Friday, January 28, 2011

power tripster

I marveled today at how, after a week of sassy teens behaving as though the end of the quarter was at hand (it was), many students will do what I ask when I least expect it.

Imagine the range of possible responses at the disposal of high schoolers when a teacher says "Please do _________ before you ________." I work amongst them and even though I know most days they begrudgingly appreciate me, I also realize they feel safe enough to say "F*ck this, I'm out of here" or, more respectfully, "Yeah, no. I'll just sit here until class is over."

Today, the last day of the quarter, I had multiple students ask to leave class with friends (to which I responded "I need you to be here instead"), play music with a different teacher ("Make sure you finish the assignments on the board before you go"), or opt out of critiquing classmates' work ("It's a participation grade; please be attentive and give constructive feedback"). In every circumstance, my students complied. There was a little bit of whining (they're teenagers, not saints) but each kid did what I asked. They sat in my room, finished required work, were engaged with their classmates in a positive way.

I'm not letting this go to my head though. Monday I'm back with the Seniors who roll their eyes at me so often I have to keep asking if they're having seizures.

It was fun while it lasted.