Every semester, I get an angry student. The angry student is easy to spot. Arms twisted across their chest, slunk back in the chair with a look that says, “Go ahead, just try and teach me.”
Within minutes of my opening lecture, I’ll get challenged on something simple. Most recently, it was the spelling of my first name. That’s right. The name I’ve been sporting for almost 50 years came under scrutiny. How do you respond to that? Here goes: Talk to mother about my name and p.s., she’s way angrier than you.
My best friend in high school was an angry student. It got to the point that even I was afraid to sit next to her. But at the end of the day, she did well in school and now that I’m a teacher I know why she excelled.
Being angry means you’re awake. Being angry means you’re listening. Being angry means you’re brain is working and attempting to question and challenge. Oh NO! These are the same elements required for learning.
Hey Angry Student – Is it possible your distaste for the classroom has caused the exact thing you were attempting to avoid? Is it possible I actually like your negative attitude because it’s something I can work with in class? Is it possible I look forward to your comments because it helps me see another point of view?
Is it possible we both won? I taught. You challenged. We learned. Let’s just call it even.