Monday, August 30, 2010

that's enough of that.

1-G crossed some lines today by, among other things, refusing to talk. You'll recall that our last class (2 weeks ago!) was more than a little problematic. This may have been their retaliation for my writing up the girl who took stuff off my desk, which turned out to summon one of her parents to come chat with the school staff about it. When I started doing the choral repetition, one of the usual ringleaders (Bruno, Exequiel, Nicolas, or one of the Javieras) would say "Sssh!" and then when it was their turn to talk, they stayed silent. Anyone who crossed the picket line (by repeating what I said) got booed.

That lasted about 10 minutes, and then when class finally got going, there were 5 or 6 kids who just kept being disruptive. I put one of them outside for a little while, wrote names on the board, but they kept being uncooperative. Finally I said (with lots of silence and pauses):
Look, this is a communicative English class. I can't actually do anything if you don't participate. We can do something else, like sit in silence and write stuff down. I realize it's the last class on Monday. It's hard for everybody. But if we do the work, we can leave early. Otherwise, we stay the whole time.
That split the instigators right down the middle, with Bruno and Exequiel saying "Okay, let's do the class." Things got better still when I finally sent one of the Javieras to the inspector, but it was still a mess.

The more I think about their behavior, the more annoyed I am. It feels a little self-promoting or something, but honestly, I put a lot of energy into teaching them. I work really hard to give them chances to change their behavior, and to treat them as individuals and take the time to help them learn. So this level of disrespect really bugs me.

I have a plan. I'm changing the rules, just for them.
They don't get any more chances.

If they disrupt the class, they give me their cell phones and they sit outside the classroom. If they fail to do either of those things, or if they don't stay outside the classroom, I send them to the inspector.

I may preface this new policy by making them do some impossible, boring task that's more like what they have to do outside my class.

Either way...enough of their bullshit.

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