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.


Amanda said...

That is awesome and I'm totally stealing it.

daeguowl said...

But Jessica Teacher, about 80% of koreans are called Kim...and i'd say only about 75% of Africans are Obamas, there are a fair few Osamas in Tunisia, Libya et al.

daeguowl said...

And you should do a class on the & stages of Michael Jackson... that'll probably fuck them up for like...

achilles3 said...

hate to break it to you but teaching indention is a giant waste of time. useless, stupid old stuff.
want proof??? look at the paragraphs on your blog;-)
OR the New York Times

This Obama is thirsty!!! You going to mudfest worst teacher ever???

Mel-2nd Chances said...

my son was shocked yesterday while watching the MJ funeral coverage that Michael Jackson was a 'hungry Obama' once.

brownie said...

Teacher, paragraphs are supposed to have at least three sentences.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Hahahahahaha! OMG, sister, for some reason, I'm thinking you should get "Teacher! Why lie?!?" tattoo'd on yer @$$.

Unless you already have a "Hungry, Hungry Obama" tat there ...

Sarah said...

First of all - love your sign! When I taught in Korea, the students told me so many times they wouldn't listen to me unless I beat them. Guess they learned nothing - not even indenting.

I love the Obamas :)

PlaysByEar said...

Because Obama is totally easier to say than brack people, duh!

Barbara said...

Holy Hell...tooo F'ing funny. I used your Starbucks card that you mailed me today....i love you!

Shells Bells said...

awesome :)