Saturday, 18 November 2006


Re my stoftness with students.
This has shifted. I still put up with students talking over me more than I should, but not as much as I did.
I did have a challenging person who wanted to be bored most of the time, lying on the floor, acting sleepy, feigning dumbness.
Here are my various reponses:
  • 'Try this first, then decide.' 
    Open and encouraging, but still allows the option of choosing boredom.
  • Say 'I want you to give it a go. I think you'll be good at this', place this in front of student and walk away.
    This worked a few times, but had to be done in the morning.
  • Work through task with student, usually after they'd said she didn't understand it.
    Worked in that the job got done, but didn't in that I was monopolised, and I soon learned that she did get it, but that she was either lying about it or hadn't listened the first time.
  • After three requests to get off the floor, or whatever avoidance strategy was being used, I'd say in a big stern voice "Sit up, get started and have a go! There no reason why you can't do this. I want to see (this much) by (when)."
    This, strangly, worked best. Usually this student would happily work really well and nicely for the rest of the day after this.  I still don't know that the go is there. Maybe she wanted to draw attention, get me 'upset', know that I cared enough to be upset for her, or know that I expected her to be on par with everyone else. She's a bright spark, nonethelesss.


Peter A. Greene said...

It's hard to be stern with students-- but like people of any age, they will do what they "have" to do, and the classroom teacher is the one who defines that.

Sounds like you are well on your way to a fine career. Congrats from the other side of the world.

Alison said...

I've been reading lots, now I have more time, and I've found comments like 'Determine if they can help it or not, and respond accordingly'. As in, if they're choosing to be difficult be assertive , but if they can't help themselves be supportive and encouraging. Even in hindsight it can be hard to tell the difference... but then I'd only known them for 3 weeks, and had no histories (even their regular teacher was learning as she went), and I don't think I left any tears or emotional scarring, so, you know, that's good.