The Queen’s Classroom Ep 1-2

The Queen’s Classroom is about a sixth grade class that is slowly transformed by their rigid and perfectionist teacher into a group of capable, high-achieving students.

I was hesitant about starting this series. I have a day job as a substitute teacher for LA Unified School District. It’s draining and dreary and makes me lose faith in humanity, so why would I want to spend time after work watching my job played out onscreen?

To get some ideas for classroom management. And I did get lots of ideas from the first two episodes. Too bad there’s no way in hell to implement them in the United States. In addition to teaching in East LA and South LA, I’ve taught in San Francisco. I’ve also taught full time in a private school for rich kids in one of the whitest areas of the Bay Area. I’ve worked with students from all grade levels (K-12). I teach because I do care about my students and honestly believe in the power of education. But I think the school system in the United States is broken and needs to be fixed, ideally by an administrator from South Korea.

Korea:
Students shut up as soon as the teacher walks into the room and starts talking.

U.S:
Students make a couple jokes about your name after you introduce yourself and then ignore you so they can text, gossip, and play soccer.

Korea:
Teacher refuses to let the students get more curry after the pot has been spilled, thus forcing the students to eat plain rice.

U.S:
Students don’t eat curry. They eat Cheetos.

Korea:
Angry, hot moms (most of them housewives) barge into the school demanding justice for their students.

U.S.
What parents? I’ve watched 2nd graders brag about their daddies being in jail. Many of my students are raised by grandmas. A handful are homeless, as in couch surfing.

Korea:
Teacher has to take care of 24 students in the classroom.

U.S.
Teacher has to keep 30-40 students from destroying the classroom.

Korea:
Student’s phone accidentally goes off during class. Student discretely silences the phone and apologizes. Teacher takes away the phone.

U.S.
Student is watching profane video on phone. Student refuses to stop. Teacher attempts to take phone away. Student screams bloody murder and asserts his “constitutional protection from search and seizure and shit like that.”

Korea:
Teacher punishes students by making them clean the bathroom.

U.S.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Korea:
Teacher tells students that they will take a quiz. Students groan but comply.

Teacher:
Teacher tells students to quiet down for roll call (attendance). Student tells you to “go fuck yourself.” Rest of class goes back to texting, gossiping, and playing soccer.

The Queen’s Classroom aired on MBC in the summer of 2013 and stars Ko Hyun Jung, along with a bevy of talented child actors.

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