The Apples Don’t Fall Far From the Educational Example

We had a concert today. It doesn’t matter what we were listening to, because really, we weren’t listening. Correction. I was listening. My class was listening. My Super Colleagues’ classes were listening. But the other classes? Yea, they weren’t listening at all.

Concerts have the potential to drive me batshit crazy. I sit there and fume. And really, why do I care so much? Maybe something is wrong with ME…

During the concert, Trumpet Dude is up at the microphone talking. He’s asking for quiet, but because he’s not a teacher, he doesn’t actually wait for quiet before he proceeds to talk. But we, the teachers, are there, and should therefore be in control of our classes. Through a combination of frantic handwaving, loaded glances and deathly whispers, my Super Colleagues and I effectively coerce our friends to pay attention. Unfortunately, there are 10 OTHER classrooms with less diligent teachers present in the auditorium.

As Trumpet Dude continues to chat over the dull roar of the crowd, I look around for the source. I notice that some teachers are fully turned around and engrossed in their own conversations. Some teachers are texting. And some teachers aren’t even sitting in the vicinity of their little friends. So OF COURSE the kids are talking.

Um, WTF people?

And then I sit there, mortified that Trumpet Dude is thinking that our school is just “another one of THOSE schools” and that we are a bunch of “THOSE teachers”. When really, what do I give a shit what this guy and his trumpet think? Except I do. Because he is going to walk away with a certain feeling about teachers and what our work is like based on the actions of these totally irresponsible d-bags. And that drives me insane.

But like I said, maybe it’s just me.

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  • AMEN! This drives me nuts!!! How come teachers are not called to task for their poor behaviour??? My crackerjack administration team is about as effective as yours, I guess. Must go and drink more wine and try to not get discouraged by the ridiculousness of some of our colleagues. Thanks for always making me laugh!

    January 29, 2009 at 11:47 pm
  • OMG, I could have written this exact post, cuz this happens every freakin’ time we do ANYTHING in our auditorium. It’s gotten to the point that I just don’t go anymore, unless it’s something exclusively for kindergarten.

    January 30, 2009 at 12:36 am
  • It is not just you. I’m at a school now where we have a school wide quiet signal and have much more continuity across the school, but I’ve been in places where it’s a free for all.

    One thing I still haven’t figured out is this: why do classes always have to sit in a single row? It’s so much easier to manage one’s class when they’re in a clump (five rows of five).

    Also… texting? Seriously?

    January 30, 2009 at 1:00 am
  • We had a concert this week, too. Tuesday, in fact. And the singer/guitarist did the exact same thing and didn’t wait for quiet. Normally, we’re pretty good about getting and keeping them quiet. But most of the teachers really didn’t want to be there either, so it was like they let the kids express the displeasure they (the teachers) were also feeling. Okay, so I didn’t care for the group myself. But come on, folks, there’s no excuse for being a jerk.

    January 30, 2009 at 1:15 am
  • I put this in the same group as teachers yelling at their students to stop yellings….and then wonder why they’re so crazy!!!

    Kids are just looking for an excuse to go crazy, and that should be enough of a reason why teachers need to be even more watchful of their students.

    But than again….that’s just my humble opinion.

    January 30, 2009 at 2:15 am
  • I was in the band in school, and I always hated playing at assemblies because no one ever listened. I actually remember going off on a rant about it to a teacher or the principal or someone in “authority”. I think they thought I was a crazy teenager (and to some degree I was), but it pissed me off. Why make me play a song that no one will listen to? It’s more disrespectful to have me play and allow people to talk than to just not have me play at all.

    January 30, 2009 at 4:43 am
  • It happens everywhere…

    January 30, 2009 at 11:24 am
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    January 30, 2009 at 1:19 pm
  • Teachers texting during school hours?!?!? That’s a big WTF in my book…

    January 30, 2009 at 2:01 pm
  • I have co-workers EXACTLY like this. However, I can’t blame them too much. Our school didn’t have any structure from day one (we have a new principal who doesn’t care to listen to people who have been here for a while, and know what works). You can ask a child to be quiet, but when that child knows that there will be no punishment for his/her bad behavior, your asking is pointless. Everybody here has given up. We just do the best we can and hope that we can hold on to our sanity long enough to complete the year (some couldn’t make it, and quit at the beginning).

    January 30, 2009 at 3:59 pm
  • When I was in high school we put on a rememberance day assembly. The audience (my peers) talked through the whole thing. In the middle of the min. of silcence…I lost it and walked off stage. It caused quite a stir. I was more mad at the teachers then I was of the students. They were just as bad (some of them). Even back then, when I was the kid, I got annoyed. I know how you feel.

    January 30, 2009 at 11:29 pm
  • I actually have walked up to colleagues and asked them to be quiet. It doesn’t make me popular, but oh well.

    January 31, 2009 at 5:47 am
  • Yes, it happens almost everywhere at every level. But I think Kirsten hit the nail on the head–“continuity across the school!” Whether it’s a school-wide “quiet” signal or consequences* for not behaving properly, consistency is key.

    *Consequences should also apply to those teachers who choose to text during assemblies, or ignore rude student behavior, or (my favorite)decide that they do not have to even be in the auditorium because they’re not interested! ARG!

    January 31, 2009 at 12:08 pm
  • We just finished the semester, which meant attending the drama class production where teachers are supposed to be monitoring student behavior… because they can’t regulate themselves at 18.

    I’ve never actually been able to watch a play in 5 years.

    January 31, 2009 at 6:50 pm
  • One year I was giving a presentation at grad school. During the entire lesson, the other students (all of them teachers) were talking non-stop. The good thing about this, the teacher allowed us to grade the audience. I noted that not one paid attention, did not do the activity, and never shut up. The professor wrote, “Teachers never listen. Go into the staff room and listen. They talk about themselves. If you try to change the subject, it always ends up about them.” And you know what? He was absolutely right!

    February 1, 2009 at 6:58 pm

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