Sunday, September 26, 2010

archive How to with KIDS

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    How to Handle Smartaleck Kids

    If there are timid kids, then there are the "bluffers" as I call them. They try to pretend that they know what you are talking about just so you would stop asking them about it.

    This is the most dangerous of children because they are innately sarcastic and can catch you in a lie as well.

    We have students who have to study a book and then we would discuss the book in class by answering comprehension questions. The thing is one of my students for that class didn't really like the book. So what he does is that he read it as fast as he could and just remembered what he found amusing.

    When I ask him something that he doesn't know, he would sling random crap at me. The odd thing is that he might have had a chance to get the right answer had he not been trying to sound to convinced with his own lie.

    You need to be very knowledgeable when you face this kind of kid. If you don't assert your authority, the kid would walk all over you. He would ask you things that might sound legitimate inquiries but are all a bunch of time-wasting questions that would divert your attention from the class.

    They are the ones who by the end of their contract or class, ended up getting you more frustrated than all of your students combined.

    Patience, authority and Google. That is what you need with this kid. Because what you do know that he doesn't know is that there is just about nothing that you can't browse and read about if you have lightning fingers.

    It also pays to know the material that you are supposed to be teaching. This way, when you have the chance to stop this kid from huffing fluff at you, you can maneuver him into talking about something related to the topic.

    Don't let your guard down since this kind of kid knows and can smell it when you are getting comfortable. Ignore the distractions after you have acknowledged them once. Then move on.

    Keep your eyes on the goal at hand, finish the lesson, impart knowledge then shake off all the distractions. This way, he can learn that not everyone is as easy to manipulate as he might have thought.
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      How to Handle Timid Kids

      Mountains of patience and cotton buds.
      If you don't have enough patience you would just lash out at them. It's frustrating to get them to talk. It's like talking to yourself. Sure, it makes my job a lot easier but the student doesn't really learn anything if they can't be heard correctly.
      So to all mothers of timid kids, attach a megaphone to their microphone, for God's sake.

      I have tried the "Talk to me tactic."
      I asked her questions ranging from "How are you today?" to "How was school?" and she seems to not understand it. The thing is she had already whispered the answer but the sound of my fingers on the keyboard are louder than the peep that she managed to get out of her mouth.

      It's frustrating enough that at some point you would try the "Put the fear of God into the child" approach. I hate using this but this has been the one that managed to get her to talk higher than a peep. But of course this takes a lot of energy and constant reminders to get her to talk can take a lot from an already burdened teacher. The student also learns to fear this tone. She feels uncomfortable and begins to talk in an even smaller voice later in the class. Fast results no longevity.

      Then there is the "You did great today" bit. It's the one that would make you want to just walk through the great divide that is the internet and increase the volume of the robot that is your timid student. Somehow with proper encouragement, they get better, they talk more. But for some reason, may it be that their batteries are on put in the right way or they had a bad day, the next few days, they would go back to squeaking and you have to work on lip reading.

      Sure, that is easy but with a tiny as video feed, this is not convenient. AT ALL.

      You can work with a timid kid all you want but you would be grateful to just get one word that you don't have to ask him or her to repeat.

      Still a sentence, now that, is a manna from heaven.
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