Thrice We Go Again

Some classes just don’t get it. It’s rare, though, for the same class not to get it three times in the same year.

At the end of every term, depending on what days they meet, it’s possible for a class to have extra days compared to other classes of the same grade. In those cases, I usually follow the same plan: The last two class meetings are reserved for review. The first of the two usually follows the rule “Study my class today and I won’t look at what you’re studying next week”.

I phrase it this way because I’m not, technically, supposed to allow what you might call study hall classes unless the students are studying my lessons. Every now and then, though, some goodness and kindness enter my heart and it becomes .0003 times larger.

Classes that get it understand that while on the last day I might state that they should review my class I won’t actually be looking at what they are studying, unless they start sleeping and playing, in which case they must review my class.

The class that didn’t get it though, failed three different times on the next to last day. In each case I had groups of students who:

Didn’t open the book.
Opened the book, but to the wrong unit.
Opened the book to the correct unit but never turned the page after that.
Open the book to the correct page but had a different text book set on top of it.

All that, of course, happened in Japanese with nary a word of English spoken.

I reminded them a few times about what was going to happen and they either ignored me or, in case of the worst students in the class, acted annoyed and muttered bad things about me and my heart became 3 sizes too small.

That earned them a special assignment for this week. I made a nice review worksheet that, in theory, should have taken no more than 20 minutes to complete, however, several students spent the better part of the lesson working on it.

I suspect some of the worst students hadn’t actually been working on it until I started collecting the worksheets. That inspired the worst students to finally finish, but the worksheets from the best students were already in my possession making it harder for the worst students to cheat.

Now, I’ll just make sure I have them all and then throw them away without grading them.

I told you my heart got three sizes too small.

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