They thought I’d forget, and I’m sure they’d already forgotten. When they saw their names in big red letters, though, they started to remember.
Last week, as we were gearing up for the school festival, I mentioned how the students tended to be brain dead because school suddenly didn’t seem that important. One week ago, my last class of the day was in an especially brain dead mood and four guys at the back insisted, through constant chattering in Japanese, that they were no longer interested in my class
I called on them a few times and, after managing to finally get their attention, they couldn’t do the activity because they hadn’t actually done the activity.
At the end of class, I pulled them aside and explained their homework (copy every English word on the page into a notebook and then translate it all into Japanese). Two guys left as I spoke, one ignored me, and the one with the best English just smiled and nodded in a way that said “yeah, I get it, fuck that and fuck you.” I warned him that I’d bring them in at lunch and after school every day until they finished if they didn’t do the homework. That got me another, as Stephen King might say, shit eating grin.
Because I had that class today, I created an announcement that featured their names in bold red letters at the top and described the homework at the bottom. (Note: I stole this “doom note” idea from a colleague). The last line was “If you forget…” and that was all. I posted the “doom note” on the blackboard in their homeroom during lunch and then went and did some other work.
When class time rolled around three of the four had the Japanese translation. Because I’ve been in a disturbingly good mood the last couple days (which still has me worried) I gave them until 8:15 a.m. tomorrow to complete the rest of the homework or I’ll start bringing them in at lunch to work on it. If they ask around, even in their own class, they’ll discover how many times I’ve done something like that.
If they don’t ask around and don’t do the work, well, at least I know what I’ll be doing for lunch.