Monday, February 28, 2011

Filling the Silence

It was 7th period at the continuation high school. We spent the period reading a play (well, actually a teleplay of this). After, they had questions to answer. During the last five minutes of class, I collected the packets with the play and their work. Then, dead silence.

It was eerie. They were all sitting in class, staring at me. Most other classes get into groups and talk for that last couple minutes, but not these kids. The silence stretched out...

"Someone, tell a joke..." 

Of course, none of them got the reference. I had to explain it to them (although I forgot the correct name of the movie...). I told them it was a good movie. I told them they should seek it out and see it. They just stared at me.

Generally, I'm okay with silence. When they were working on the questions, the silence was great. And I don't mind having their eyes on me, especially while I'm explaining something or giving instructions. But we were done. I didn't need their undivided attention.

I tried other things. Did they have a good weekend? Nothing. What did they think of the play we read? Again, nothing.

Then the bell rang. And they were gone.

10 comments:

  1. Yeesh. What Mary said. At least you have the courage to try!

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  2. I hate that kind of silence, even with one person, let alone a whole class!

    That is tough, because they were obviously just so tired they couldn't be bothered talking even when you tried to start them off. End of the day blues...

    Still, at least they did the exercise you organised without complaining, which is substitute teacher heaven, right?

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  3. Somedays I relish the silence from my students. :)

    New follower and fellow crusader! Nice to meet you!

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  4. That was weird. I'd have been freaked out!

    Fellowing crusader saying hi. Hope you'll pop over to mine. I'm trying to start a "review club".
    Louise x

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  5. Saved by the bell!

    Happy Crusading this week!

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  6. Ah well. If they didn't get it then this is all the more reason as to why the U.S.A. falls behind China in test scores. Our population is getting dumber with each generation.

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  7. Adina--Yeah, it was pretty great. I even got one of them to read the lead in the play, a part I had to play all day because no one in the other classes wanted to read that much.

    Alison--It's nice when it happens, isn't it? Nice to meet you too.

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  8. I've never been a teacher, and this reminds me why. My father was a teacher, but that was adult teaching, not school. Completely different, I think.

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  9. Very strange. I'm comfortable in classrooms, but I would have felt so awkward.

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