Man, that last post I wrote about dominating my troublesome period through Brazilian superiority was delusional. Did I think it would be so easy? That those fractious kids would roll over without any further protest? Well, today set me straight. It went from a fun beginning to all out war by the end of the period.
Each class will always have a handful of rebels, clowns, sullen kids and outright punks. A good class will have one or two, a rough one will have four or five. The kind of kids that always need attention, chiding, close watching and reprimanding. That you occasionally have to yank out of the class and into the hall. That get detentions and have parent/teacher conferences. This period of mine has ten. TEN. So today I rolled up my sleeves and went to work.
First, I mandated silence. Detention if you speak. Then I rearranged the class. Isolated each kid from their friends, using the quiet and well behaved ones as buffer zones. With ten kids it’s tricky, and I must have stood there for about two straight minutes simply arranging and rearranging the class in my head as they sat in silence and waited. That done, I lectured them. Good old fashioned lecturing. Probably went in one ear and out the next. But I warned them. If this goes beyond me, if I decide to send them up the chain of command, it’s going to get serious. I tried to be eloquent, forceful, maybe even fierce. Painted a grim picture of the future of that class in terms of how boring every assignment would be if done in silence. Etc, etc. But that was simply because it’s expected of me. You have to give them a verbal warning before you move onto the next step.
Which I just finished taking. I called each of those kid’s parents. Discussed their grades, their behavior, and my expectations for them. Tonight, each of those ten kids is going to get a lecture. When they walk into class tomorrow, I’m going to hit them with more silence and stern treatment.
I’ve also opened a discipline file on each one, which I am going to keep by my stool in a special binder. The moment one of them crosses the line, I’m going to escalate them up to the next level. I’ve given them a verbal warning and called their parents. Each of them is getting a cut in their conduct grade. Next comes detention, and then it gets serious. I’m going to show them immediate repercussions.
The reason I’m coming down so hard is because the records from previous subs show that these ten kids break anybody who tries to run that class. And what’s worse, the other ten kids or so–who behave, do their homework, listen, and want to learn–are forced to sit there and do nothing as I try to control the first group. Their time is wasted, and they’re the ones that want to learn. And that’s simply not on.
So. Round 2 has just ended with my firing a heavy salvo across their bow. Let’s see what they respond with. I have a feeling that this battle is just getting started.