Monday, September 6, 2010

the riot act

It was hard to smile today, knowing I had 1-G coming--you'll recall that last week didn't go well--but 1-J and 1-H deserve to have me treating them for who they are, and not what I have to deal with from their colleagues. 1-G's homeroom teacher told me he gave them an earful and they should behave better in the future, but I decided to continue on with my own plans. We only had 5 of the 6 targets today, but I made them stand up and said "We're going to do an exercise in communication."
So, you guys. Since the beginning, since I got here in April, I've been warning you about your behavior. It seems to me like I've treated you with respect [heads nod], and in return, you've taken my stuff, and last week you shut down the class, denying your classmates the chance to learn. So, no more warnings. Now, for you, this [motion to warning system on whiteboard] no longer exists. If you're causing problems, you're going to the Inspector. I've given you chances on chances. No more.
I almost tossed Bruno and Exequiel a minute later, but they (a) looked genuinely frightened, and (b) managed to convince me they were whispering briefly about what I'd said.

And the class got their first star of the semester! They were as good as they can be, which is still way less focused than my other classes. We'll see if it sticks. If they can keep it up--an open question, since Bruno in particular looked physically pained from the stress of controlling his behavior--I will happily throw them a party for being the most improved group.


  1. I'm discovering that you're right about students like Bruno. Some kids are so comfortable being the "bad kid" that they can't breathe properly if they don't cause some trouble first. Somehow, some of those students still end up making me smile, no matter how much I want to strangle them.

  2. I quite like Bruno, and I almost like Exequiel now...Bruno in particular has largely settled down as soon as he got to Level 2 (where the next step is the inspector), so I had learned to just put him there earlier in class. I actually didn't mind the equilibrium we'd established last semester, as troublesome as it was, but then they went and crossed those lines in the past couple weeks. And so far as I can tell, I think they realize they shifted our relationship into a less pleasant mode.

  3. Hopefully they find that "less pleasant mode" as uncomfortable as you do and go back to their old, albeit troublesome ways.

    My co-teacher threw the one student I'm having the most problems with out of her side of the course for the day, so I'm guessing I'll probably have to do the same when the girl's with me this week.

  4. Yes, yes, yes. Boot them! Everyone will be happier.