Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"waste of my time..."

I lost my temper yesterday with a student. I told him that he was wasting my time by being in my class when he refuses to do homework or even crack open his book. This occurred after I asked him to read the last four chapters of To Kill a Mockingbird, and his response to me was, "What's the point? I haven't read the first 27?" We've been reading the novel for four weeks now. I've given them time in class, and they haven't had much homework besides reading. But this kid hasn't done anything.
The thing that frustrates me is that he's such a bright kid. He has a crappy home life, and works 40+ hours a week. I get that, as I've told him countless times. But he also has to understand that I can't stop the class and not give homework because of him. I can work with him, if he'll work with me. But he won't. He just wants to act like a jackass and disrupt my class and refuse to do work. So, I finally snapped.
And I know this isn't the way to get this kid to work. He gets yelled at at home. He gets told how crappy he is at home. He doesn't need it from me. So he just shut down. He became a smart ass and ignored what I was attempting to get through his head. I realized it was a mistake as soon as I saw him shut down, but I'd lost him at that point. I'm going to pull him in the hallway and apologize to him today. I'm also going to attempt to reason with him. I don't know how reasonable he'll be feeling, but we'll see.

I'm really well aware of my temper....I just always realize too late to stop it. Gr!


CrypticLife said...

Sad. Hope it goes alright.

Ed_Thoughts said...

It's tough sometimes. I know that I did some yelling today. Sometimes it just happens. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to avoid the yell, but I think we need to remember that we're people and we get frustrated.

I think that as teacher we also do a lot of quick reactions, and most of the time they're good reactions, but every once and again one of the bad ones inadvertently slips out.

Laura said...

These kinds of reflections are so important. They may require eating a little crow, but when we acknowledge our faults, though it may be too late (for now) for that situation, we remember a little better how to handle similar situations in the future.

It is still possible to win him back...but probably not until you get a new book/project, I'd say. Clean slates sometimes reverse shut-downs.

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