Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Not Dark Enough

I was surprised to get an assignment today.  It's finals time.  The last day is Thursday.  I figured that I was done for the year.

They were on block schedule (only periods 1, 3, & 5).  According to the teacher's lesson plan, I ended up with her worst class followed by her best class.

The plan was to show them a movie.  (They took their finals already.  They're 8th graders.  They do their promotion thing tomorrow.)  I put in the movie.  I turned off half the lights.

"Would you turn out the lights?"

I explained that I turned out half the lights.  That wasn't good enough.  I explained that I was going to leave some lights on.

It's not that the room got all that dark.  There were two good windows.  I could have opened the blinds.  But I had been warned that this was the worst class, so I wanted the lights on to keep them honest.

"Would you turn out the lights?"

It wasn't that much later that this question came up again.  I heard it several times after this.  I was ready to snarl at them.  Instead, I said, "I already answered that question."  There was probably some snarl involved anyway.

Then half the class left.  It was time for them to go and practice for their promotion ceremony.

Suddenly, the timbre of the room changed.  I was no longer doing battle with them.  The students who remained sat quietly, stopped fighting me, and were almost pleasant.

I went over and turned out the rest of the lights.

I could still see them.  The room wasn't that dark.  But as they had stopped fighting me on the lights, I no longer felt the need to keep half of them on.

Yeah, I'm stubborn like that.

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