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Saturday, 23 October 2010

And Now You May Leave . . .

My Korean students are usually anxious to get out of the classroom. Some have other academies to go to, others just want to play. Some have mothers waiting for them, while most are catching the academy bus.

So they are eager to be first out, first to scan out (we have an entry/exit scan card system). However, as I learned a long time ago, 10 mad kids rushing out of a class can create a bit of chaos, especially when those 10 kids are combined with the multiple students from other classes.

So I have this litttle "game" I play with some classes.

I make them all sit down before the bell rings. No one can leave before they are sitting quietly in their chairs (and everything has been cleaned up).

Then I say, for example, "If you are wearing jeans you can leave." Students take a moment to think, look at their pants, and the lucky few cheer and get up and exit the classroom.

Silence.

"If you have yellow socks, you can leave."

And so on.

But the other day I decided to focus on pets. So I began, "If you have a dog for a pet, you can leave." No one left.

"If you have a cat for a pet, you can leave." No one left.

Now, this was a class with 10 kids, so I was starting to get worried about playing the odds. Granted, Korea isn't America, and dogs and cats aren't primary pets, especially when so many live in high-rise apartments, but, still (I thought), give me a break.

Aha! I remembered. One student had a fish.

"If you have a fish for a pet, you can leave."

1 gone.

"If you have a . . . turtle, you can leave."

Another gone.

Ok, pets aren't working . . .

If you have a brother, you can leave." (I thought this would clear half of them out, but Korea has a population problem.) Nobody left.

"If you have a sister, you can leave." One student. Sigh. That's a bit depressing.

I was committed now, and feeling a bit of strain . . . time to be direct.

I pointed at one girl. "What is your pet?"

"Hedgehog."

"If you have a hedgehog, you can leave."

I pointed at another girl. "What is your pet?"

"I have a beetle."

Missed that boat!

"If you have a beetle, you can leave."

Time for them to go. The bell had long since rung, and I had learned a few things.

"Everybody, goodbye, see you on Monday!"

Mad rush.

Sigh.

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