It had been a rough week. “Only one more lesson til the weekend”, thought Kate, “That headache is the last thing I need with this group….and it’s been windy since lunchtime so they’re going to be lively.”
The class came in, a bit effervescent but not too bad. Just as everyone was settling down Sarah, Chloe and Lucy arrived vivaciously chatting. “This is the last thing I need”, thought Kate, “now everyone’s going to be infected by this and get lively.” Her headache gave a massive twinge. Something turned inside her and she heard an hysterical edge in her voice.
“Sarah, Chloe, and Lucy SIT DOWN. I’m fed up with you disrupting everyone.”
Lucy immediately sat down, looking wan. “Lucy, isn’t it obvious that you are supposed to get your planner and pencil case out and put your bag away first?”
Chloe had busied herself straightening the piles of exercise books on the side table. “Chloe, what do you think your doing?”, said Kate incredulously. “I’m straightening your books for you, Miss. They looked untidy and I thought it would make you feel better.” “Quite frankly that’s the last thing I need at the moment Chloe. Didn’t you hear what I asked you to do?”
Meanwhile Sarah was standing, bag in hand, watching events unfold. Lucy trickled over to the bag store and deposited her bag, thoroughly deflated. Chloe was now also taking her things out of her bag. Sarah went to her seat, took her things out of her bag, and stowed the bag under the table. Kate could not figure out whether she was looking at her with a look of pity, contempt, or insolence. Somehow she got the idea that it would not be a good idea to insist Sarah put her bag in the bag store. “Well at least they seem to have got the message”, Kate thought.
The next week…
Lucy spent much of the lesson doodling or chatting to her partner and doing very little work. “That’s odd”, thought Kate, “she usually gets on with it.”
Chloe kept offering to do things for Kate, causing Kate to become increasingly exasperated with her because she was not getting on with her work.
Sarah spent a lot of time chatting to those around her. When Kate asked her to get on with her work she either said “I am” or “In a minute”.
By the third week Kate realised something had gone wrong but by then she had forgotten the Friday almost two weeks ago. Things seemed to be getting worse, rather than better and she couldn’t figure out why the girls had become so difficult all of a sudden. She had always prided herself on having good relationships with her students…..
What went wrong? Read on > Translating the Unspoken Words