Sunday, November 13, 2005

Catty behavior and other impediments to learning

So, here's a new problem: a student who makes sly remarks to the person sitting next to her. No, I'm not saying my students have never done this behavior; it's just that in the past such a student might remark to a friend that the teacher is boring, or the material covered stupid, or whatever. That's normal. We all do it (admit it--you've even done it in a faculty meeting).

No, this student remarks to others who have no interest in her opinion. She also manages to be disruptive by not really getting what's going on, but thinking that she does. Recently, she was involved in two incipient snit fights. And when I suggested she not engage, she was insistent that she was in the right. As did one other participant.

But "right" isn't the point here. And I found myself falling back on the "It's my class and I'm in charge" speech. In my defense, I wasn't feeling well, but still. I gotta have something better than this.


tyra said...

nah, it's *everybody's* class, & they aren't paying to listen to her snitting. if she wants to snit at home on her time, that's fine & dandy. if she has problems with you, she should bring them to a conference & make that your/her time. she should *not* make her issues eat up ANYBODY else's time.

(it's so easy to propose good-sounding solutions for classrooms & students that don't belong to you!)

susansinclair said...

You are absolutely right. And last night, before she arrived, they were all conspiring to make sure there were no seats available next to them. ("Quick, put your bag on that chair!")