What's it all about?

Fast approaching 30 I've fallen in to teaching, a career though championed by many amongst my friends and family, I've tried desperately to avoid. Worse still I appear to have missed the heyday when students were keen and wages were plenty. Having left city-life behind to support my partner through a prolonged recovery from cancer, it's clear I've become isolated, not only from my old life, but from the future I hoped it would lead to...

There must be more to life than this..?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Non-Moan no.1 (Week 1)

Moronic Students

In the classroom whenever I give my students an exercise to complete I always explain it, then show it, then explain it again, and then I ask if anybody‘s unsure of what they’ve been asked to do. Now once you’ve gotten to know your classes you can judge how open to leave these questions, or whether or not there are shy students who don’t want the rest of the class to know they’ve no idea what’s going on. 
However no matter how many times I explain these exercises, when I walk around the room to see how students are getting on, there’s ALWAYS at least one student who isn’t doing anything. For the purpose of this blog, let’s call him William. (This is safe as I don’t teach any students called William).
Imagine William is - doodling on his own work / doodling on someone else’s work / texting / busy looking gormless / concentrating on breathing / scratching himself in inappropriate places / picking his nose
(Pick any of the above)
ME  - ‘William what are you doing?’
ME‘Why aren’t you doing your work?’
Generally at this point William will look around the room, his eyes flitting aimlessly from one corner to another as if the answer to my question might be lying in wait for him to find.
William‘I dunno what I’m s’posed to be doing.’
Quite often this is the point I count to ten... Something I’m not convinced William can do.
ME‘What do you mean you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing?’
We stare at each other for a moment, William dead behind the eyes, and mine holding mild to severe contempt depending on the sort of day I’m having.
My point here is that no matter how many times something is explained, there is always, ALWAYS at least one student who will never listen. It’s the same for ALL teachers I know. But it really, really annoys me... A lot.
I have suggested to senior staff members on more than one occasion that perhaps placing snipers on the school roof and allowing them to shoot anybody who tries to get in for an education would be an apt solution. Though I’ve received limited responses to this, and I’ve witnessed various scribbling in my psychological profile, so short of sterilising William's parents to pre-empt further morons entering my classroom, I’m not sure of another solution to this problem... Any ideas?


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