Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Student Logic

To varying degrees I like the classes and students I'm teaching. Each class has a different personality based on the students who are in the class; different classes find different things funny, or happy with different things, can be more easily bribed with candy canes, etc. But in all of my classes, the students just can't understand that I can still hear them and see them even if I'm sitting behind the rather large monitor the school has lent me to use during my brief stay here.

Last week we finished reading Dickens' A Christmas Carol, so on Thursday and Friday we watched the Disney version of the movie. And yesterday we watched the classic cartoon version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. For both movies, students complained, either that they didn't want to watch the movie, or they'd seen it a lot already, or why did they have to watch the cartoon version when the Jim Carrey version was so much better? (Personally, I'm not sure I'd show the cartoon version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas to this age group - I think they're too old for it - but that's just my opinion.) They complain constantly about why I don't let them do this, that, or the other - despite my initial explanation that these are Mrs. T.'s lesson plans I'm following, not my own lesson plans.

First period is the class I like the least; they're the most frustrating. The first thing I do after the bell rings is to make a few announcements; this particular class continues to talk over me, constantly interrupting. There are a few that are outright disrespectful, telling me they're not talking even when I can see their lips move and hear them talking. I told several students to stop talking halfway through class only to be told by another student that no one was talking.

Two or three students especially cause issues, one by continuing to talk and not understanding why she would need to be quiet, another being outright nasty and rude. I pulled the rude-and-nasty student out of class today and lay into her, and told her I'd write her up the next time there was a repeat performance of today. She continued to question why she was failing (because she hasn't turned in the assignments), even if she found them in the file cabinet, graded and not entered into the grade book. (I apologized - again - for this occurrence. It does happen that students hand in work, I grade it, then for whatever reason it doesn't make its way into the grade book.) That doesn't give her blanket permission, though, to act the way she's been acting. More than any other student, this one particular girl is a proverbial thorn, although there is another girl who is a lesser version of this.

My other classes are fine; my integrated class is a challenge because of the nature of integrating these students into mainstream classes, but they're not nasty or disrespectful. First period is just difficult.

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