Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day #52

The temptation to use sick time is enormous. I am depleted, and today when the 2nd period kids started drifting beyond the rowdy end of the spectrum and into teabagger at a town hall meeting territory I didn't blow up to rein that shit in. I simply sat in my chair and pulled out the newspaper and put my feet up on the table next to my laptop.

I use this technique VERY rarely, because it only works if you bust it out once per precessional cycle. But it is dynamite. It freaks the kids out. They think you have given up on them completely, and they start to panic. You get the worst actors in class begging and pleading with you to teach them. They apologize, they gnash their teeth, some kids start crying. I keep my head in the paper. I don't respond to anyone. It can be difficult to maintain a stony visage when kids are tugging on your shirt and howling. But finally the kids self-organize. Everyone gets in their seats. They shush each other. They take out paper. They wait.

I get up. I speak very quietly. I say "I'm close to giving up on you. When I start giving you papers to fill out every day instead of trying to teach you, you'll know that I've done all I can and I'm not going to bother wasting my time anymore. This class is very close." I look around, making eye contact with everyone. And then I teach the rest of my lesson.


Anonymous said...


:) jv

ajc said...

Mr. G aint no joke.