Thursday, December 20, 2007

Paper Bullets of the Brain

I almost never yell at my students. It’s not because I am trying to preserve their confidence or senses of self, or anything like that; although I guess I do think that’s important. And it’s also not because I like to maintain a calm and controlled atmosphere in English class, which, of course, I do.

The bottom line is, I don’t yell because I really suck at it. My outbursts are genuinely funny. I gesture wildly, my voice shakes, my face gets blotchy, and I always say completely ridiculous things.

Like on Wednesday when I was upset with my sixth hours for being completely lazy and intolerable.

“LOOK!” I railed. “You are acting like fourth graders! This is high school! GROW! UP!”

If I were finished there, everything would be okay, right?

Sadly, I carried on.

“I have tried being nice to you, and it doesn’t WORK!" I shouted, making eye contact with all the usual suspects. "I have tried being harsh, and THAT doesn’t work!”

Then, I started spastically gesticulating toward the projector screen, which was an unfortunate development, for sure. “Frankly, I just don’t know what to DO! So this is the assignment! Pass or fail, it’s up to YOU!”

Pause. And, inevitably, some tittering rose up from the class.

“And, YES!” I continued, owning it. “That rhymed! And now you have twenty minutes! Get to work!”

That's it.


I know you’ll join me in sincerely hoping I manage to maintain my self-control for the rest of the year.


Tom said...

*snerk* When's your due date? Do you get to skip the end of the year? :-)

LH said...

this is nothing to be proud of, but my yelling is usually super effective. but i'm really working on being less reactive and more patient.
it's tough stuff at new school, but i'm getting better.

happy vacay, savvy!

LH said...

did i pick a winner yet? if i did not, i will pick julie.

KC said...

tom, how's that baby? getting itself born yet? I have a feeling he/she'll be here before Christmas.

leeway - i need lessons in yelling. lessons in that from you, lessons in my "teacher look" from renee, who says I actually don't have a scary look at all.

Undomestic said...

I really want to see a Dr. Seuss style book with those exact words!

And if you develop a "teacher look" you will need serious Botox soon...that's what I am feeling anyhow!