Tuesday, May 05, 2009
In addition to being a nag, I am pretty good at laying on guilt. My son never fell for it but it worked on my daughter for years. (Unfortunately, it stopped working her senior year in high school.)
I've been using it on my students and it seems to be working.
I told them I feel so bad that I can't motivate them to work. I told them that I must be doing something wrong, If only I were more interesting, or more forceful, they would be doing better. If I explained things better, they would be passing. I should be doing things differently to make them come to class every day and to never be late. I told them it was my fault they were failing and that maybe it was time for me to retire and to let someone younger, more enthusiastic, take over.
They said it wasn't my fault, that it was theirs. I stood my ground and they stood theirs. They promised to work harder.
I took out my secret weapon and held it to my chest. I said, every failing grade was like a knife being twisted in my heart. I turned it and winced in pain. They said stop. I said every missed homework, every private conversation twisted it deeper. They promised to do better.
It's only another few weeks. I hope I can keep it going. I hope they will still believe.