Tuesday, January 15, 2008


It's finals week.

I hate giving finals. I wouldn't ever give written tests if I didn't have to. They make the kids nervous, and for my class, aren't a very good indicator of how much they know. We have to turn in copies of the exams we give to the administration and this year I took a risk and wrote up a description of a demonstration test I would give the kids, instead of a written one.

My Level 2 class has done a lot of work with the camera this year and their exam would reflect that. I brought all the cameras and tripods into the classroom today for a review. A lot of kids had totally forgotten the information we covered a few weeks ago and needed a lot of help remembering. Some kids never learned it. Anthony Palmer is one of those kids.

Anthony came up to one of the cameras a few minutes before class was over. He had spent most of his class time bothering some of the girls and dancing in the aisles. "Okay, so how you do this shit?" he called to me. I was across the room helping another student. "What part?" I asked him. "I don't know!" he said, "All this shit about the cameras!" I didn't want to help him with it. Anthony was a constant disruption and demanded help and attention at all times. I didn't want to cater to his demands. I wanted to let him fail so that I could teach him a lesson.

I went over to him.

I showed him all the things he would need to know for the exam. He asked a lot of questions and maybe, for the first time, spoke to me in a decent manner. Almost with respect. When I felt like he understood the material, I left him to help another kid and he continued to practice. A while later I heard his voice again, loud across the room.

"Eeeeee!" he squealed proudly, "I'm a be a cameraman, boy! I'm a be a cameraman when I grow up."


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