Things to entertain you…The Mathematics of Classroom Management

Introducing “Things to Entertain you.” This is going to be my daily format for sharing random cultural thoughts, pictures and basically anything I want to in an easy to digest and read format. Expect to be updated Monday-Thursday, and probably once on the weekend.

Something for you to read:

This year, teaching in Seoul.

1 class period = 40 minutes.

Each class has around 30 students.

1 lesson should be covered in 2 class periods, and I am not supposed to give homework because the students are not graded on my class.

I have 22 classes per week. Each class with a different group of 30 students.

22 classes, multiplied by 30 students means that I see 660 different students per week.

Taking into account, that out of the 22 classes I have, I only have 10 on a weekly basis and the other 12 only on a bi-weekly basis I see in total (lets see, 12 multiplied by 30 equals…added to 660 is)

1,020 different students. For only 40 minutes at a time mind you.

Last year in the states, I saw only 75 students total. And that was around 10- 20 times a week depending on the student, for 55 minutes in a class period.

All this equals 1 sinking feeling that I am not able to teach these children in an effective manner.

Any project that requires classroom procedures and routines that go beyond where to sit and when to listen to the teacher: out

Any project that might require more than 80 minutes of instruction: out

Pretty much anything that targets multiple intelligences and gets a variety of students to grow in their education in different ways: out

I am a firm believer that the greatest strengths come from your weaknesses. Taking what you are given and maximizing what you have.

So if anybody has any ideas how to turn my current weaknesses of large class sizes, a crowded classroom, 22 different teachers who all expect something different from me and a minimal amount of instruction time into a strength please let me know.

Visual Stimulation:


These are not the separate doors to the mens and womens bathrooms. No, these are the separate mens and womens stalls right next to each other. I wonder what the difference between the two is?

Piece of Pop Culture I am Missing Today:

Other then the class structure, mentioned above, that I had last year?

Public Libraries…not just English libraries but any Public libraries.

For the most part you need a student i.d. card and access to a campus to go to a library to check out books.

Piece of Pop Culture that I’m Diggin on Today:

The heated water system. Instead of having central heating in my apartment (or in pretty much any apartment for that matter) I can push a button and have hot water pumped through the floors of my apartment. This makes the floor consistently the warmest place and my feet constantly comfortable.

One More Thought on the Class Situation:

Because I teach all these different students in different classes I end up teaching the same lesson over and over again. Last year I would teach one math lesson back to back. Even then I thought it felt monotonous.

This year, I might teach the same 4th grade lesson ten times in a row!

It’s hard to maintain a constant level of excitement and enthusiasm when your hearing the same role play performed 40 different times.

Door to Door Sales in Korea Actually Mean Classroom to Classroom:

Today, after my classes were done a woman came in and tried to sign me up for a credit card. On a semi-related note, I’ve become very good at acting the “stupid foreigner” role.

The heated water system does not heat my bathroom:

Now that it’s getting colder, I feel uncomfortable taking a wiz.

To that Mall Rat in Omaha:

you will never be famous…I already forgot your name…



Filed under Education, Things to Entertain You

2 responses to “Things to entertain you…The Mathematics of Classroom Management

  1. I don’t see how why the limited amount of time or the number of students has has to limit your ability to incorporate MI theory into your classroom. Try setting up learning centers that would allow your students to explore the English language through different modes. For example, a role playing activity, watching a video, listening to music, playing a game with English vocabulary that requires them to move. Allow students to select what activity to participate – it would be great if you could assign to activities that would allow them to participate in the language using their strengths, but since you probably don’t know them well enough to do so, allow them to pick.

  2. I have the same problem as you do… Coming from the states, it would be hard to call what we do “teaching.” It isn’t so “professionally satisfying” in that kids are really learning high quality English….

    Let me know if you ever find any solutions!

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