Tales of the Unexpected

First blogged for MidKent College; March 2011

Tale no 1:

It’s a simple rule, if the phone goes off during lesson, it gets confiscated. Returned at the end of the lesson.

The students phone had gone off, but the student refused to hand it over.

I was stood in front of him, hand out demanding the phone.

He slid the phone into his pocket and looked at me defiantly.

The class were quietly watching, nobody doing any work.

I eventually walked away.

At the end of the lesson I asked the student to stay back.

His eyes rolled, he’d been here before, he knew this is where he gets told off. His posture changed as he stood there expectantly and…

I apologised.

I should never have let the situation get to a confrontation, I hadn’t reminded them of the rule and I should have used it as an opportunity to remind everybody to ensure their phones were off.

He walked away slightly confused.


Tale no 2:

I had spent the end of the lesson returning grades and explaining marks. Afterwards I held back those who hadn’t submitted any work and one of the students stayed back further to explain why they hadn’t submitted theirs.

When they had finished they said;

‘You can shout at me now’

I refused.

It wouldn’t make me feel any better, it might make them feel better, in some ‘I’ve done wrong I deserve to be shouted’ at rationale.

But it wouldn’t mean that the work got completed.


Tale no 3:

I held the student back after class, this was clearly not an experience that was new to them.

In my mind I saw the conversation unravel;

‘Why did you do it?’


‘What do you mean you don’t know’

‘Dunno, I just dunno’

‘Well we will wait until you work it out shall we’


‘Don’t you tut at me….’

That clearly wasn’t going to get us anywhere other then agitated and further apart.

‘Hi’ I said. ‘So why have I held you back’

‘Um, because I swore in class’

‘You swore’

‘I swore a lot’

‘Indeed, so what we have learnt from this, is, if you don’t swear, I won’t get upset and you won’t lose any of your lunch break’

‘Sure, that’s fair enough’


If you have any similar stories you’d like to share I’d love to hear them. Please leave a comment.

Be Seeing You


One thought on “Tales of the Unexpected

  1. These are perfect examples of why it’s pointless to get angry about situations – it’s a natural reaction to get angry and throw your weight around. But by dealing with them rationally and with a view of the larger scheme of things, both parties involved learn without being forced. Great work Steve.

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