Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tipping The Right Fantastik

I must report on my latest most scathingly brilliant idea, which was to reward some kids in my advisory group who cooperated with the activity last time. I have 13 of them, but several were absent then, and I ended up with only 5 deserving a reward. For the past two weeks, I have been dropping hints that some would be rewarded. I wrote it on the board today. As the rewardees came in the door, I let them choose a brand new shiny mechanical pencil, and three packs of Sixlets. They seemed quite appreciative. A few others came out to the hall and said, "What's this?" And I said, "Oh, I'm sorry. You don't get one this time." They took it pretty well.

When the bell rang, I climbed up on my soapbox. "You might notice that some of you were rewarded for participation in the activity that was scheduled last time. If you weren't, you can do one of three things. You can hate me forever, you can decide to behave better this time, or you can think, 'Who cares?'. That is your choice."

As we began, the boy who last time stated his career goal as 'supermodel' took an attitude much like he has all the time. He dropped his survey on the floor, and told the girl in front of him to come get it. "She threw that booklet at me!" he stated indignantly. Which she had, because there was a desk between them, and she tossed it on his desk. The rest of the group hooted at him, "No reward for YOU!" He tried to justify his actions a bit more, then picked it up when told. Another minor glitch was a student who allegedly poked the girl in front of him with a pencil. I of course took her side, because he is a well-known scoffrule, and the kids sitting around them appeared to favor her argument. I came down hard on him, with the speech about 'Do you think it's funny, because I don't see anyone else laughing, and if you can not control your actions, I will send you out of here.' He seemed to receive the message.

After that, everything was hunky dory. We finished with four minutes to spare. The group did their part as instructed. I will take the subdued, resigned attitude over the smirking I'm-so-cute, and you-can't-give-me-a-grade-on-this insolence any time. In fact, after the first five minutes of crowd control, it was smooth sailing all the way. I may give them ALL a reward next time. Even Pencil-Poker and Surly Boy. Because they shaped up after the reading of the riot act.

In other news from Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's student-torture list...I saw a girl drawing in pencil on the desk behind her. In fact, I was standing right beside her and she continued. But it's not like Mrs. Hillbilly Mom to compliment the emperor on his new clothes. Instead, I cautioned two other classes of students not to mess with the artwork, because I had the artist later in the day, and I was planning to make a cleaning lady out of her. The suspense nearly killed them, because I wouldn't name names.

I met her at the door 5th hour.
" left some drawings on a desk. Now you're going to clean all of my desks for me."
"Oh. I forgot about that. Who told on me?"
"No one. I was standing right beside you when you drew them."
"Oh. Sorry."
"Come in, and we'll get your cleaning supplies."
"All right."

She cleaned every desk with Fantastik. That stuff is fantastic, by the way. And smells OH SO ORANGE-Y. She didn't complain. She didn't act the martyr. She didn't spritz people with the cleaner. She did a good job. I complimented her on taking responsibility and accepting the consequences maturely.

I love the smell of Fantastik in the afternoon.


LanternLight said...

I thought the modern education system worked on the "all shall have prizes" principle.

Glad to see I'm wrong.

Mean Teacher said...

They got my goat yesterday when we had a lockdown drill. Nothing gives the teacher better control over their behavior like forcing her to line them up against the wall in the fetal position and TURN OFF THE LIGHTS. They were supposed to be 100% silent, you know, in case the crazed gunman came our way. I've said many times that they could not stop talking even if their lives depended on it, and yesterday they proved me right.

I got up extra early this morning to pray for patience.

Do you give candy as rewards, or do the older ones not care for it? It's cheaper than shiny mechanical pencils.

Just A Girl said...

Good on you!
I'm tired of listening to the age old adage "if you don't give to one, you can't give to none". If my kid acts like a fool in class I don't expect her to get a prize. But if my kid gets straight A's and tows the line, then I don't expect the idiot nose picker sitting behind her to get a prize either.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Well, they try that crap at elementary, but I went straight to the horse's mouth, and my principal told me he had no problems with the rewarding. He ROCKS!

They like the candy just fine, but I have one who is diabetic, and I feel bad about giving candy. I'm thinking Slim Jims are as unhealthy as candy, so maybe I'll pass out spicy meat sticks next time. Anyhoo, there has been a big movement to stop the fundraiser candy, and we are not really supposed to offer it, but many teachers do as part of the advisory group. It's a GIFT, you see, so perfectly legal.

If only ALL parents could be that reasonable.