An interesting thread/question on AskMetafilter:
I have a student who for whatever reason has very recently gotten a serious case of silliness/defiance. What concerns me is that when he is kept in for detention he finds the whole thing to be a big joke and giggles constantly. Even within detention he is defiant by getting up and walking around, etc. Clearly, he would be a candidate for a suspension or office referral, but for various reasons I’d like to avoid that route for the time being if possible. Obviously I’ve spoken with his parents.
I would like to reel him in mainly because normally he works pretty well, but also because he is capable of distracting the whole class. I worry that he’s actually trying to see if he can get sent to the office for some reason. At the same time, it could be a physiological thing (13–14 years old) or a genuine desire to get under my skin. The last option seems very bizarre as up until this point in the year I’ve had a great rapport with him in class.
To be specific, I don’t think that he gets the teacher – student distinction very well (almost all students when spoken to one on one have enough respect to discuss the issue if they are spoken to politely and openly – with him he just laughs right in my face).
So, any suggestions on other things I can do to get him to be respectful again? His parents have agreed to have him do extra homework, but I’m keen to know if there are other ideas. I really don’t think detention is the right fit for him and besides which, I have to supervise it and if he’s giggling the whole time it’ll really undermine the authority. The other thing I’ve done is isolate him from the class and have him do his work individually for the time being.
Thanks for any suggestions!
The responses (35 as of now) are varied and interesting. Some are, imho, awful, and some are heading in the right direction. Of course, without more context, it’s all shooting in the dark. But it was such a well-responded to thread with a lot of different perspectives… Blog posts — except for the most popular ones — don’t generate this kind of “hive response.” I wonder if there is a site out there that teachers use for this sort of discussion/advice? Where anyone can throw out a question or offer advice to other questions? Or are a thousand disparate and not-super-popular blogs enough?