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Serious Conversations

13 Jan

Occasionally, other ESL teachers will share their stories here as well.  We are all in this together!


Passed out chocolates and small gifts to staff and students around school for Valentine’s Day.

The majority response:
Students: “Teacher, chocolate? Valentine’s Day? Give me. Thank
you. I love you”
Male Staff: *eyes wide* “Ummmm…thank you? But…..”
Female Staff: *shock/scared* “What?!?!? For me? But I am a

Ahhh the differences of culture. (^///.///^)~*tehe

Submitted by:  Katt Teacher Elem Daegu

#2 We can explain our Johnsons, but not our homework:
Me: (notices a small group not paying attention) IH, stand up and make a suggestion sentence.
IH: 0.0 Uh, I can’t. (asks friends for advice in Korean)
DJ: Teacher! He can’t! He can’t!
DW: His Johnson’s too big! (some laughter)

Me=(cuttin’ eyes, I started to walk towards the back but a few more students pleaded for him laughing and all mentioning his “Johnson” and I decided to not to continue for the sake of my own “face”. He had his hands covering his front the whole time and seemed really concerned.)
CoTeacher= Standing at the front with an expressionless smile. I’m guessing she didn’t want to deal with it either.

Submitted by:  Miss Always Shock-ed (Jamasian)

My student in the cafeteria: Teacher!!! You’re here! What happened???
(I was sick and didn’t go to teach for the first time yesterday)
Me: Yesterday? … I died…
Student: No!!! Don’t say that teacher, that would be too sad!
Me: Okay okay
Student: Teacher, I need to interview an American. Could I interview you for my other class?
Me: Sure.
Student: When?
Me: After class our class.
Student: OK! GREAT!
Student doesn’t even show up to class… -_-

Arrived to class 10 minutes early. Find 2-3 of my students sleeping.
Another student walks in.
Student: What happened here?
Me: I don’t know! I didn’t do it!!! 😛

Student half sleeping: Teacher, could you repeat that again? I didn’t understand because I am still sleeping.
( I would mark him as bad attendance but at least he was honest, and this was the first time and he pulled an all-nighter to finish studying for 3 tests today.)

Submitted by:  Amma

Basic Conversation Practice: (university)
Me: What is your hobby?
Student: I like singing songs.
Me: Ok. Who is your favorite singer?
Student: James Brown is my favorite singer because when I listen to him I feel what he feels.
Me: O_o – alright then!

I’m often surprised by replies – likes and dislikes

Submitted by:  Ms. Q  (Qiana)

A Typical Day With My Kiddies:
(this is why I have deep smile lines on my face^^)

Class one: My youngest doll, crawled into my lap, cupped my face in little hands, and then began trying to connect the moles around the sides of my eye. <– I couldn’t help but drfit back to Saturday afternoons sitting on the porch drinking sunmade tea, doing the same thing to my grandmother. Definitely made me call home!

C2: Reading “Yonder Mountain” allowed me to teach the 1st verse & chrous of “Going Up Yonder” (a gospel classic) to my class. My kids were singing it the rest of class and humming it in the hallway! Cute accents and all!

C3: “Teacher look at my cake!! (He drew on a piece of paper)
Me: Oh that’s nice!!
Min Seok: I’m going to make a wish!!!!!!! *blew as hard as he could!”
SPLAT! Spit RIGHT in my eye!!!!! 0.O *total silence in the class*
Me: But wait, why are YOU crying!? You’re embarrased, but I’m the one with your spit in my eye! LOL <—We all burst into laughter!

C4: Me: Hey Sugar Bees!! I missed you all, did you do anything fun this past weekend?
Jake: *waving his hand frantically for me to call on him* Teacha! Me! Me!
Me: Yes Jakie-Poo! What did you do this weekend?
Jake: I slept with Annie! (the girl in our class that he’s been crushing on since last summer)
Me: Oh… You did…. o.0
J: Yes! At her house. Teacher, it was really great! (a look of total satisfaction on his face)
Me: Annie, did you have fun too?
Anne: (looking really embarrased) Yes… It was really nice. Maybe we will again this weekend too if his mom says okay.
Me: If you guys were 19 instead of 9, I might feel totally different about this conversation!
Them: Huh?

C5: Okay, who wants to read their summary of why the Teddy Bear was named after President Teddy Roosevelt?
Mina: Me!, because he feed the bears.
Me: Ummm, read me what you have.
M: “Teddy Roosevelt was a nice man ith a kind mind. When he went into the forest he feed the bear. So, the toy maker made him a not real bear. Other people will feed other animals too.”
Me: Mina…, I don’t think President Roosevelt fed any bears. Read the second line outloud.
M: “When Teddy Roosevelt feed the bear…”
Me: Wait, (trying not to laugh at her, because she was SO serious) Mina, there is an “r” there. That word is “FREED”. He freed the bear. Like, he let caught the bear and then let him go FREE back into the wild; back to his home.
Mina: o.0 *Holding the book out & pullingit back up close to her face, as if she is an old woman in need of glasses* Is that why we don’t get food when we buy a Teddy Bear??
Me: *I laughed for a good whole minute!* Yes, because the people were happy that he FREED the bear. I think if he fed the bear, he would’ve been the meal!!

Submitted by:  AbataTeacha

#1 It’s better than nothin’:
WS: Oh, I did my homework!
Me: Awesome. Bring it to me.
WS: Here, my name at bottom.
Me:…Why is your name at the bottom and why is it all crumpled? I want good clean, neat papers.
WS: Oh yes, but I think my homework is more important than clean paper.
Me: (couldn’t help but laugh because I taught them about how to tell their feelings on what’s important. He even said it perfectly.)

Submitted by: Miss Always Shock-ed  (Jamasian)

Yesterday, one student from a few sessions ago runs towards me with arms wide open:
Student: Teacher!!! So cute! I miss you!!!
I dodge his hug.
Him: Holds his hand out for a high-five.
Me: … Air-five?
Him: OK!
*Air fives*
Student walks away happy.

Submitted by:  Amma


Ideas To Dump In Another Post

20 Nov

I asked them to practice saying different words/phrases/sentences using intonation.  One of them was “oh”…I don’t know why I didn’t anticipate at least ONE student practicing the orgasmic “oh”  -_-

Bungee jumping should be banned because it’s a dangerous/crazy activity. (Opinion question)
Disagrees “because it’s exciting & good for dating w/gf! I like that!” Wow…nothing screams romance more than knowing your gf makes you want to jump off a cliff/bridge. (“Hillary will you marry meeeee…” we all know how THAT turned out.)


Have a random student (she is not my student this semester, she just came to my elective class) come to my office and bring me a farewell present and tell me how sad she is that I am leaving and thanks me for teaching her so well. *sniffle*
On a more somber note:
One student’s first experience of seeing a dead body was when her grandma died in their home. Another student lost his dad last year to liver cancer so now it’s just him and his 58 year old mom. 😦
I’m not sure if one of my students was

crying or sleeping during the test…or both?When I walked into my 2nd class, there were ooo’s and ahhh’s until 1 student said “Professor! Today…ATTRACTIVE!” & others agreed. I’m not gonna lie, I was feelin myself today w/my red pencil skirt and patterned tights haha. Thanks for noticing guys.SN: I love how they bow to me when they turn in their test and leave. Also, I like proctoring exams. I was walking up and down the aisle feeling like Top Flight Security of the World haha.
Two students decided to casually chat with me and give me a little bit of class feedback after the semester ended:
Girl:  So how’s your boyfriend?
Me:  We broke up. *sad face*
Guy:  Oh no…really?
Me:  Yea…I’m pretty sad about it.
Girl *somewhat excitedly* Was it 3 weeks ago?
Me: *confused face*  Yea…but how did you know that?
Girl:  Ahhh…3 weeks ago, your lesson was very boring.  It was very strange.
Me:  O.o
Guy:  Yea…it was…sorry.
Me:  Well, I WAS SAD!
Girl:  Yes yes, now I understand.  I forgive you.
“I was very hard and fun…because of the festival.”  Where the heck was he at?!
Guy asked me how can he get his hair to be a curly afro.  He thinks it is cool and wants to try it.  His partner suggested that he get “magic” (a Korean relaxer) instead and wear straight hair.  Very different opinions!
In the middle of the exam, they sang “Happy Birthday” to me since my birthday is quickly approaching.
Test Question:  “What are you wearing today?”
Him:  “Actually, I am wearing the same clothes from yesterday because I didn’t go to my home last night.”
Me: *thinking* Did he just admit to being on a walk of shame right now? O.o
One student told me he was afraid of Japanese and American people but this class helped him open up.  He is even one of the serenaders (LINK TO PREVIOUS POST)!  So he said “Many thank yous…I love you.”
“You. Your face. Like strawberry. Dirty. Very dirty face. I’m fright.”  –as a “small talk” convo
“Favorite thing to do when it’s raining.”
Answer:  LOVE
I’m gonna just pretend they literally mean just love, not making it.
Book Work:
Basically the students were asked to decide if a question is polite or not if asked the first time you meet a person.  They also had to write why or why not.
Question:  “Are you married?  Why not?”
(Check yes or no, then explain.)
Girl:  *checks ‘no’ and writes “F*** You” as her explanation.
Soooo…you don’t like this question, huh?!
I taught a lesson on common American slang like “action” or “puked.”  At the end of class, a student came to ask me the definitions of “YOLO” and “SWAG.”
Test Question:  “Tell me about yourself.”
Student 1:  My hobby is basketball.  I’m balling is very well.  So, I love teacher, thank you.”  What do I have to do with this?!
Student 2:  “Good food.”  My student is rather tasty?  Or nutritional?
Student 3 (guy):  “I love English teacher. Sorry…”  He crossed this out.  Because he crossed it out, it makes me think he meant me and not the language.
Student 4 (girl):  “I am NBSB (no boyfriend since birth)”.  At first I thought it was some type of Myers-Briggs test.
Student 5:  “I’m a student.”  Well I’m glad we cleared THAT up.  Wasn’t quite sure why you were in my class.
Student 6:  “I’m noraml, because study is normal, physical is normal, but I’m very emotionally.  I like flower and sunshine…so…very good man.”
Student 7:  “My personality is humorous and I’m not always sit down.”  On a more serious note, I wonder if this student has ADHD.  Bless his heart.  I’m sure he has been yelled at several times and told to sit down.
Student 8:  “I wear blue shirt and black pants.”
Student 9:  “I hope to make many people.”  Octomom?
Test Question:  “What should you wear to an interview?”
I think maybe all my students really heard was that the women should not wear sexy clothes for interviews, because like 5 different papers said in all caps “NO SEXY!”…one even said “Very important point…’NO SEXY’…”  Well, at least they heard SOMETHING.  And when I graded tests that the students said they would wear a mini-skirt or really high heels, I just wrote in all caps ‘NO SEXY!’  Everyone else was doing it!
Student1:  “Black suit, because it seemed to handsome, cool, and if I’m wearing black suit, maybe I will be handsome.”
Student2:  “Black shoes and hairstyle ‘flexible'”  So does this mean don’t wear a lot of hairspray?
Test Question:  “What are some tips for small talk?”
Answer:  “Do you like milk?”  O.o
Answer:  “Always I practice writing English.  I improved speaking and writing.  I can’t proceed without you, Professor.  I will study and exercise everyday!”  Did this student just have a mini breakdown mid-test?  They just started reflecting…this question has nothing to do with this answer.  And what do I have to do with them exercising outside of exercising their mind?
True or False:  “You can never jump in line in front of another person.”
Student 1:  “True.  Because I am shy.”  Awww…they really want to.
Student 2:  “False.  Because I like sport.”  Ohhhh…so ticking other people off is a GAME to you…?
Student 3:  “False.  I can’t.”  (So he can’t, but I can…)
Test Question:  “Describe your outfit.”
Student 1:  “I putting on pants with ease.”  Um…ok…?  O.o
Student 2:  “Today is midterm ㅜ.ㅜ (Korean emoticon for crying)”
Student 3:  “I’m wearing a black cap and white dress.  I couldn’t take shower because of my exam but I take a shower and wearing sexy clothes.  I’m very curvy and beautiful.”  Umm…ok…
Student 4:  “My outfit is casual examination style.  During examination you are too tired to dress up, so today I will show you how to wear it during examination.  First take a jean you wore yesterday and don’t take off your top and just put some jacket on top of it and you will look smart.  No one will know that so try it, its very useful.”
So this explains why the room is so musty today…
Test Question:  “What type of person do you like to date?”
Student 1:  “I like the man who doesn’t speak much, looks after me a lot, will be never show the sign of care for me, and considerate me that know my mind.”
Student 2:  “He has to have a lot of hair like grass and it has to feel like pussy cat’s fur.”  My question here is, at what point during the date does she test this out?
Sooo…they want someone who carefully doesn’t care about them?
When one student finished her test, she came to me and handed me her business card.  Am I supposed to call her after I finish marking her test?
“I used to like going outside playing with my friends and drinking.  But nowadays I enjoy playing with myself.”
My sweet and quiet student in my writing class has no idea what that comes across as her saying.
A lot of my students write about North Korea and how they are afraid to die. 😦
“I will marriage with good wife.  I want to give pleasure to parent.”
One student hates the dorm but feels “the good point is (draws a picture of two men showering together)…I like this shower.  I everyday do, shower.”
The same student wrote the lyrics to “I like to move it move it” on his journal’s first page followed by “What the f***”
One student wrote a soft core porn story involving a hot dog…that’s all I will say.
Writing Prompt:  “When I am writing I…”
Answer:  “…feel as I become a witch.”
“I love chicken.  Chicken is God.”  (This is not misspelled.  The student wrote it with a capital ‘G’)
Test Question:  “Asking foreigners if they can use chopsticks is a good idea.”
Answer:  “False.  No. Chopsticks is mine.”  That’s great, but I’m sure the foreigner will have their own pair of chopsticks if you go out to eat.
At the bottom of a nearly blank test, it says:  “I love you teacher.”  In the words of Tina Turner, “What’s love got to do with it?!”
Test Question: “Tell me your -est story.”  (This means they can tell stories about their: scariEST, happiEST, biggEST something, etc.)
Answer:  Her happiest memory was when she visited her brother.  At the end of her lovely story, she asked me “Are you envious me?”  Is that why she told me that story, to try to make the foreigner feel lonely and homesick! O.o
During the fashion show lesson, students were so shy going down the runway that they halfway went down it!  They practically ran with their heads down, shoulders hunched, and faces flustered the entire time.  However, when two teams tied and I chose a “Strut Off” as the tie breaker, suddenly one of my student’s inner “Ms. Jay” came out and he did the most entertaining horse trot I have ever seen.
During the fashion show class, one student’s monotone matter-of-fact description was:  “Look at my sexy model.  He is wearing short pants to show his sexy legs.  He is wearing flip flops on his shoe there is a flower something.  It looks so gay.”
One of my students goes to a Catholic Church in Korea and they keep having drinking fundraisers and gatherings.
One student’s part time job is to grade papers for her former high school English teacher at his house.  I’m pretty sure she didn’t find out about this “job” in a legal way.
One of my student’s favorite part of class this semester was the making of the mind map.
I caught two of my students giggling in the corner during a lesson.  When I walked over to them to confront them, I saw them drawing boxes on a paper and tormenting a giant ant.  I couldn’t help but chuckle at how childish this was.  Poor misguided ant.  It reminded me of GeoLogo
I stumbled upon this little gem while reading one student’s warm-up assignment.  “Today is Teacher’s Day.  I am thankful to [me], I get confidence about English.  I think English hard everyday, but after I met [me] I feel exciting English.  So I am thankful to [me].  I’m glad because I can hear [me] class.  I have a good chance.  In future, I want to [my] class.”
I hate that when I read “I get up hard in the morning.”  I made this face.  O.o
Me:  Do you have any questions?
Him:  *blurts out* I love you.
This was the 5th guy this week to have that exact reaction.  What is going ON?!
Me:  How are you?
Him:  Not good…very hard.  *sits down awkwardly*
For finals week, I gave 10 minute oral exams.  However, I didn’t cut students off if they went over time.  Quite a few students tried to keep talking because they didn’t want to leave me.  It was our last class together and we were all sad to be parting.  This is my least favorite part of the year. 😦
In the middle of one of the exams, this conversation took place.
Guy 1:  So what kind of music do you like?
Guy 2:  I like all kinds of music, but I like one group that is the same as professor’s *looks at me and winks*.
G1:  Oh really?  What is that?
G2:  Boyz II Men.  Do you know them?
G1:  Oh no I don’t know them.  Can you sing some of it for me?
G2:  Now?
G1:  Yea, now.
G1:  Wow.  Amazing!
G2:  Thank you.  *looks at me* Now you.
Me:  O.o
Test “Question”:  Have a small talk conversation with each other.  (What are some popular small talk topics?)
Him:  How are you?
Her:  I drank a lot yesterday so today I’m a little bit…O.o
Him:  Soju?
Her:  No, just cocktails.
Him:  Oh, delicious.
Is this what they got from that lesson?  The first time you meet someone, please tell them you are currently hungover.
My Taekwondo students became very angry when they realized that I was leaving the school.  One started shouting as if she was in training.  I thought she was gonna kick me hehe.
I will miss you. *bows*
I will miss you too my little passionate “Taekwondo Player”
Two of my students showed up in matching outfits for their final exam.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so–Not in Korea.
Him:  Mint shorts, navy and white striped shirt.
Her:  Mint button-up, navy and white striped shirt.
When I pointed this out to them they both started blushing.  What, did you think I wouldn’t notice?
One of my female students is staying on campus for the summer.  The women’s dorm is closed now, so everyone is in the men’s.  When asked how she likes it so far, she said her room was very dirty when she moved in.  I assumed this meant it just wasn’t as “pretty” as the women’s dorm and that it probably looked a bit more run down, but she said there were socks, tissues, and a condom under her bed, and her mattress was yellow.  Umm…well…I instructed her not to touch that stuff under the bed with her bare hands and to put extra layers between the mattress and her body.  I immediately knew what those items meant, but she had no idea and thought it was just a random collection of stuff.

Summer Vacation

23 Jun

I know you were expecting another story to post today.  We’re so sorry!

We are taking a bit of a summer vacation of our own.

In the meantime, we will be accepting guest submissions (send emails to, and readying the blog for when we return JULY 14, 2014.

Don’t forget about us while we’re away!  Make sure you subscribe and/or follow us on Twitter (@MyStudentsDo).

Enjoy your summer vacation!


19 Jun

Hey loyal fans!

We would just like to say thank you SOOOOO much for continuing to keep up with us and share the word about this blog.  We’ve been at this for over a year now!

There have been a few changes to the blog if you haven’t noticed.

We have guest bloggers!  I’m sure by now you have seen posts from:


KattTeacher ElemDaegu



and a few others!

If you are interested in submitting your own guest story, please let us know!  Please submit your full story with any commentary you would like to add to it (including a title), as well as a pseudonym for us to tag to the submission.  We also accept picture files (JPEG only) if they are related to the story.  For identification purposes, please submit your real name (a first name and a last initial will suffice).

Frequently Asked Questions:


Good question!  You can email us at MYSTUDENTSDO@GMAIL.COM.  Don’t forget to make sure you have followed the instructions above or we will NOT use your submission.


This all depends on how many stories are in the queue to be posted.  Posts are released every four days, making it possible to post up to seven times a month.  Typically you can expect to see your submission posted within a month or two.  However, we have high volume days that cause us to push submissions out a month or so more.  Please be patient with us!  We will do our best to get your posts out as soon as possible.  Posts automatically are listed on our Twitter account by title/date.  If you “Follow” us, you will see the posts as they come.  You can also subscribe to this blog by clicking the “Follow” button on the Homepage to receive email notifications.


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Happy Holidays!

25 Dec

despicable me (417) Animated Gif on Giphy


Seasons Greetings from us at “Things My Students Do”!


See you in the New Year!

Don’t forget, we accept guest submissions…

Also, follow us on Twitter: @MyStudentsDo

This Is Only A Test

23 Jul
Today, I gave my students a test.

Students:  I don’t know, from the look on your face, I think the test is difficult.

Me:  If you studied, it’s easy. If you didn’t, it’s hard.

Student:  That’s what all teachers say to give us false hope.

Me:  …  -_-  …
Submitted by:  Amma


2 Apr


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Random Routines

4 Dec

Test Question:  “What does your daily routine look like?”

I thought this was a pretty straightforward question.  I mean after all, I taught them that daily=every day and routine=what you usually do, so I figured this question would mean “What do you usually do every day?”  Simple enough right?  Nope.

Student 1:  He looks forward to the sale dates of when the new J’s (Michael Jordan shoes) drop. He wants me to go to the Nike store with him next time. I just pictured a whole bunch of Black people camped outside the store…and my student.

Student 2:  “I look like a book.” O.o  I’m not sure if this is some deep metaphor or just a confused student’s answer.

Student 3:  “I don’t know because I’m busy days.”  Soooo, if you’re busy, wouldn’t that mean you have PLENTY of things you can tell me you do daily?

Student 4:  “I usually wake up at 7:30 in the morning and smoke right away.”  WOW…two things made me chuckle at this:

1–I immediately pictured my student smoking something illegal, and

2–I thought of him waking up scratching and shaking til he smokes.

Student 5: My daily routine look like monkey, because I like play anythings.”  I guess she took the “look like” part of the question literally, too.

Student 6:  She eats chicken everyday because chicken is delicious & she was born in the year of the chicken (Chinese sign). Well alright! I’m year of the tiger & my dad is year of the rat…glad we don’t have to eat our signs.  O.o


We’re Up And Running!

8 Nov

What happens when you put a teacher in a classroom with students old enough to be her friend or sibling?  What about when she’s from the West and they EasternYou get one wonderful mess!

This blog is dedicated to all those awesomely awkward moments that an American teacher experiences in her Korean classrooms.

Here’s a sample:


Midterms this week. Fill in the blank:
“I don’t like ____ people. They get angry easily.”

(Correct answer: short-tempered…my student’s answer: DUTCH)

Another student responded to the question: “What’s your (zodiac) sign?” with “Why are you asking me this? Are you trying to flirt with me?! Are you interested in me? Haha it is just kidding, I’m a Leo, what’s yours?”

Ahhh how I love a little humor to keep me going when grading about 200 tests…

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