Back when I was a 1st year English teacher in Houston, I had a hard time, like many in-experienced, crash-course taught teachers, with classroom management. And by that I mean “kids were getting pregnant during class”. One class in particular that was nearly impossible to keep under control– they cussed, slept, yelled, walked out, made out–and there were only 9 kids in this class. It was embarrassing.
I suffered an entire semester this way until I got some advice from a veteran teacher: have the students create their own discipline plan! Armed with this new idea, I went back to the classroom the next semester and presented the idea to the class.
“This semester will be different”, I said, “because this semester you are going to determine your punishments for disrupting class.”
The kids stopped dry-humping and carving shivs and looked at me, incredulous. I handed out paper and pencils (it was only January so the kids didn’t have a chance to get these school supplies yet) and had them get to work.
For 8 out of 9 students, this idea essentially worked flawlessly. As I met with the kids one by one that day, I was amazed at the results. They suggested everything from “take away my CD player” to “make me give you your car keys back”. It was great, perfect even–except for one student.
We’ll call her: “Rosie”.
“Rosie” was a young, inappropriate 9th grade student. She dressed scandalously, shamelessly flirted with boys during class, and made suggestive comments whenever possible and dreamed of becoming a Playboy bunny.
So naturally, when I met with “Rosie” at my desk, I was already suspicious. When I opened her folded white-line paper, two words were scrawled in large, girlish letters:
I read it again.
Raising her eyebrows, she said, smiling coyly, “It’s a win-win, mister”.
She held her gaze.
I stared back.
We sat like this for about 5mins.
Finally, I stood up at my desk.
And I spanked her.
That was my last day teaching.
We’re dating now.*
*ok, so the last bit is entirely made up (as in everything AFTER “SPANK ME”), but after the reading the “Elephant” post, it seemed possible, didn’t it?