Return of the Stupid Freshmen

My most favorite class ever is the 3rd ESO A group. Here’s why:
Take a dozen 14-year-olds (ugh)
On a Friday afternoon.
For the last class of the day.

So, last Friday I walked into the class ready to do the equivalent of herding a bunch of monkeys. Hyper monkeys. See, my co-teacher had to proctor an exam in the next room, so I was stuck with the class from Hell, all by my lonesome. During the 50 minute class period, the following happened: two boys started mooing, several kids smacked each other upside the head with their books, they were constantly whining and begging me to ‘Speak Spanish, teacher,’ and I got annoyed and decided to torture them.

Okay, ‘torture’ is a bad word. But what I mean is, over the year I’ve been exploiting my students’ fear of public speaking, mostly by making them speak a lot (well it is my job description). However, there are ways to encourage speaking in English without putting the students on the spot. But on Friday, I wasn’t feeling so nice. Instead, I hauled them up in front of the classroom in pairs, and started forcing them to ask each other questions. This had the unforeseen effect of causing the speakers to yell ‘Shut Up!’ at their loud classmates, which in turn forced me into Teacher Mode where I gave a mini-lecture on respect (in Spanish btw). Never thought I’d do that.

Now the best part of the day was the last 10 minutes, where I made them read quietly from the book. Ahh, silence, blessed silence. One of the more English-capable boys asked if we could just talk about our weekends, and without thinking I said:

“No. If you hadn’t pissed me off, we could. But you have to read.” Oh shit.

Cue the inevitable: “Teacher, what does ‘pissed off’ mean?”


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