Friday, August 24, 2012

"Dude, don't do it!!! It drives her crazy!!!

As I mentioned before, this semester I am teaching two sections of Beginning Spanish 2. Last semester I taught Beginning Spanish I, so I have a lot of my former students again in the classroom.

On Wednesday, the first day of class, I made a point of telling them that cell phones are banned in the classroom and few things annoyed me more than a student texting in my class. They can fall asleep in my class, and I don't care. But texting distracts me and completely throws me off my chain of thoughts. It's not that I take it personal. It's that I just cannot keep going if I see somebody texting in my class. I guess it's a consequence of my ADD. I was very honest with them, and told them that they would see the crazy side of Spanish Prof if I saw them texting in class. Of course, they never pay attention.

So today, I am in the middle of doing something, and I see a student (let's call him Johnny) texting. I stop what I am doing, approach him and politely ask him to stop texting. And suddenly I hear a voice in the back, from a student I had last semester, almost yelling: "Dude, don't do it!!! It drives her crazy and you'll see the consequences in your grade!!!". The student from last semester stops, not knowing if his outburst was appropriate or not (he had gotten a B instead of a B+ or A- last semester, because his participation grade was almost none existent, due to his addiction to texting). The rest of the class doesn't know how to react, so there is an uncomfortable silence.

*Crickets* *Crickets*

I burst out laughing hard, so hard I couldn't stop. I finally manage to say: "Rob (the student from last semester), I'm happy to see that you learned your lesson. And to the rest of the class, listen to him. He is absolutely right. Listen to the voice of reason, and to somebody that already knows me". Then the class felt as if they were allowed to laugh too. It was an unusual icebreaker for a new class, but I felt like, in some weird way, they already feel more comfortable with me.


  1. That is hilarious! I think you're right - unusual icebreaker, but a memorable first day. I think the tone set was probably just right.

  2. It was. I notice that this section asks more questions and participates more in the class than the other. Maybe it is a coincidence, but probably not.