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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Self-defeating Student Behavior


Too often our students are their own worst enemies. Today there were several examples of that attitude and behavior.

During 1st hour, the students were doing some silent reading in one of our AP Literature test preparation books.  I wanted them to get some idea of what it was like to do the AP essay exam. Everyone was reading rather nicely, quietly, and the lesson was going well.

Suddenly, there are a rapping on my classroom door, not a gentle rapping like that of Poe's raven.
Gently rapping raven

This was more Sheldon trying to hurry up Penny.

It was TT, for whom nothing matters other than what she feels she needs at the moment. She kept knocking and knocking on my door more and more loudly.

She had been sent by one of the counselors to get a student. Who it was and for what reason I never found out.  I was simply upset that the nice momentum we had going in the lesson was shot. 

I walked over to let her in, but I guess I wasn't quick enough for her lights. She began to complain loud enough so that the whole class could hear her through the door, "Come on, Mr. Greeeennnn!!!". 

When I did open the door, I wanted to tell her how she should come to a teacher's door while class was in session, with a bit more decorum.  My umbrage took her a bit by surprise as I began my complaint.
No, not that kind. Besides, it's spelled differently.

However, it did not take her long to revert to her accustomed behavior consisting of trying to talk back. When I wouldn't accept this, she turned on her heals and with a wave of the hand in my general direction, stomped off back to from whence she came. 

TT was in my AP Language class, but she was so disruptive, that I had her moved to regular English III so that those left would have a chance to learn at the demanding level required by AP. She will never be convinced that she had done a single thing wrong, and that all teachers are "weird" and they "do too much." This is a favorite complaint of students meaning that we are trying to bring their behavior up to a more constructive level.

More happened today, but I will write about this tomorrow or the next day or so.






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