Thursday, August 21, 2014


This week for #ThrowbackThursday is a reminder why I do not like to cover opportunity classes. These are the classes that students end up in due to behavior issues (and it doesn't help that they need to make up credits). This post originally appeared on July 21, 2010.

Yesterday's two students today grew to five. Only Santiago returned. Carlos was mysteriously absent. And the dynamics of the room completely changed.

To start off the day, I had three students who refused to do any work. They sat and talked. (At least they weren't doing anything worse.) Eventually, they got the first assignment packet done (I warned them that it would be done or they would be working outside until it was done). Then, since it was the first day for two of them, I asked them to copy the class rules and daily schedule.

They didn't have to think. They didn't have to answer questions. All they had to do was to copy already written out stuff onto a sheet of paper. It should have taken them five minutes tops. But they were having none of it.

Diego wanted to look something up on the Internet. Either Santiago or the other boy told Diego of this video or something. Diego wanted to see it. So, he set up a computer.

The computer had been disconnected for the summer. I didn't touch it. Diego spent a good 20 minutes finding the right wires, connecting things, and turning the computer on. It took a while for it to boot up. But then he needed a password to log on, and that's where I had him.

Diego asked me to log on to the computer. I told him I would as soon as he finished copying the classroom rules and daily schedule.

Oh, the whining. He begged and pleaded for me to log on. I repeated what I wanted. He sat and complained. So, instead of taking the five minutes to do as I asked, he spent a half hour trying to wear me down and get what he wanted.

Finally, he figured that he was getting nowhere with me, and he was ready to copy the classroom rules. But they were written in cursive, and he couldn't read cursive (oh, the horror!). I told him that one of his friends could read the rules to him so that he could write them down. Somehow, they managed to waste more time on that.

Then, Santiago offered to let Diego copy his copy (he printed). Diego was done in moments. Then he asked me to log on to the computer again. I reminded him that he still had one more thing to copy--the daily schedule. He wailed. I hadn't told him that!

I knew he was going to do that. I had been careful to say, "copy the class rules and daily schedule," every time I said it for just that reason. He only battled me for a couple minutes before he finally relented and copied the daily schedule.

True to my word, I logged on for him (after I checked to make sure that the copies were done). Unfortunately, he was unable to find the thing he was looking for.

All that drama for Internet access, and he couldn't even find whatever it was that the boys told him about. I think I enjoyed that failure a little too much.

I did see Diego after this in non-opportunity classes. He actually matured a bit and was less of an issue in a regular classroom.


  1. Wow. It's amazing to me how much trouble someone will go to in order to get his way. All he had to do was take the time to do what you said...nope. Couldn't do that. Glad you stood your ground.

    1. There's something about kids in these classes--they just don't want to cooperate. Ever.

  2. Good for him that he did mature a bit; imagine going through like like that!


  3. They try everything they can to get out work don't they? You outfoxed him Liz! Well done. Too bad he didn't find what he was looking for. Karma.

    1. Yeah, they'll spend hours on trying not to do something.

  4. Stubborn and probably always got his way. I wonder what happened to him? he couldn't read cursive?? Oh no!

  5. Next time, try saying "computer screens are bad for your health. They definitely reduce melatonin production which impacts your sleep."

  6. Glad to hear he matured after that episode -- , that there is hope for the likes of Diego.

  7. There is hope for all of them. I just don't always get to see whether or not they eventually grow up.


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