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First (Passive-Aggressive-type) Confrontation with a Student

So yesterday I was proud that I had finally found a way to deal with my sleeping students (I have two now! It surprised me so much that I didn’t do the silent point. I think I’m going to make an announcement at the beginning of class warning them that they will be asked to leave if they fall asleep). But today, I got to “deal” with a toe-ing the line type. It wouldn’t have been so bad, except…

I was not, by any stretch of the imagination, the cheerleader-popular type in that “school before college” time. I could say that I was well-known, but definitely not “popular.” Sometimes I feel a little of that weird tension from high school, like it was between some of the snobby popular kids and those who just didn’t cut it. Like she thinks she’s better than me because she can sense that I am/was in a lower level of the pecking order. Like she’s going to throw a fit because the popular kids “always win.”

le sigh It’s ridiculous, I know. None of that stuff matters to me, it never did. I didn’t care that I wasn’t “popular”; I had–and have–some of the best friends a girl could have. I didn’t need to be in the “popular” group. And now I believe firmly that “Different isn’t bad; it’s just different.” Just because we are in different social groups, different races, or have different political/religious/cultural beliefs doesn’t make me better than you or you better than me. We’re just different. I don’t need to feel superior to a group of people, no matter what brand of jeans they’re wearing or where their daddies work or went to school. I’m happy where I’m at.

Besides all that crap, I am The Teacher. The one who makes the rules and enforces them. The one who is (in most cases, anyway) right. I am the authority in the classroom (scary, huh?! :) ). If a popular-cheerleader-type student does not reach the very bottom of the second page, as I instructed and reiterated, she will not receive the extra credit. Like it or not, those are my rules. If you can’t live with them for a semester, drop the class.

I’m proud that I’m standing my ground on this. It shall set a precedent for the rest of the semester. I will enforce my seemingly-meaningless rules that show who can follow rules and who can expand their ideas more fully, without, of course, adding fluff to fill up the space.


Yeah, so I don’t know if this really makes any sense to anyone but me, but what I am trying to say is this: I didn’t give in even though I thought she might fight it. (Remember, I avoid confrontation whenever possible. No, really. AVOID.) Blah blah, something about perceived social classes blah blah insecurities blah rules and enforcement blah.

One thought on “First (Passive-Aggressive-type) Confrontation with a Student

  1. Lorraine

    30 Jan on 2007 at 1:05

    You know, that’s a good idea. Maybe I can just try to take on one big goal for the year, because so far my idea of dividing up time doesn’t work so well. As for books, you should really check out the german poetry book I mentioned: I think you’d love it. It’s a side-along translation book so the English is on the other side (just in case ;) ). It’s called Great German Poems of the Romantic Era edited by Stanley Appelbaum. (and now Rob can shake his head at me. ha!)