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Re: "Hey, you in the back...Mr./Ms. Inattentive!"


Helen Sabin <[log in to unmask]>


Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]>


Fri, 28 Apr 2000 14:49:28 -0700





text/plain (90 lines)

Thanks for sharing the 'greasy wall" idea with us.  I will put it in my bag of
Helen Sabin

"D'Adamo-Weinstein, L. MS CEP" wrote:

> I've experienced similar situations when we had academic probation students
> mandated to our workshops when I was teaching at Indiana University.
> Depending upon the level of disruption, timing of the disruption, number of
> people involved, etc.,  I've done things ranging from speaking quietly to
> the one person while the rest of the group was doing an activity to asking a
> group of frat brothers to leave so that others could learn.  The best and
> most effective strategy was when I was in a rather old classroom giving a
> workshop on time management, and certain folks sitting in the back of the
> room with their heads against the wall and feet on the desks with an angry
> glare in their eyes were getting disruptive.  I began the workshop without
> saying anything, and as some disruptive behavior got worse, I said, "Let  me
> pause for a moment and share a story about learning with you..."  I
> proceeded to share with them an incident I had read about in Mike Rose's
> book "Lives on the Boundary".  I set the stage by talking about this
> teacher, blah blah, blah and how he had looked around an old classroom wall
> one day and noticed a smudgy line running around the room.  He realized that
> the line was just at head level where people had leaned against the wall and
> the oils from their hair had formed the mark.  It was amazing how fast these
> people sat up straight and then proceeded to pay attention.
> Have a great weekend everyone!!!
> Lisa
> ___________________________________________
> ___________________________________________
> Lisa C. D'Adamo-Weinstein
> Director, Reading & Study Skills Program
> Center for Enhanced Performance
> 6313 Washington Hall
> United States Military Academy
> West Point, NY 10996
> phone 914-938-7815
> fax 914-938-2481
> [log in to unmask]
> "Teachers are those who use themselves as bridges, over which they invite
> their students to cross; then having facilitated their crossing, joyfully
> collapse, encouraging them to create bridges of their own."
> Nikos Kazantzakis
> ___________________________________
> ___________________________________________
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jenny Ruchhoeft [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Friday, April 28, 2000 4:05 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: "Hey, you in the back...Mr./Ms. Inattentive!"
> To Listserve members who would be willing to share any effective teaching
> tools for difficult audiences:
> I am an academic counselor at a large four year university.  In addition to
> meeting individually with students for academic success counseling, I give
> workshops throughout the semester on various academic topics (e.g. time
> management, preparing for exams, test anxiety, notetaking, reading
> comprehension, learning styles, etc.).  I try to make sure that I clearly
> present the information, include colorful slides, and make the workshops as
> interactive as possible.  In addition, I always ask for feedback and
> encourage participation.  Generally, the students who participate in the
> workshops are eager to receive the helpful information.  On occasion
> (written with some sarcasm), students attend the workshops because they
> have to do so for course credit and are not exactly attentive or
> respectful.  Likewise, when guest lecturing a class on any of these topics,
> sometimes a segment of the class has become disruptive (perhaps the
> substitute-teacher phenomenon).  I have learned not to take this
> inattention personally :) and I would like to improve my ability to reach
> disruptive students without shaming them in front of the class.  In other
> words, I want to learn what has worked for guiding the students (i.e.
> aligning with them, if you will) instead of blasting them with feedback
> that might feed into their negative attention-seeking behavior.
> Do any of you have creative ideas or teaching savvy that you would be
> willing to share?
> Please respond directly to my email address: [log in to unmask] (just copy and
> paste into the "To" address slot) unless you feel that the information
> would be pertinent for others' on the list to know.
> Sincerely,
> Jenny Ruchhoeft
> Academic Cslr.
> Univ. of Houston

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