Friday, October 05, 2012

unfortunate scheduling

I feel betrayed. Devil Child will be back today, and according to my supervisors, it's likely that I'll be the one teaching him. I've recommended to my supervisors that he come for lessons lasting only one hour instead of two; the boy simply doesn't have the attention span to sit still for two hours (at YB, I teach three two-hour sessions on weekdays, four on Saturdays).

It's an occupational hazard, in a job like mine, that a teacher is eventually going to run across asshole students. They can't be managed. They can't be reasoned with. There's usually something broken inside their heads. If I turn out not to be Devil Child's teacher today, I'll feel no Schadenfreude for whoever is his teacher (probably Lily, for whom this will be the fourth go-around). I wouldn't inflict this loud, squirmy, goofy kid on anyone.



Surprises Aplenty said...


You have described the timing of your classes but I can't recall the specifics. I think you teach small chunks of time. Am I close?

If I am, is there any way to teach the Devil Child for one or two chunks, send him away for a chunk, then have him come back to class? Something like an hour of class, a 20 minute break, then another hour of class. If your classes run on the 50 minute hour, perhaps you could start the first on time and the second at ten past the hour.

I haven't performed the experiment but do see the value in trying something new.

I have my own Devil child problem. I teach him in a building where a friendly dog roams on the roof. I may take the boy up before class to greet and relax with the dog.
On a very different subject, I love this animated video I found. The theme from Exodus plays as historic inhabitants of the Middle East slay each other.

Kevin Kim said...


Hey, man.

As I mentioned in the parenthetical in the first paragraph of this post, I teach three two-hour sessions on weekdays (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday), and four two-hour sessions on Saturdays. Sessions are normally no shorter than two hours (well, one hour and 50 minutes).

We can't do 20-minute breaks, alas. Our format is pretty rigid. Specifically, it looks like this:

Weekday sessions:

Session 1: 3:30PM-5:20PM
Session 2: 5:25PM-7:15PM
Session 3: 7:20PM-9:10PM

Saturday sessions:

Session 1: 9:00AM-10:50AM
Session 2: 10:55AM-12:45PM
Lunch (12:45PM-1:15PM)
Session 3: 1:15PM-3:05PM
Session 4: 3:10PM-5:00PM

Some teachers have taught students for one-hour sessions before the 3:30PM session, but that's about as flexible as it gets. I've strongly recommended that Devil Child be taught for only an hour (a literal 60 minutes); whether the Powers That Be will listen to my wishes, though, is another matter. I'll be very discouraged if they don't.

I also need to read up on teaching ADHD kids. I've come to realize that whatever chemical imbalance is screwing them up isn't something they can help. They come off as obnoxious, but it's almost as if they're compelled to be that way. Of course, as a believer in human freedom, I still think such kids have a duty to master their own wayward tendencies, however difficult that might be. I'm pretty sure that if I went all Jack Bauer on the Devil Child, strapping him into a chair and threatening him with torture, he'd clean up his act right quick.

John from Daejeon said...

For some reason, human freedom and extreme psychosis do not mesh well.

I think all teachers (actually, all human beings) need to see first-hand some of the suffering that those who are truly mentally unbalanced face while fighting the horrors within their own minds. This isn't a readily apparent handicap like the loss of an arm or legs, but it is a war in which the healthy can't even begin to fathom the horrific battles occurring minute to minute in the minds of those cursed by god(s).

I, too, have had many devil children over the years, and that one hour, or two, that they are in your class is an hour, or two, in which their parents can get some peace of mind. And at least in the U.S., you, your boss, and the kid's parents should be able to meet and try and come up with a method of trying to deal with the kid's problems even if it means "tough love" as in the case of Helen Keller. Yeah, I know that not many of us are as patient, or as gifted a teacher, as Anne Sullivan was. And that we all get extremely frustrated at some time or another with some of our more difficult students, but every child (who never asked to be born in the first place) deserves the semblance of a fair shake in this unfair world of ours.

Personally, it took me many years and growing up in a family with a few mentally disturbed relatives to realize just how bad the card they were really dealt was/is. I hated my favorite uncle when he took the easy way out back when I was in high school. But once I met my "hidden-away," and lobotomized, uncle several years later and saw his world in which many of today's anti-psychotic wonder drugs still are no more than wide, inaccurate, shots in the dark, did I really come to understand that many people on this planet are enduring a truly living hell that the majority of society really doesn't (and doesn't want to) understand at all.

John from Daejeon said...

I hope I didn't come across as too harsh, but there are a lot of problem kids in this world and many of them need to actually be in "specialized" classes that cater to their specific needs and afflictions. Unfortunately, the current "public/governmental" school system is failing them and their taxpaying parents while hindering the progress of those considered to be of normal temperament and learning ability as they are forced to try and learn in the same disruptive environments.