Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Inappropriate Mirth


For the last seven days before the winter break, I covered a science class. I had been warned the classes were difficult. Luckily, the teacher gave me a few tools to try and keep things moving along.

One of the days (and at a certain point, the days started running together), the afternoon classes were to answer 20-odd questions on photosynthesis. They were true/false. They got ten minutes to do the paper, and then we were to correct them together.

Many of them were playing around rather than doing the work, so I wanted to get them thinking at least while we were going over the questions. So, I pulled out the name cards. (I was so glad to have name cards. Not every teacher leaves those for us subs.)

I announced what number we were on, pulled a card, and had the student read the question and their answer. (I got volunteers, but I insisted on the cards. That way they all had to pay attention. Besides, they had a 50/50 shot at getting it right.)

Since many had not done the work, some of them made wild guesses when called on. (This is better than when they have to fill in answers. Then if they haven't done it, they'll freeze up or refuse to answer.) And there were a couple times when they gave a wrong answer that should have been obvious.

So, the class as a whole would laugh at them.

Which was not cool. Nope. Not at all. It's hard enough to be called on.

So, I made a blanket rule. If someone wanted to laugh at a student for giving a wrong answer, they could very well answer the next question.

That stopped the laughing right quick. (I only had to follow through on that threat once.)

28 comments:

  1. Very ingenious on your part with how to control the laughter!

    betty

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  2. Maybe a little humiliation from being laughed at would do them good.

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  3. That was a good way to try to control them!

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  4. I'm sure later they told stories about the terrible sub who made them actually do the work they were supposed to. :P

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  5. I love how you made them stop laughing at people.

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    1. Thanks. It was borne of desperation.

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  6. I love it that you devised a way to have the kids stop laughing. That is a perfect way and prevents any further issues that way too.

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    1. Yes, it did put an end to that.

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    2. I got the gift tag holders and they are great! I love them...thank you!!!

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    3. Great! The tracking shows them arriving at customs and no more, so I'm glad to know they arrived.

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  7. I wish I had you as a sub back in my school days. Alas, there were some awful ones out there, even in the mid 1960's - those who lost control of the class in the first few minutes and things went downhill from there for those of us who cared about our education. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. Classroom control is hard! Yelling doesn't work, and if they sense weakness, you can lose them right away.

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  8. I bet that did cut them off on the laughing! :D Love it

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  9. Well done, Liz! As we all know, some people erroneously think teaching is 'easy'. It isn't & it truly requires a lot of on-the-spot thinking to get Ss to cut out the crap.

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    1. Oh yes. It's those things that keep this blog in stories.

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  10. Nicely done. Impressive that you only had to follow through on that promise once.

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  11. Interesting. I wonder if those who were laughing at the others was a sign of nervous insecurity. I would think so because they stopped doing the mocking for fear that they would be called on next and might not know the answer.

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  12. Woot! Power to the sub! Great on the spot thinking! :)

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  13. Well done Liz ... good thoughts - and so glad you only had one renegade pupil .. cheers Hilary

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  14. Oh that's a brilliant way to control the laughter. Sounds like they cottoned on pretty quick!

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  15. Oh great rule! I was never a fan of being called on.

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