Hieronymo's mad againe

The one thing you must never do in a classroom is lose your cool.  Whatever annoying student behavior is creating a loss of confidence in your career choice, you simply cannot freak on them.  Yesterday I came close, though.   In my Humanities section we were discussing the impact of Freud on the arts in the early 20th Century.  I thought I had a pretty good plan, too.  I laid out Freud's ideas on the unconscious, we were going to watch a short video on Freud's work, and then apply his ideas to James Joyce's Evilene and Eliot's Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock

Ten seconds after I began the video, one student whips out a cell phone and scrolls through messages.  Another starts updating a planner, and still another starts doing homework for another class.    I counted to ten to get my anger in check and then strolled to the rear of the classroom.  I leaned down and, in a measured monotone, I whispered, "Put the phone away and please don't do homework for other classes in my class."  We finished the exercise and before dismissing them I made a short speech about classroom courtesy. 

I didn't lose it, but it sure has been eating at me since.  It makes me wonder how students would react if I were to just tune them out when they came for an advising appointment or a scheduling change.  Or how about this?  I am teaching a lesson and then just stop to check my text messages for 15 minutes while they sit there. 

The thing I've always hated about teaching is that I have to play by the rules.  Them, not so much.  

Okay, cathartic rant over.  Breathe deeply, place smile back on face. 

"Now then, how may I be of assistance in your educational journey today?"


frida said…
i had a teacher in college who routinely took phone calls in the middle of class. i think he was trying to impress us somehow - busy man, lots to do, many demands on his time, etc. very wierd.

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