Friday, May 10, 2013

Surreptitous Station Switch

I don't know why this is, but students seem to work better when they have music playing in the background. They're not allowed to listen to their mp3 players at school (school rule), but when they do, they tend to mellow and focus on their work. (Not that I've ever looked the other way when students surreptitiously slip earbuds in as they're doing their work or anything.)

Math class. Ms. P keeps a radio in the room. The students all asked if we could have it on while they were doing their assignment. (Algebra 2 class. The assignment was about arithmetic and geometric sequences.) As this wasn't the first time I'd covered this class nor the first time they'd asked for the radio, I figured this was a normal occurrence, so I allowed the music.

I turned off the radio for passing period, though. It's distracting to have commercials in the background as I do my normal intro and get the class going with the assignment.

After the intro in fourth period, a student walked over to the radio. I had almost forgotten it, so I didn't think anything of a student turning the radio on. But, he was there for an awfully long time. The power button isn't that hard to work.

So, I wasn't surprised when the radio was tuned to a different station. I walked over and found the radio tuned to Power 106.

I've done the radio on in the background before. It can turn into a battle between factions in class. My solution in this case was to leave it on the station that Ms. P leaves it on all the time. I worked the tuning button.

Another student observed what I was doing. He chided the other student for turning the station. "We normally listen to 102.7," he told me.

Nice try. But nope, they normally listen to Jack FM. At least, that's the station the radio was tuned to first thing in the morning. And the last three times I've covered the class. (I've met their teacher. She seems like a Jack FM person.)


  1. I clicked the links to those stations to see what they played. Yeah, I can't imagine the teacher letting them listen to hip-hop. Unless she was the best teacher ever.

  2. I'm not sure how those stations would help students to be very productive, but I guess it's what they're used to. I remember that one of my daughters once had a teacher who kept classical music playing in the background. I think that would be better for developing intellect, but I don't know how well it would go over with students.

    A Faraway View

  3. I definitely always needed music while doing homework and stuff. I got too bored without it. :)

    1. Oh, is that what it is? Boredom factor? I can understand that. Sometimes doing just bookwork can be a bit dreary.

  4. The only music that helps me to be productive is classical.

  5. I used to love background music or the noise of a tv or whatever. Now I tend to find it distracting.

    1. If my whole brain is engaged, I need silence too.


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