Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Good and the Bad

I'm tired of my students, and they are apparently tired of me. The last two days with a couple of classes, they just skipped. All of them. See, it normally works like this: they go with the teacher like they normally would, then come to see me. With this specific teacher she likes to do it on a volunteer basis (which, in my opinion, is not the best system because I get the same students all the time, and sometimes there are no volunteers so I waste an hour sitting in a classroom reading or whatever). So yesterday, at 8am in the freaking morning I was sitting in my classroom waiting. With this class I normally get like 2-4 students, because it's 8 in the morning and because they could give a crap. Well, I waited about 40 minutes, then went back to the teacher's lounge. After the class period was over, I saw the teacher and she said, "So how was class with them?"
Me: "Uh, with whom?"

Teacher: "With the four students I sent...oh, well then. You don't have to see that class anymore."

It's kind of a privilege for them to come chat with me, and since they seem to not want to do so and would rather go smoke and play with their motorcycles, they might as well be with the teacher and learn grammar. And I was going to show them an episode of "Mythbusters" where they tear the rear axle out of a cop car.

Pretty much the same thing happened again today with another class and the same teacher. I had 6 students for 30 min. and they were supposed to go back to class and send 6 others for the rest of the hour. They just left. And, remember, these are students that are 18-20 years old. I don't feel as if I should have to hold their hand in between classes, making sure they go where they're supposed to. At that age I was in college for two years already, and had no trouble finding my way between classes. Maybe they'll lose the privilege of being with me, too, which I won't cry about.

Why? Example of how the first class with them went this semester:

I had an activity where they were supposed to write three statements about themselves, one of which was to be false. I used, for example, "I rode my bike across the U.S. I have a dog. I like saurkraut." I don't have a dog, though they always guess that I haven't done the bike ride. Ha. Anyway, here's what the first student wrote for his three:
1. I use preservatifs (the french word for condoms).
2. I fu** my wife.
3. I have 60 wives.

I told him I wasn't going to write "I fu** my wife." on the board. Sorry. So, we ended up settling on "I've had sex before. I have a wife. I have 60 wives." All his buddies guessed that he'd never had sex before, which was kinda funny because it embarrassed him. He did, in fact have a wife of three months that he'd married when he and she were both extremely drunk. The rest of the statements were a little more tame, but still anything but innocent. Some selections include, "I like redheads," "My mother is black," "I am a famous rap star." This is the class that I consider successful if no fights break out, and if I don't have to send anyone out. Since they're pretty keen on swearing pretty much nonstop, I just ignore it. Being offended by it (which I'm not anyway) would just encourage them. When they discover that I'm not really too bothered by their terrible use of language, they generally stop. At the end of the class period that time, I ended up teaching them words like "puke" and "barf", because they were curious about it and I consider this meeting halfway. And I got to learn what those words were in French, which is a bonus.

Not all of my classes are bad, only the older kids in the technical school. Unlike the younger ones, they don't have the fear of getting detention or the general fear of adults in them. I almost always have a good time with my younger kids because they listen and they want to play games, which is entertaining for me. As a general rule, I try to come up with lesson plans that will maximize the entertainment value for me. They are going to learn something pretty much no matter what I do with the, so I might as well have a good time with it. My job is to teach them, and theirs is to keep me amused.


kula said...

Your students really missed out. That's a good episode of "Mythbusters".

Pam said...

I saw that episode as well! Too bad that they are so ignorant. And that they feel the need to abuse the poor little English Professor! C'est la vie.

Kimmer said...

Their loss for not caring to show up at all. Poor little English Prof.