The Post- and the Pre-

The sense of entitlement is pretty strong right now at the school where I work. This is mostly because we are in a between phase where there’s not much that can be done.

Last week was a full week, but it comes post-school trips which, as I’ve mentioned before, leaves the students feeling that school is something that interrupted their trip. and pre-midterm exams which means there are no clubs and it’s understood that there will be no homework.  It’s also understood that students are not supposed to be held after school as they should be home studying. (Insert canned laughter here.) That’s especially true this week, in the two days before the exams.

Making things even worse, my classes have no mid-term exams which means the students don’t take them that seriously until the end of the term when I do have an exam. Because of this, some students expect to have a free study session before the exams and are surprised when one is not forthcoming.

(Note: it is possible to get free study in my class, but it has to be earned by finishing work early.)

This leaves the more troublesome students feeling as if they don’t have to do anything because they feel as if they are untouchable. The school trip made them forget how school works and the mid-terms protect them from immediate consequences.

The result is one of my students insulting a colleague and then turning the word “magnetron” into a dirty word by reversing the “g” and the “n” in “magne” which makes it sound like a bad  Japanese word. This normally wouldn’t bother me that much as about a thousand years ago I was a teenage boy, but this kid isn’t in junior high school and wouldn’t drop the joke, even when I was trying to explain an assignment to the class.

I finally told him that if he didn’t stop saying the word he’d get in trouble. He played dumb, mostly trying to get me to repeat the word, but I finally got him to shut up when I told him no one was going to get a chance at free study until he stopped talking. (I also told him that if he asked “why” again I’d give everyone a writing project.)

I suspect that when the final project starts he and his partners will come up with some kind of lewd invention. That’s when the fun starts, though, as there will be no restrictions on how late I can keep them after school–the record is 6:30 p.m. if you’re counting–or how much homework I can give them. For example, I can have him write the bad word and the word “magnetron” 5,000 times.

And yes, I’ll either count them all or give him numbered sheets of paper so that he doesn’t have to count by himself.


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