Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mean Teacher

I had to be Mean Teacher last night. I don't like having to be Mean Teacher. I much prefer being Funny Teacher. Or Smart Teacher. Or Wow-I-Get-That-Reference-What-A-Cool-Teacher. I'll even take Mildly Boring Teacher over having to be Mean Teacher.

But I don't really have much of an option sometimes.

Some background information that is relevant to the story: The library classroom has a computer for each student, and a printer. On the regular library computers, you have to pay to print through a system attached to the student ID cards. On the classroom computers, though, you don't have to pay to print.

Also relevant: I'm teaching an English class where, due to a scheduling snafu, they were supposed to come in on Monday, but I'm teaching them on Wednesday, which is the night their assignment is due. What I am teaching them is essentially how to do well on this assignment. It logically follows that they tend to need major revisions to the assignment before they turn it in at the end of class.

Two or three students were printing out their assignments when I walked into the room, which is nothing new; they don't realize they'll be overhauling the entire thing before they leave.

I start teaching, and they keep printing. So I stop in the middle of explaining the wonderful world of How to Avoid Plagiarism (and my incredible PowerPoint, if I do say so myself) to tell everyone that they can print their assignments at the end of class, but now is not the time.

A few minutes later, I have to interrupt myself again to turn off the printer before I can keep going.

The best part is probably that the student who had printed the last page got up and came to the front of the room to retrieve it when it was clear that I was not happy about it. No, wait; the best part was that I had turned it off in the middle of printing his page, so it was half-in and half-out.

I'll give myself credit; my Mean Teacher face must be effective, because there was no more chatter right after that. And I recovered, and went back to being Bad Joke Making Teacher and Helpful Teacher, but still...

I don't like having to be Mean Teacher.

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