Thursday, January 12, 2006

"I'll stop the distribution unless I have good behaviour."

You've all been there. You've had days where you needed class time to enter grades. And it isn't because of poor planning on your part either. Most likely it's because the database system that you're required to use will only allow grades to be entered from 7:30-1:36 and school runs from 7:25-2:50.

For a while I thought the best thing to do was to pop in a film, but have you been to the movies lately. You haven't because you spend all your time grading and sponsoring clubs, you say? Well let me tell you what it's like. If the kids aren't shouting to one another across the theater during the movie, then they are shuttling back and forth to one another to have their conversations. Might I add that they are still using the same volume of voice when they were shouting across the room. They do the same thing for videos in the classroom too. It's like they have been conditioned to behave this way when there is a dark room illuminated solely by a bright, noisy rectangle. I liken it to parakeets going to sleep when the cage is covered with a blanket. When the lights go out, the students think that it's night time and it's okay to act like a jack crack.

What works is a worksheet. They are absolutely hypnotized by them. Everytime I give one out, they are focused on completing it. "Even the slackers are working?" you ask. No, but it gives them a place to draw breasts and swastikas, thus saving my desks for at least that day. They're like little desk diapers. For the others I guess they find comfort in them because they represent finality that essays can't (After all, the writing process is never over. What they forget to mention in Teacher School is, neither is the grading process.). With the worksheets, the students know that they don't have to bring anything more to the work than fill in the blank. Or, write a short answer until there isn't anymore space. Or, they just have to choose from A-D. I don't know if that makes any sense; what I do know is I'm like freakin' Deputy Sub-Bursar dispersing soma to a bunch of Deltas, when it comes to those worksheets.

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