Thursday, November 13, 2008

Proximity

I just don't get it. Would someone explain this to me?

It was a biology class. The assignment was to select a region (such as a desert, a rainforest, or something similar) and to write a page about the seasons in that region using the Internet for research. I wrote all the instructions on the board. I read through those instructions. They seemed to understand what it was they were to do.

Last period I gave the instructions, took roll, and then I walked around the room. I stopped at each student's computer and told each student to get to work. As I stood behind each student, he or she got onto a proper search engine and found appropriate pages. Good, right?

From the teacher's desk at the front of the room I could easily see each monitor. I could see exactly what they were doing. So, after roaming the room, I went to sit down. And every student was on something that had nothing to do with the assignment.

Two students were researching cars. Another student was watching BMX tricks on some video site. Still another student was on myspace.

This is what I don't get: why bother to look like they're working when I'm there? It's not like I can't tell that they aren't working when I walk away.

This class is notorious for lack of a work ethic. If I had had a choice of assignment, I wouldn't have picked this group.

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