Don't mess with the bull or you'll get the horns
My normal angels have been little f*@*#&#'s since we returned from last week's Spring Break. Yes, I know that they're just coming off of a vacation and we're in the final stretch to summer--hell, teachers get the itch, too--but we still have 6 weeks to go and all the talking, shouting out, fucking around, etc. is NOT going to happen. I've worked too hard this year to establish control to give it up now.
So finally today, after the 4th day in a row of upteenth warnings, checks, etc., I was so irritated that I kept them in from recess for a class detention. I told them that 30 minutes of silence would just about make up for all the minutes *I* lost in class this week due to their talking, interruptions, etc. I made them clear off their desks and sit there--doing absolutely nothing. (Even doing homework would have been too much of a "reward"--#1 it would make the time go by faster for them and 2) "Homework is for home. You're on MY TIME now.") I sat down at my desk--in complete, blissful silence. "Boring, huh?" I rhetorically asked after a few minutes. I may even have chuckled a bit.
And at the 10 minute mark, I had a brilliant idea.
I casually asked the silent, bored-silly students, "You don't mind if I listen to music, do you?" They, of course, were all, "Yes! Please!!", thinking that it wouldn't be as torturous if they at least had music to listen to. So I went to the Yahoo radio stations, found a good one, and hit play.
It was the Big Band/Swing channel.
And fate was smiling down on me, because they played the DORKIEST songs in the world. (One, my personal favorite, was actually called "Dippy Doodle." Loving her man made her "crazy in the noodle.") After 7 minutes, the kids were just MISERABLE, covering their ears, grimacing and wincing. One kid actually pleaded with me to turn it OFF. "We'd rather sit here in silence!!" he begged.
"Sorry, guys," I said. "I work better with music."
Grinning to myself, I worked diligently for the next 23 minutes. (Frankly, the music was so bad that I was almost punishing myself, too--but seeing their abject misery totally made it worthwhile.)
"I expect this behavior to change tomorrow morning," I said at exactly the 30-minute mark.
Teachers are evil, yes. But at least we're creative about it.