Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Three Weeks Left

I have been teaching Developmental English at Southwest Tennessee Community College for twelve weeks now, and I have just recently discovered the key to getting the attention I have been battling for. As much as I hate lecturing and turning my back on my audience, I have started writing everything I say on the board, and the classroom has never been more quiet. Someone in their study skills class must be telling them the old truth that you should write down everything that the teacher puts on the board because it is probably important. Maybe I just didn't think that everything I had to say was important until now. They sit on the edge of their seats, their pens and pencils poised in their hands, with baited breath, awaiting the next nugget of priceless information about how to successfully conclude an essay.

Then, of course, their are those that are texting. Next semester, I'm going to be a hard ass about the phones. I'm pretty good at ignoring it, but there are some students that just get under my skin. I'm going to start taking their phones, just quietly walking up to them and taking their phones. I've spent too much time this semester getting my feelings hurt. It's difficult teaching a DIFFERENT class every damn semester. I never get a chance to improve my strategy. I figure out what works by the end of the semester, and I have to learn a new class. It makes me want to shave my head, set myself on fire, and run around laughing hysterically. Okay...maybe not. It pretty much just makes me want to drink a lot of whiskey. That's about it.

I have recently rid myself of an annoying skin problem. I feel like a new woman. I am now going to finish my coffee and look over my lesson for today. What's going on with you guys?


Apryl said...

I would be even meaner than you about phones. Some professors at my last school would make all students put their cell phones in a box at the front of the room before class and pick them up on their way out. I would do that or make it a policy that students must leave the class and not come back until the next meeting if they want to use their phones. I might make an exception once in a while if a student notified me before class that he might need to step out briefly because he is expecting a call about an emergency. What happened to good ole respectful daydreaming when you don't want to listen to your instructor?

Do you have access to a projector, particularly the old-fashioned overhead kind? If so, you could be like Mrs. Pinkerton: face the class while you write and talk about the tie-dye—like patterns that appear on your paper towel when you wipe different color markers off a projector sheet.

Congrats on beating your skin problem.

Juniperrr said...

after that story you told me about blessing out that chick who was late for class(not to mention the "i know you're not retarded" tyrade), i'm kinda surprised you're not strict about phones. but then, they ARE in college. it might be a little awkward.

also, when i read the part about you shaving your head, i had this flashback of sinead o'connor ripping up that picture of the pope OUT OF THE BLUE during a performance on SNL. do you remember that shit? no one knew she was gonna do it, and then bam! she was like, "fight the real enemy (?)" in that irish accent and she ripped it up.

you should do that. you know. with a picture of a cell phone.