Last week my class was continuing their work on atoms and working with the periodic table. One of their assignments involved coloring, and man they really got into that. Maybe we should make everything involve coloring. Although that doesn’t mean they actually took anything from it. Anyways, it was a harder day because for some reason, two of our students had gotten in trouble, but apparently the school couldn’t decide how to deal with them. So the solution: have them sit in our class all day long. Which meant Mr. Ziegler and I spent all day babysitting them while trying to teach and work with the actual class. Fabulous.
I had an interesting conversation with one of the troublemakers though. We ended up sitting him in the corner (I’m telling you this is effective). He shut up quickly after that, but he became really angry too. I pulled him outside and had a chat with him about why he was there and what does he need to do to fix it. He started talking about how he hates school because he can’t talk and has to do work. Then he said he was going to dropout. I jumped on this one pretty quickly…
Me: “Dropout eh? What are you going to do after that?”
Student: “I’ll get a job”
Me: “How old are you?”
Me: “Well, at thirteen your really not even legal to work yet. You have to get parents permission at fourteen just to work and that’s limited. But besides that, what job are you planning on getting? Busboy?”
Student: “Sure, what’s that”
Me: “Basically a janitor/maid job, how much do you think you’ll make?”
Student: “Couple bucks a day?”
Me: “Exactly. Now subtract rent, food, utilities, clothes, everything you need from a day to day basis. Do you have any money left?”
Me: “Now the best part about work is… they tell you to be quiet and expect you to work all day. So… still want to dropout?”
Student: “No, I guess not.”
I think I may teach a lesson about this exact conversation to my classroom if I get the chance. They have no idea.