The last few weeks there have been a ridiculous amount of 4-letter words and f*bombs in my classroom. I have a sneaking suspicion as to why this is but I don’t want to risk getting any of my co-teachers in trouble so I will keep my opinion to myself. Regardless of the reason, it’s difficult to be classy (and composed) when a ten-year old Korean child who can barely hold a conversation in English shouts out, “what the hell?” when he is asked to redo an assignment. It’s funny. And bad. But mostly funny.
One particular class is full of my favorite students who just happen to be 8th grade boys. Every week their conversations seem to get a little worse than the last. At the end of each class they always ask, “Teacher, you still like our class?” I mostly shake my head yes as I am still laughing and blushing from the last hour of comedy they have provided me.
This week, I was fortunate to be asked that question right after I got a Konglish (Korea+English) definition of transgender. This came complete with a few students acting it out just in case I was unaware of what they meant when they said, “man. important part. cut. ahhhhh!” Oh my. Thankfully, that’s as far as their description went. I abruptly ended the conversation when the question of “how to do female to male transgender” was asked. I don’t teach that kind of class.
I’m not exactly sure how a conversation about gender equality detoured into a conversation about transgender and students frequently repeating “six on the beach.” Yes, six. For their own benefit I did teach them the correct pronunciation. I like to think I was saving them from a potentially very embarrassing situation in the future.
I definitely appreciate the benefits of teaching students inappropriate and bad words in English because I know that it’s fun for them, it keeps them motivated to learn more and breaks up the monotony of speaking, reading, writing and listening classes on often times very boring subjects. But, I am not that teacher. Depending on the age group, I will usually let a few swear words slip by me, but I am not the teacher that teaches them. Never. However, I am that teacher who finds great humor in a 15 year old boy dropping the f*bomb and “what the hell is this?” like it’s his native language. Also when a student whispers “transgender” during a conversation about gender equality I just help but giggle.
미안 해 (I’m sorry), but it’s hysterical.