only opportunities they have to blow off steam is P.E. class and the English conversation class. Go with it. Find some activities they can pour that excess energy into.

Actually, I just thought of a situation where the teenagers were more respectful and appreciative of foreign teachers: vocational school. It’s like they know they are bottom of the ladder in the Taiwanese educational system, so therefore more appreciative of everything they get. They don’t seem to take things for granted like in the jr/sr high.

I know I’m generalizing, but that has been my limited experience.

To my chagrin I’ve never been able to find a job in “the city” so… before I get my coat I’ll just quickly agree with everything said above by everybody: Kids in the countryside are sometimes easier to control for various reasons - but kids are kids everywhere and will try and be rude.

Rule number one is to absolutely not tolerate it.

If it is too late for that - rule number two is to take pleasure in punishing them for it - it should be fun! (i.e. it should solve the problem painlessly and benefit everybody). Ahh, the joy of lines.

Rule number three isn’t a rule, it’s an observation: obedience doesn’t equal respect - you can hit a kid until he shuts up, but he won’t respect you and he might not shut up. What are you going to do then? Classroom management is what it’s all about. BUT classroom management is all about EVERYTHING you do as a teacher, and that means what they are doing, etc.

If you think classroom management is all about punishment then you are terribly misguided. Take a good look at how you teach and experiment with different approaches to solve different problems. My opinion is similar to yours - being rude is unacceptable. But why is it unacceptable? Perhaps that is what you need to answer and explain to your students. IMHO, it is inhuman behavior caused by the terribly misguided but utterly endemic idea that humans are merely animals. Most kids I’ve taught genuinely believed they are merely animals - so who can blame them for acting as if they’re trapped in a zoo?

Be warned: don’t lock horns and don’t start fights you can’t win. Or, if all is lost appear to win. :wink:

Bottom line is to not take it too personally. Find a balance. Another way to look at it is that these kids are tortured for hours and hours by their Taiwanese teachers (at least in jr/sr high). About the only opportunities they have to blow off steam is P.E. class and the English conversation class. Go with it. Find some activities they can pour that excess energy into.[/quote]

I’d like to second that.

Treat them like adults, and they will (eventually) behave like them.

Make it clear you expect their respect and attention … if that means leaning against the whiteboard and waiting for twenty minutes for silence, do so. Don’t get angry, but don’t concede.

Don’t do things which undermine your position, like playing silly games because they want to.

Be open with them … talk about yourself, about the silly things that happen to you on the street in Taiwan, about your own situation and hopes and dreams and frustrations. Build some understanding, and thereby trust, and thereby respect.

“Expect more” is the only classroom management strategy I use, and it’s worked every single time with classes aged from 6 to 16.

(Except kids with serious learning disabilities. Caveat somethingorother. Other tactics apply for them)

Thanks for your time and thoughts – this community is a wonderful source of information.

Firstly, I know that my problems in the classroom are rooted in my own lack of experience as a teacher. Therefore, change in the classroom must start with me. And hence I am here seeking advice. There is already a lot of good info, and I will use it.

Taiwan has been great to me; I’m slowly achieving everything I set out to accomplish and more. But teaching English has been the lone thorn in my heal. And this wound is becoming increasing annoying. However, I want to do a good job. And this forum is the only place I can turn to reliably (school is not a source of training or assistance – problems with communication and perceptions over how they should interact with the “foreign teacher”.). What I’m trying to get at is I appreciate your advice. I’ll write an update over how things change with the application of new ideas.