It may by the weather, or maybe I’ve added too much sugar back in my diet, but lately I’ve been in a mood at the school where I work.
Last week there were thrown papers and today I was pretty close to throwing them again when I taught the same lesson with a different class. (Luckily, a few students started moving about that time.)
For the second class today, I tried a different approach to that lesson and got better results, although with a class that behaves much better than the others.
Third period is when I started to see the effects of last week and when my mood started to manifest. Last week the high school second years were off to Okinawa, Kyushu or Shikoku as part of the school trip. They return as seasoned and weary world travelers who suddenly no longer feel the need to quietly endure the banalities of the local milieu.
I eventually dragged them through the lesson and had a few hours to recover and plan for the next lesson (and a few tomorrow).
Then sixth period rolled around and the students there suddenly forgot who I was and what I’m capable of doing when I’m in a mood.
First, no one had erased the board from the previous class. Although each class has designated board erasers, no one would fess up or accuse another. I told them that if I had to do it, I’d add time to the end of class. They forgot who I am and tried to call my bluff, making class 52 minutes instead of 50.
One student showed up with no paper, pencil or textbook. Every other word out of his mouth involved references to male genitalia and/or female body parts. I told him to shut up or get out.
Then, one by one, two missing students, who were apparently still asleep in their homeroom, slowly dragged themselves to class about 10 minutes late (more on things like that in another post).
Eventually, as I was working through the lesson, there came a point where I had to do some talking and try to elicit answers from the class. After a few attempts to do this, a lot of students weren’t listening so I implemented “Plan J” (named after a former colleague). I told them to translate every English word on one of pages into Japanese and that no one could leave until everyone was finished.
They eventually finished and then I assigned the homework.
The real surprise came when the bell rang and Mr Genitalia tried to leave. I reminded him he owed me two minutes. The prompted a reaction from the two who arrived late, as they’d missed the earlier drama.
The best part is, it isn’t even June yet. That’s when the real fun usually happens.