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