If I don't get the 2009 ESL Teacher of the Year Award, there's been a huge mistake. Seriously, I should get a raise. A big one.
When it comes to English, there are certain things my 4th graders just refuse to grasp. Indenting is one of those things, and it drives me crazy because they indent in Korean grammar, too. It should be easy, but getting them to do it is like pulling teeth. I say, "Hey, Class!! What do we do to the first line of a paragraph???" And they all yell, "INDENT!!!" but when they write, not one of them does it. MAKES.ME.INSANE!
Africa is another big issue with my 4th graders. They have no trouble believing the ridiculous shit that comes out of my mouth, but try telling them that Africa isn't a country, it's a continent? Forget about it. Check out this little gem of a conversation:
Boy: Teacher! Africa is country with many Obamas!
Me: Many Obamas???
Boy: Yes, Teacher! Obamas! (Points to skin)
Me: Uh...we don't actually refer to Black people as 'Obamas.'
Other student: Teacher! Africa and many, many hungry Obamas!
Me: Hungry Obamas??? Do you mean starving Africans?
Students: YES TEACHER!! Hungry Obamas!!
Me: Guys, not everyone in Africa is starving.
Students: Teacher! Why lie?!?
Other student: Teacher! You know many Obamas?
Me: Seriously, guys, you can't walk around and call all Black people 'Obamas.' It's like calling every Korean person 'Kim' no matter what they're family name is, or saying all Asians are Japanese. You can say, "Black people." It's OK.
But they won't.
Alright, so the term 'hungry Obamas' totally cracked me up and will now be used in my personal repertoire as often as possible, but seriously, why are my students so afraid to use the word Black? I shudder to think of what they used before they learned about Obama.