I’ve now reached the point with my worst student where I might actually keep him in my class just to see what happens next. In the past he’s freaked out, flipped me off, hit me with a desk and torn up his textbook.
Today, though, was something completely different.
Because today is one week before the final exam, I dedicated the class to discussing the content of the exam and passing out a review sheet that included the actual long writing question.
As I explained things, though, I heard a rattling sound. He was alternating between throwing the metal cone of his mechanical pencil as if it was a die or attempting to spin it as if it was a top. This attracted the attention of other students. I explained that if students weren’t listening I’d stop talking and just turn them loose with the review sheet.
Although most students in his class worked hard and were better than my other classes, he set his review sheet sideways on his desk and surrounded it with pens to create a kind of top-spinning pitch. He then set up obstacles and spent the rest of the class spinning his pencil top.
Other students asked him what the hell he was doing (in so many words) and he just repeated his usual “I don’t understand therefore I don’t have to try” shtick (in so many words).
I was fascinated by the entire event and just let him not try. He’ll end up in the lower level class where I’m guessing he thinks things will be easier and the where he thinks the teacher will use more Japanese. Or, maybe he thinks he’ll get to sit at his own desk and play with his own stuff.
Whatever happens, I’ll be really surprised if he writes more than his name on the final exam. If he doesn’t even do that I won’t be surprised either. It makes it easier for me to mark, but guarantees he’ll drop to the lower level class.
(Note: Because of the latter, I’m torn about whether or not I want him to actually write something.)
I don’t want to make him someone else’s problem, but that seems to be his goal. I may not keep him around, but I suspect I’ll get interesting reports from his new teacher.