There is a fairly loud student in my first grade 3 class on Mondays. I like this kid - he's one of those students who doesn't at all mind making a relative ass of himself for the greater good.
His English skills are quite low, but he is among a select few who consistently volunteer to read dialogues or to answer questions in class. His delivery is something to behold - extremely loud, monotone, and staccato as all heck, but he really gives it with gusto:
"DO - YOU - MIND-UH - IF-UH - I - OPEN - DUH... WINDOW?"
I love it. It gets people laughing along with him and it helps to put the lower level kids at ease when it's their turn to contribute.
Anyway, today when his class came in, he was noticeably absent, and his classmates were looking a bit shell-shocked. A girl student approached me and told me that our favourite loud reader had gone to the nurse for some ice because in the previous period, a Math teacher had hit him quite hard across the face with a broom handle.
According to the new standards of corporal punishment in Korean schools (which you can read about in-depth at my friend's blog), whoever this Math teacher is, is likely to get some serious discipline from on high. I hope so. Though I know that this kid might have the potential to drive anyone around the bend, I can't imagine ever being in the head space required to raise a broom handle and crack someone across the face.
He's one of the most popular boys in the class, and the students seemed very concerned. He did make it into the class before the bell rang and I was glad for it. He had a visible welt on his cheek, but he quickly got into the class and I had him up with some of his friends demonstrating dialogues as quickly as possible. He's a spark-plug for the other students in his class - a show-off to be sure, but he brings home victories for his classmates in more ways than one.
Anyway, glad to see that his spirit wasn't broken today, though it was clear he had been crying before he got to my classroom. I wasn't there, but I'm confident in saying that there was another way to handle the situation - other than beating with a broom handle. Then again, I didn't grow-up here, so of course it's easy for me to say that.