Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Red Jeep

Yesterday I made a really cool, red Jeep out of a cardboard box to use as regalia for reading Sheep in Jeep. My intention was to use the Jeep to teach much of the vocabulary "steer", "behind" "sweep" "leap" etc. I had a student in 2A "test drive" the Jeep in class this morning and it was as big a success as I had anticipated. The students were anxious to be drivers and sheep to act out the story and learn a few words along the way.

Unfortunately I teach these students in the period right before lunch so am also required to escort them to the lunchroom all while trying to keep them from sneaking up the back staircase, kicking each other, punching each other in the face and chasing each other around the table. It also means I have to leave my class supplies on the teacher's desk and return for them after I eat.

Fast forward 30 minutes and picture a typical Turkish classroom during every break period: no supervision, no teacher, music playing, tops spinning, soccer (futball) balls ricocheting off walls, half nelsons with kids in tears, children jumping off desks, paper airplanes fly
ing, candy being inhaled, 100 yards dashes down the hall, etc. Now picture a really cool, cardboard, red Jeep that was the object of several students' fancy at the same time. (see below) And picture an English teacher whose anger was beyond words ripping up this class' behavior chart.

My rational side knows that ALL the students did not rip up this prop nor should they
be punished. My rational side also knows that there is a good chance that the students were not "intending" to wreck the Jeep, but rather fighting over who should be the driver. But my irrational side is so sick of the fact that there are no boundaries (like a teacher's desk being off limits or a teacher's glasses are only to be worn by the teacher...) that I don't care.
And right now I'm so tempted to make this class what they are used to..
students copying from the board into their notebooks for 50 minutes and me sipping chai and reading my book. I'm tempted to just forget about trying to help them actually "learn" something. It is so difficult to work in a classroom where there are no boundaries.

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