Teacher, Are We Still Taking Roll?

Yesterday, I took almost the whole period to take roll…on purpose. Because it was a really problematic group of kids all in one class…almost forty kids who weren’t going to do what I (or any sub) wanted them to do, unless…

I had them answer the questions individually ( out loud) in class- together; while I sat in the front of the room and I called their names for roll. At the same time as I was taking the attendance, we would go over the assignment together and everyone would have a turn to give us the answer they got for each question; in order. In front of the whole, quiet, class…Yes, it was the best way I could think of…that would work. It was fair..it was easy for them to relate to…and me to relate to as well….and it was a reasonable thing to ask them to do…give each other the chance to speak out loud while everyone listened. Well, we got through one page of the assignment, and the class was almost over by the time I was finished with attendance and everyone got to give their answer to the room outloud.

” Yes.” I said, “We are still taking roll.” And, “I am not to blame for this, if you aren’t listening quietly and politely, sitting still, and staying seated, facing forward and paying attention, like you are supposed to,” to a crowded room of Seniors in an English 2 class. I added, “Then, it is your fault, not mine.”

No one disagreed…even though it took us the whole class, almost, to do one page.

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