Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Managing Behavior (or not)

My students' behavior never ceases to amaze me. We are nearly at the halfway point of the school year. My students are all in at least year 10 of their formal education. They have all taken tests, quizzes, and exams for years. And yet, I had to tell one of my classes at least a dozen times to be quiet during today's quiz. One had the gall to tell me that he needed to speak his thoughts aloud in order to think. Another looked at me as if I had kicked his puppy when I told him that saying "I don't understand this question" in a voice that could be heard across the hall was inappropriate. I ate to resort to drastic measures, but I think I'm going to have to start taking tests away from students who talk during any kind of assessment. The only problem with that is that I will end up taking half of the tests away early, and the protests of those students will make it impossible for the other half to focus.

Then again, given that one of my colleagues did a remarkable impersonation of someone looking to be fired during today's faculty meeting, perhaps I shouldn't be entirely surprised that the students try to push the limits of acceptable behavior at all times.

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