I mentioned, in a comment to this post, that one of my colleagues – she calls herself Xena in this venue (and, if you knew her, you’d think that’s hilarious!) – has inherited Henry from me.
The boy failed my public speaking class in pretty spectacular fashion. He never learned the things I asked him to learn, and his attitude and behavior in class inhibited him from doing any real work or making any real progress.
I had hoped that his experiences in Xena’s class would be different. Xena and I are very different people – she takes a whole lot less shit than I do and is a lot less likely to be intimidated by a student, and I’d hoped that these would be qualities that Henry would respond positively to.
Long story short: he hasn’t.
We’re only two classes into the semester and already, Xena’s ready to throttle the boy. He’s pulling the same shit with her that he did with me – playing with his cell phone, having side conversations in the back of the room, strolling in late from break, and generally causing a nuisance in class that Xena finds as unacceptable as I did.
The difference between us, though, is that she has the guts to confront the child about it.
They’re having what she calls a “come to Jesus” meeting tomorrow. Henry doesn’t know this, of course, and so much the better. Her plan, as she tells me, is to sit the boy down across the table and ask him, flat out, what, exactly, he’s doing there. Then, she says, she’s going to sit back and listen.
I’ve told Xena to pay VERY close attention, because I want a full debrief when this meeting is over. I’m desperate to learn more about how to deal with personalities like Henry’s (I know for SURE he’ll not be the only one of his sort that I come across in my teaching career) and I’m hoping that Xena’s intervention with the boy will help me figure out a better way of coping with the unique challenges that he presents.
Who knows? If we’re lucky, Xena might even agree to writing a guest post. Watch this space…