The story ends…
So the other day…well one of the last days of school two weeks ago, I had one of my most disrespectful students all year finally realize something…
and I quote, “I learned to respect teachers.”
The heavens opened up for a moment as they said that, and I literally raised both hands in the air in front of the whole class, and looked up at God almighty and sang “awhwhwhwh” (Opera style). The kids laughed, but I know some of them were pleased with the student to finally admit that simple truth.
How to get a disrespectful student to be respectful?
The story begins with a game of Jeopardy….
How was this miracle achieved? Well Jeopardy did it really. I bought a template for Jeopardy on TPT (from Pocketful of Primary) then made a study guide for their final as a way to end the year fun ,while studying for their exam. I told the kids that they would be doing my job for the day and become the teacher. I was surprised how many students begged to be in my position. Oh little do they know…
Surprisingly the 2 most disruptive students wagged their hand like maniacs as if their life would end if I didn’t choose them to be the teacher. So half out of curiosity, and the rest out of evil revenge I was so happy to see how they would handle their classmates chaos. We’ll name them Pride and Prejudice.
I had 2 students do the job that usually I do on my own. A lot of the students I noticed who were chosen struggled to keep up with the multi tasking it takes to run a smooth lesson. In a matter of seconds Pride and Prejudice experienced a small comparison of what I go through each and every day. They struggled with crowd control because no one would listen, so they resorted to yelling, “Be quiet! GOSH! No one listens!”
I sat back and gave them as much autonomy as possible interjecting with a few refereeing moments so as not to cause complete anarchy. Pride and Prejudice juggled with remembering whose turn it was, how many points the teams won, while dealing with the shouting, laughing, speaking out of turn invading their thought processes and composure, all the while switching between questions and answers. They were quite frustrated, and I had a huge smile of satisfaction on my face.
As the chaos was ensuing I was amazed at how well they tackled their task. I noticed Pride was taking the back seat, and allowing Prejudice to take over the task of having everyone follow directions, rules, and take turns (smart move). Pride was there for the ride, but I will give credit that Pride tried to help Prejudice out. Prejudice got so annoyed and frustrated with the class they asked to be switched out and I obliged. “Wow, Ms. McCourt, now I understand what you go through, they don’t listen!”
I just smiled, and felt a joyous glow of affirmation that alas my job is quite difficult, and anybody would lose their mind including the students who makes it tough on teachers to keep their sanity.
At the end of Jeopardy, I asked the students what was the most difficult thing about their task as a teacher. A lot of them said that student’s don’t listen, and it makes it very hard to get anything done or get through a fun game like Jeopardy. The next thing I asked was what did they learn from the experience?
Pride spoke up right away and said “to respect teachers” and why is that I asked? Prejudice chimed in “because they get mad props for dealing with us all day.”