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?"