Thursday, February 12, 2015

Suffering by Comparison

Middle school art.

There are certain behaviors I expect when I get this sort of assignment. I expect the class to remain seated. I expect the class to have a project that they're working on. I expect to see decent progress being made.

I expect a certain amount of noise. Students talking while working isn't unheard of. I worry about things getting out of hand, but I allow a bit more noise in an art class than I normally would tolerate.

After lunch. The class filed in. Got into their seats. Sat facing forward. Watching me. Silently. Before the bell rang.

It was eerie.

I passed out their assignment before the bell rang. (All those eyes on me. Waiting.) I explained what they were to do. I released them to their work.

And they got to work. Silently.

I don't know who these children are, but there is some freaky magic going on with them. (It must be their teacher.)

The next period filed in. Sniping at each other. One girl kept saying one boy's name over and over and over again. I couldn't get them to stop talking long enough to explain their assignment.

One girl was so happy to see me. She said her teacher hated the class.

Um, yeah. I can see why.

(For the record: two really freaky quiet classes. One relatively normal art class. One class that started off freaky silent but they got talkative as the period progressed--in an entertaining way. And they were totally on-task. And the last group of the day was typical middle school. So, not a bad day on balance.)


  1. That would be a little eery with how quiet that class was.


  2. The silent class is weird. Made me think of Camazotz.

    1. I had to look that up. Don't see where that came from. Please explain.

  3. That's weird...makes you wonder... Maybe they were just introverts. Artists can be a little introspective.

  4. hmmm if they are all blond with black eyes-run!

  5. Too much noise, and too much 'silence' -- they are both uncomfortable.

  6. I think I'd like the class who started out quiet then became entertaining. I'm glad to hear you had a good day. We all need them from time to time to keep the spark going don't we?

    1. The "entertaining" class contains all the students who were in theater last semester...

  7. Any silent class in middle school would seem strange but especially an art class. And the way they filed in, sat down and then stared at you sounds exactly like the description of a class I just read about in a book. Not a horror story but a nonfiction book featuring a teacher who defected from North Korea.


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