I Live In Korea

My name is Ben Gwynne. I USED to teach English in Incheon, South Korea. Here's some photos, stories, videos, etc.

Some schools in Korea still engage in the age old practice of beating students for backtalk, not doing their homework, or whatever reason they feel is in order to "straighten a kid out." I’ve heard stories about kids getting hit with bamboo sticks, something that happened in Catholic schools in the U.S. probably 30+ years ago, which still goes on here in some cases.

My school has a fantastic reputation and our principal and vice-principal are very kind people so something like that would NEVER happen here. However, some of the Korean teachers do “punish” the students who don’t do their homework this way…

(EDIT - the video was removed due to a massive amount of negative comments on Youtube. The video showed kids doing squat thrusts outside of class, a very minor 'punishment' given by one of the teachers in my school.)

Other teachers make you do this…


Neither is bad at all, I think both are pretty funny. The kids don’t complain (they laugh actually as you can see from the picture which I blurred for obvious reasons) and the parents know it comes with the territory. Not only that, I bet the parents are harsh on the kids for not doing their work. I know that for certain because in some of the journals I’ve read the kids talk about being hit hard as punishment for various reasons.

Regarding the squat thrusts, this would NEVER fly in the U.S., not because the schools wouldn’t allow it, but because if no one was watching the kids outside wouldn’t do anything. I know I wouldn’t! I’d just stay in a half-squat pose incase someone came outside, then I would pretend like I was doing them all along. But, that’s the difference between Americans and people from Asia who believe in Confucian principles.

Here’s a link (I’m not embedding the video here because my blog is wholesome and for the family) to a video I found of a kid getting beaten from a teacher pretty hard. Remember, this is NOT at my school and NOT in my city either even though the name looks similar. Turn up your volume if you don't mind watching a kid get hit and screaming.

So yeah, again, I think what "happens" at my school isn't bad, and who knows, maybe the squat thrusts and practice of holding the bag over your head is the answer to why people here are thinner in Korea than they are in America. I wonder…

And for those of you who think that the punishment, even at my school, is cruel and immoral, let me just say that for a variety of reasons the students here work A LOT harder than they do in the U.S. Not doing your homework here is somewhat rare.

PLEASE NOTE - I am NOT allowed to make the kids do squat thrusts or hold a bag over their head (I don't think so at least), only the Korean teachers can. I would have A LOT of fun if I could. The only thing I'm allowed to do is make a kid stand outside class or stand in the corner looking at the wall, something that gives them so much shame that they would rather do 1,000 squat thrusts.

14 comments:

Tanya said...

"there" does not = "their", Mr. Teacher :)

Ben Gwynne said...

cut me some slack...i put these things together VERY quickly but still believe the final product is solid

KOREAPROSE said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KOREAPROSE said...

yeah. actually korea education system come from a lot when japan managed korea it was the begging if students didn't like it(behavior) they were punishment student. and after the north and south korea war made more seriouly situration. you know they had to fight even a middle school student so the goverment need to control student.and these education system still continue. i'm only 26 year old but just when i was elementary school even i just normal naughty boy pushmented alot :-) but thesedays much better than before. i hope to my country solve the situration beetween a student just in a talk. they are kid~! we can make understand them. we don't have to hit them it could be get anger to them and when they grow same happend could be they are hitting their child. what a sad :( our education system need to learn another country good system

i hope you understand my eng :o

KOREAPROSE said...

1 more tip

oh actually these days can't see the man who is crazy like that link video. i think that is old one
if like that he just fire at the moment thesedays it's true :-)
but i'm agree we still has push up or run or stick on palm.

Ben Gwynne said...

I understand you perfectly. Thanks for your feedback, I hope you keep reading.

KOREAPROSE said...

i think you're e-mail is not working well so i put it down here
sry ^^;
hey my name is cheol i'm 26 years and living in inchon near bu pyeon :p

i have been making a website that give information about the korea for forieners

i hope they are spending a good time in korea and learn more culture so i made this website

i also hope this website gonna be big commnunity beetween a forieners

it's just opened for only 2 weeks ago so we need someone who joined us :) just for fun

one ~ two article in a week whatever about the korea.

i have already found 1 usa, 3 korea univ student(they can speak influent expect me)

we have a meeting this saturday at hongdae. maybe we will soon open free korea zone too

actually i like ur article style. because in ur article we can find both problem and good things

about the korea culture. and we can talk to about this. isn't sound like fun :)

you could be learn more inside korea. if you come :-)

ur best regard cheol

phone : 010 8583 9369
mail : manager@koreaprose.com
msn : hkmof@hotmail.com

Ben Gwynne said...

Cheol my email is BGwynne31@aol.com. Please feel free to contact me.

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brue h. ilda said...

diet is the only answer why koreans are thinner than americans. they eat a lot of vegetables unlike americans who eat a lot of unhealthy balanced foods. sorry for the term but i dunno how to say that in a nicer way.

Ben Gwynne said...

Oh I know, I was just being tongue and cheek, I wasn't being serious.

I know the reason they are thinner is because of their diet. What we eat in America is disgusting sometimes, and the AMOUNT we eat is as well. Personally I love the diet over here, it's very nutritious but delicious as well. LOVE the food, can't wait to eat some shabu shabu tomorrow for lunch with a friend!

darialois said...

Ben, seriously.
If u want people to believe u were an English teacher please fix there to their. And not they're either. :P
Sorry I'm being an internet grammar nazi, but none of my USA Facebook friends can get your and you're right, it kills me!

Anonymous said...

I agree to what you say. Even my boyfriend who's native English speaker can't get that right.

Ben Gwynne said...

Ehh, like I said in my first reply, I put these together very quickly and don't proof read it. It's for personal use so I don't particularly get too concerned, but I changed it........for you.