Friday, March 11, 2011

But I’m Doing My Work

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Last week my students and I had a very engaging conversation. With every new student I have to tackle some classroom management issues. The biggest problems that I am seeing are wireless communication devices and rapping. Students believe that they have a right to text, read texts, accept calls, place calls and listen to music on their phones while they are in the classroom. Then to add to that I think almost every young man who doesn’t have hoop dreams on my class list wants to be a rap artist.


Everyday I have the same conversations, “Put your phone away.” “Stop rapping.” One student told me that as a rapper he can’t help it if he feels a lyric, he has to get it out. Not on paper but vocally. I explained to him that there is a time and a place for everything. His response was “But I’m doing my work.” Well ……… no, you’re not.


What you are doing is finding away out of not giving your all to the sole purpose of why you are even in school. To learn. I sit and I wonder that if teachers are having these problems, how are employers dealing with these similar issues. I wonder if these issues exists at the local community colleges and universities.


There is a segment of our population that truly believes that if they are doing what a person requests of them, then they have the right to do what they want to do. What I explained to several of my students is that I don’t have a problem with aspiring to be a rap artist. I believe you should dream big. If I had a direct connect to Q-Tip or Diddy I have someone I would love for them to meet. I think lyrically he is amazing. I don’t have a problem with you owning a phone, mp3 player, or an iTouch. Technology is key and communicating with peers and family is important.


Just not in the classroom.


In ending the conversation with my students I told them that if these issues continue and if I feel that they are being disruptive to the classroom, that as a teacher I will have to get it out to, in the form of a phone call home or a referral to the office.


The last couple of days have be rather orderly.

To everything there is a season.

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