Saturday, February 25, 2012

Work Free Friday

Yesterday (for most of the day) I covered a 10th grade world history class. They had a video: Animal Farm. (I asked and they confirmed--they're studying the Russian Revolution.)

I passed out their questions and explained how the video related to what they were studying. I warned them not to talk. And then I started the video.

Mostly, they were good classes. A couple of the students needed extra attention from me. In 6th period (naturally) I had one student who commented a bit too loudly about things that were happening in the story. I sauntered over to him to see if I could get him to settle.

Danny was seated in the back corner of the room. The chairs were arranged with a space between the chairs and the wall, so I leaned against the wall directly behind Danny. Most of the class noticed me there even though I was behind all of them. But not Danny. He made another comment (to be fair, it was funny and related to what was on screen), so I made my presence known.

Danny freaked out a bit. He didn't like me hovering. So, I continued to hover. That's when I noticed that his desk was empty. I mentioned that he was supposed to be answering questions, and I asked him where the questions were. Danny told me that he wasn't going to do them, and with pride he explained that he had done no work all day.

I hovered a little longer, and then I pulled back. Danny already had a starring role in my note, and as he stopped making random comments, I figured my work was done.

Later in the period, I took another circuit of the room. I stood behind Danny. He didn't see me, and as he wasn't talking, I didn't feel the need to let him know I was there. Then I took a look at what he had on his desk: the questions and a page on which he had answered two of them.

It wasn't much, but it was effort. Apparently he would do work as long as I didn't know about it.


  1. Work as long as the teacher isn't looking...well, I suppose he has to save face in front of the other students. I guess he thinks he's a rebel.

  2. I sure think you'd make an excellent full-time teacher instead of just a sub. You really care about these kids, and I'm not so far removed from my youth to remember how much those kinds of teachers made a difference in my life.


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