Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Opinion: How to Deal with Violence in Korean Schools

Today the Korea Herald published some disturbing statistics about violence in primary schoolsGusts of Popular Feeling did a pretty thorough analysis and overview of the most recent disturbing acts that were brought to media attention.  However, both the newspaper article and the blog article made me want to talk about what we as teachers can do to help cut down on bullying.

Be aware of your surroundings. When you walk through the hallways, don't just condone bad behavior. Stop it, and if you have a minute explain why it's not okay in English or Korean. If you lack the language skills to do so, get their names and bring it to the attention of their co-teacher and ask them about maybe talking to the students.

Be respectful. On the first day of classes I emphasize rule number 3: be respectful. That means no hitting, no laughing at your peers when they make a mistake, being nice to each other.

Be available. Take time to talk to students in off hours. Even if it's just saying hi, smiling and asking how they are. 

I'm sure there are a million other things that more experienced teachers could tell me about how to cut down on bullying (please add your bit in a comment!). Sometimes we are limited by the language barriers but every small thing we do helps. Maybe this post is just stating the obvious but it's hard to read about violence and bullying in schools without wanting to do something to help.


Mr. Awesomecool said...

Dont get involved, its not our place. Plus if you touch a student, they can get you fired. I will tell students to knock it off if they are doing really bad stuff, but if they keep doing it, hey at least I tried.

Alex said...

I disagree, I don't have to touch a student to get them to knock it off--usually a strong 'HAJIMA!' gets them to stop whatever they are doing or a 'DON'T DO THAT.'

Tim said...

I agree...though the language barrier does make it a bit hard...it still can be done!

Mr. Awesomecool said...

I wont touch students, but of course I am a male, so there is more danger for me than you. Plus other than the occasional choke hold, and fist fight flirting, my students don't get too rough.