In my Oral English class, students are not given grades, homework, or tests. This is school policy, not mine. This can be seen as a plus, since that means much less work for me. But then again, there is little incentive for the students to pay attention or participate, which causes classroom control issues.
Many students use my class to finish their homework from other classes. I don’t mind this, because I understand that not everyone wants to learn English and not everyone’s English is good. Kids that do their homework are quiet and don’t bother the kids that want to learn.
It’s the kids that are disruptive and rude that I can’t stand. If they wish to do their homework, I tell them to put it on their desk so I don’t mistake it for one of the aforementioned items. The main thing that I tell them is to be quiet so the kids who actually want to learn can do so.
In China, kids are separated into classes based on test scores, 10 being the best and brightest, 1 being the lowest. This morning, I taught my least favorite and most disruptive class, class 1. I’ve had problems with their class in the past, so at the beginning of class, I very clearly told them that iPods, cell phones, MP3 players, etc are not tolerated in my class, and if I see one, I will take it and not return it. This should be obvious.
About 15 minutes into class, I saw 4 sets of eyes on something being held in somebody’s lap. It was a video player and they were watching Kung Fu Panda. I have never been so angry! I confiscated it, took down their names, yelled at them, and will talk to their head teacher in her office.
Now their video player is mine… all mine…