The Life of Bon: Bon Bon the spy

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bon Bon the spy

I'm trying to kill my junior classes.

Or so they think.

You see, I gave them a research project.

The assignment is to write a paper about a controversial topic in society today. (Gay rights, illegal immigration, abortion, etc.)  They are to take a stand on the issue, provide a solution, and give evidence to support all claims.

Four pages.
Four sources.
Four quotes.

You'd think I'd told them to go to the moon and back.

It has practically caused an uprising. 
They complain.
They whine.
They can't believe I have given them something so so tough.

"Teacher, this is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life!" one student complained.
"Than I hate to tell you, your life is going to get a lot harder." I replied.

While my students are working on their research paper, I can sit on my computer in the back and see all of the work they are doing.  A little thing called google docs, my friends.  I have the student set up an account, share their document with me, and then I can literally watch them type from my computer. 

I see everything they're doing. 
I monitor them. 
In other words.

I spy.

The highlight came today.  I pulled up Sean's paper to see how he was progressing.  He only had one paragraph written.  Today they were supposed to have completed two pages.  I started to add a comment, and right as I was about to start typing, I saw Sean move the cursor.  Perfect!  He was getting to work.  I watched him type for a minute, happy that he was working on the project.

to hell with this

He typed.
"Sean!  I saw that!" I yelled.
The class, all quiet at their computers turned around in shock to see what I was clammering about.
Everyone but Sean.
He stayed facing the front.  I could see the back of his neck burning red.

"Sean!  Turn around!  Why are you writing "to hell with this" on your paper?"
The class snickered.
Sean turned to look at me, his face the deepest red I have ever seen.
"I'm sorry... I'm just frustrated with this project...  I won't ever do that again.  I'm so sorry."
And he got back to work.
I watched his progress throughout the rest of the hour. 
He worked steadily and consistently.

And that is how I motivate my students. 
A little spying never hurt anybody.