Wednesday, August 18, 2004

shoot em ups

A student recently gave me a copy of Doom 3 and I have been sucked in. In the last week I have spent a couple of hours shooting things and blowing my cares away! Great stuff if you need a diversion. Unfortunately I DO NOT need a diversion.

Hipteach has the same trouble that most of us do - administrivia. Chin up it only gets worse - and then sometimes better.

Lots of student writing in the last couple of weeks. Some very good and some very BAD (of course). One student (who I have written about previously) in particiular stands out - not his writing unfortunately, but his behaviour and attitude. Over the last 5-6 weeks I have been setting regular writing tasks and workshops - students need to develop at least three and then choose their best two and then take these to a final stage. Most seem able to meet the deadlines and were given copious amounts of feedback - written and verbal. In fact colleagues often react with surprise when they catch sight of a peice of student writing that I have finished drawing and writing all over. I told students that they would receive as much as I could give them on the proviso that they met deadlines and made time to come and see me outside of class time to conference their writing. Our young friend decided not to meet only one of the deadlines and then choose not to use this piece of writing in his choice of two that I would assess. Instead he fronts up to the class writing period (students must complete some writing in class time so we can authenticate their work) with a completely new piece and then expects me to sit and read it right then and there. Problem is all those who took the time and made the effort to get me their writing when I asked for it are also waiting to see me for writing conferences.

So our young friend ends up basically wasting his time sitting waiting for me to have read of his 'pefect piece' (his words). I repeatedly gave him suggestiongs about things he should be doing while waiting, but these are tossed aside like so many day old papers.

Eventually, and against my better judgement, tell him that I will read the piece before the end of the day and that he could collect it from me then. (I have left out all the arguing and back chatting)

So later in the day, I SPEND ABOUT 15-20 MINTUES ON IT and it is basically rubbish about how much he hates another teacher and how hard his life is and how much he is suffering. There is no empathy or understanding of others pains and challenges, only a singly held view of himself and his own world (you will understand that this is the norm for this particular young man). I find some positive things to say (he did spell his name correctly!) and then wait for him to come and get his work.

So later during our discussion he basicall tells me that I don't have the right to tell him what to write, and that I don't understand the pressures that he is going through and that I am not listening to him. He ends with something like - "Well, it's hard when you don't give me any support or help in classtime ... !"

This is it for me. I get quite shirty (!) and ask him to leave. He nods and then, ignoring me, asks another question. I raise my voice for effect and ask him to leave (yes, yes, I might have said that he was an ungrateful little so and so and that he could get the hell out! but mmm ... )

Afterwards I'm left shaking.

Grrrr ...


At 1:48 pm, Blogger posthipchick said...

students like that are very difficult. i think you were perfectly acceptable.

At 6:28 pm, Blogger Samante said...

I totally hear you. However, it seems that students themselves have this selective hearing, in which they only hear what they want to hear. Then, if they don't hear the rules, they think they don't apply.

I got called 'unprofessional' the other day in a very similar incident. The anger I felt was bordering on rage. If only they would *listen*.


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