Fun with Discipline

I had two future teachers in my class last night complaining about a syllabus that it wasn’t scary enough for 9th graders, that they needed to have more fear put into them. The whole “don’t smile until Christmas” thing came up as well. It’s a popular mindset among teachers.

I tried the tough guy route for a while. I could do it. It was effective. It also made me miserable and very, very tired.

I ended up going the opposite way in the end. It made me feel better and I really got much more out of the students in the end. I tried to have as much fun as possible at all times, even with discipline.

Here are two fairly amusing (at least to me) examples from when I was an ITRT.

1. Problem: Students weren’t allowed to install software on their computers, especially not p2p stuff like Limewire. Naturally some people did it anyway.

Solution: I had a copy of ARD and would occasionally send out automated searches for stuff like that. When it was found I’d follow this process from my secrete lair.

  1. Copy the offending program icon.
  2. Erase the program.
  3. Make a custom warning sheet (see below). Making it say the student’s name is key. Those little touches mean so much.
  4. Replace PDF icon with icon from the program.
  5. Put it back where the program was and wait for the student to try to open the program and receive your message.

Occasionally I’d have people come apologize to me but more often they’d come by and say they got my message and that they wouldn’t do it again. No one got mad. No one was scared.
LimeWire

2. Problem: The mosquito ringtone was really big at the time I was in the schools. It was used for phones I’m sure but mainly people would play it as loud as possible to annoy other students. The teachers couldn’t hear it but it’d drive the kids crazy.

Solution: Most kids didn’t change the name of the file. At that time it tended to come from one or two sites. So it was easy to search and replace the mosquito ringtone with a quick audio file that said something like “John Smith is trying to annoy people with the mosquito ringtone.” With the volume cranked up and the student’s name in there . . .

Thinking back it probably wasn’t the best idea but pretty funny. I think I only did it a couple of times and I’m not sure of the result so I assume it was minor.

Comments on this post

  1. Susan WB said on September 3, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Love this!
    I did similar things with ARD when I was a lab instructor with GED students. I loved the chat message feature for much the same reason… reminding people of the rules so they would self-monitor.

    But now I live in a PC world. Any suggestions for Windows software that can do what ARD does for Macs (that isn’t corporate spy-on-our-employees software)?

    • Tom said on September 3, 2009 at 8:47 pm

      I’m not sure where the spy line is crossed. You can certainly spy on people with ARD. 🙂

      There are a number of programs that do that sort of thing for the PC. You might be able to pull off most of what you want with XP’s remote desktop.

  2. brachsmith said on September 4, 2009 at 1:42 am

    In a word…Refreshing.

  3. danielle said on September 4, 2009 at 1:44 am

    although terribly politically incorrect, I have tried “sit…sit… stay… good boy” (as if speaking to a pet dog) for an unsettled year 10. Worked a treat, but you need to know the kid really well before trying it…

  4. 2nihon said on September 4, 2009 at 1:50 am

    Of course now you could use SteadyState or something similar. Every time it’s rebooted it reverts to the original image. Works like a charm.

    • Tom said on September 4, 2009 at 5:24 am

      @2nihon – different goals here I think. These are their computers I’d like them to customize them as much as they’d like. I just have to stop certain behaviors. It’s more about modifying those than worrying about state of the equipment. In a lab setting I think you’d be dead on.

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