Wednesday, June 22, 2022

The Brick Wall

A few years ago (in the before times), I was covering a math class. The teacher was on campus (for a training or such), and she popped in to make sure we all had what we needed. 

The class was working silently. Everything was going smoothly. 

But the teacher's reaction... She was not happy with them. She explained to me that the class was kind of dull. The students were half asleep. And they were always like this. 

I didn't get what she was getting at.

Now I do.

My first period class is exactly like what she described. And now I get why she wasn't happy with them.

Quiet groups are great. But then there's too quiet. 

Part of the curriculum for this class requires student participation. I read something and they repeat. I go over something and have them answer questions. I ask for them to respond to various topics.

Do they? Nope.

I mean, if I call on someone directly, they'll answer. They do the work put in front of them. 

But when I ask an open-ended question, I get no response. No one volunteers. 

And these are middle schoolers. I should be able to start a topic and have them go wildly off into random reminisces of things that only tangentially touch on that topic. (That's what my third period does.) 

Instead, I start topics, and they stare at me. Waiting. 

Now I get why that teacher didn't like her first period class. It's kind of like teaching to a brick wall, or a virtual class. Sigh. 

At least I'm not dealing with behavioral issues. 

17 comments:

  1. Hi Liz - yes I can see what she's getting at - now you've explained it ...but also see the advantage of not dealing with behavioural issues. Lots going on in your world - all the best - Hilary

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  2. Teaching a brick wall. This one was good. I laugh so much.

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  3. No one has anything to say anymore.

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  4. All in all you’re just another brick in the wall …not.

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    1. Now I've got that song stuck in my head...

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  5. There's a song from the 80's called "Enjoy the Silence" by Depeche Mode, although I know you aren't totally enjoying the silence of your assigned class.

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    1. Thanks for replacing Songbird's earworm. Much better. (Yes, I am very familiar with Depeche Mode. They're my adolescence.)

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  6. Now I have that song in my brain as well. Liz, I feel your pain.

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  7. I wonder what keeps them from speaking out. Is it a lack of interest or a fear of being singled out and picked on for their response? I imagine social media could make kids afraid to have an opinion that differs from the norm.

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    1. I'd assume it's lack of interest. The students sent to this class need the extra time. It's more of a remedial type of thing. So, they're just over the whole school thing.

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  8. lol.....yep, I never had an issue speaking out in class. I was very vocal. Even when not asked, I talked a lot in school.

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  9. I jeep hearing Pink Floyd's song..."Another Brick in the Wall" I think i would be saying " Throw me a frikken bone here."

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    1. They made me index cards. I've resorted to calling on them to reply. They each get to talk about twice each day, so that works.

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  10. I wonder how many of them had breakfast. I agree, a quiet class is better than an acting out class. The teacher ought to be glad that the students responds to you the same way they do to her. Otherwise, she’d need to think about what she is doing.

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