Thursday, July 16, 2015

Brandishing a Meter Stick


Today for #ThrowbackThursday I went looking in my "8th graders are evil" tag. (Don't believe me? Then you've never been in a room with 35 of them.) Re-reading this post had me giggling, so I'm offering it today. I originally posted it on May 14, 2008

Today I covered 8th grade science. They had group projects. They were making two models: one showed the relative distances of the planets from the sun, and the other showed the relative sizes of the planets and the sun. It was an interesting assignment, but...

Eighth graders. Group project.

This is a nightmare for a sub. They're already on sub behavior, and then multiply that by a factor of group project behavior. My head is still throbbing.

This assignment required the use of a meter stick (the distance from the sun to Pluto on their model was over 100 cm). Meter stick. Eighth graders.

"Stop brandishing that meter stick."

They used the meter sticks as swords for sword fighting. They swung the thing like a baseball bat. They spun it like a baton. They used two as an alligator mouth (or a Pac-Man). One boy even played with it like it was a Tech Deck.

There are certain sentences that I never imagined I'd utter. The brandishing one? I should have seen that one coming.

I have used the "brandishing" remark in one other instance. "Stop brandishing that music stand." Didn't help that one student was chasing another at the time.

24 comments:

  1. They will use anything almost for a weapon, won't they? You certainly earned your pay that day!

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. This is why I hate rulers. Multiply that by a factor of 10, and that's how much I hate meter sticks.

      Delete
  2. Oh my-I have a headache reading about this which would be a nightmare for you. Thank god it is in the past

    ReplyDelete
  3. Playing with meter sticks was always so much fun. In school and at home. My mom had two and I loved to pretend I was a teacher using the meter stick to point at something on the blackboard. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pointing... That's not so bad. Using it as a weapon on the other hand...

      Delete
  4. Did they know what "brandishing" meant? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. I like to use the big words to make me happy. The look of confusion on their faces is just a bonus. (I think my tone conveyed the whole concept of, "Stop this ridiculousness right now!")

      Delete
  5. Oh, boy. I could see how this would be a nightmare.

    ReplyDelete
  6. On Sunday the kids and I were talking about substitute teachers and how kids are always on their worst behavior. Is a meter stick the same thing as a yardstick? Someone should have used it on their rear-ends!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A meter is just a bit longer than a yard. So, yes, pretty much the same.

      If anyone had actually hit anyone with the things, that would have been a referral. If I had hit anyone with one, I would have lost my job that instant.

      Delete
  7. omg I could never be a teacher. I would ripped that thing out of his hands and smacked him with it!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Those meter sticks make great fake swords, not that I ever used them that way, of course. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just not in a classroom with squirrelly 13-year-olds.

      Delete
  9. Brandishing? LOL! I used the word "interminable" once and totally threw off everyone. Sometimes words just pop out of your mouth!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good one. Personally, I love to use penultimate. I did that once with an English learner class (students who are just learning English). Then I spend time explaining what it meant.

      Delete
  10. Oh yes! I get it Liz. I'm surprised you guys have metre sticks (we spell it differently over here). You aren't on the metric system are you? How come you use a metre stick?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Science is universally done in SI units, which is based off the metric system. Science classes are mostly conducted using metric units.

      Delete
  11. You paint a vivid scene! Glad no one lost an eye.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, that would have been ugly. I can just imagine the paperwork.

      Delete
  12. I frequently post on facebook "Phrases I was never told i would say in a classroom when i was at university" (as a drama teacher they seem to often include comments about putting pants back on)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, putting pants back on... I actually had to use that one, once. Although, what I asked is, "Why are your pants around your ankles?"

      Delete
    2. Today's gem "Licking the floor is not a winning option"

      Delete

I appreciate your comments.

I respond to comments via email, unless your profile email is not enabled. Then, I'll reply in the comment thread. Eventually. Probably.