I don’t really want to use my blog as a place to gripe, but I need to vent for a moment. What do you do with a student who never listens, always offers (lame) excuses for not doing his work, irritates the other students, and generally manages to ruin class on a regular basis?
I’ve got a great listening/speaking class. They’re fun students, and they all seem to like each other. Except for this one student that nobody likes. Our class is 2 hours long. He’s frequently late to class, which means he gets locked out of the classroom for the first hour, but he gets in during the break. That first hour without him is wonderful. That second hour with him is torture. He constantly pulls me aside (interrupting my work with other students) to explain why he doesn’t have his book, or he forgot to bring a pen to class, or he can’t work with that student over there. I’ve tried ignoring him; he keeps talking.
He always has excuses for everything. Students who constantly make excuses for their poor work just aggravate me, and yet he doesn’t seem to understand why this bothers me so much. He looks at me every day as though I’m the unreasonable one.
He has tried on a few occasions to rile up the other students. He’s from Jordan, and most of the students in my class are from Saudi Arabia. He clearly doesn’t like them very much, and he has made comments in class clearly intended to offend them. Of course, I don’t allow those comments. Of course, I shut him down when he’s going down that path. But I can’t control what he says to them outside of the classroom, and from my students’ reports, he has been extremely rude to them when I’m not around.
I pride myself on being a teacher who knows how to develop a sense of community in the classroom, who makes the classroom environment helpful and friendly, who includes every student. But I’ve pretty much had to give up on this guy. It’s very discouraging.