Sunday, May 24, 2009

To Answer your Question

I am so ready to be done with this school year. My students are driving me absolutely crazy. And from the looks of it, I'm driving them crazy too. The freshmen are especially displeased that unlike their past nine years of schooling, this one will not conclude the year with parties and field trips, but with exams. Welcome to high school! I think we all agree that summer is long overdue and are unsure how to get through the next three weeks (seriously, there are THREE more weeks?!) without killing each other.

My personal coping strategies revolve around revised classroom management strategies. After about 32 weeks of resisting temptation, I finally sprayed a girl with my overhead projector spray bottle when she wouldn't stop talking. When kids say something obnoxious or stupid (yes, there are stupid questions and stupid answers) I've been responding with complete and full-on sarcasm. Did you miss anything when you were absent? Nope; we canceled class when we realized you were gone. Oh, you don't like it when you have to graph? Well I don't like it when you whine, so I guess neither of us gets what we want today.

Then I realized that I might be slipping away from funny-sarcastic to just-plain-mean-sarcastic. I had to think of a new way to let kids know how ridiculous their complaining is, but in a less abrasive way. And what is the least abrasive thing I can tell them? How much I love them. So that is my new response to everything.

"Why do we have homework?" "Because I love you."
"Why are you giving us hard problems?" "It's because I love you."
"Can we just do nothing today?" "I love you too much to let that happen."
"I hate math." "That's too bad because math loves you."

They're not giving me a lot of reasons to love them these days, so I have to take every possible opportunity to remind them--and myself--that the love is still there.

4 comments:

Liam said...

Love is the way to go, Geetha. Marvin Gaye concurs. It's much nicer than meanness. :)

Roni said...

If any of them impress you with a homework assignment, I recommend rolling it up and whapping them over the head with it and then complaining that they don't impress you often enough. They don't quite know how to take it, and it's a great release for you.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Great response in terms of the love thing.

Ms. Westfield at Pioneer had everyone pay her a quarter every time foul language or whining were heard. You could probably get rich and supplement what I'm sure is a princely first-year teacher's salary.

Hope you have plenty of great plans for the summer.

SWE said...

Oooooh-feelin' the love here! Think that will help with 5-year-old whining?