Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Last Say

I notice that there are far fewer listeners compared to those who seem to open their mouths like goldfishes. And everyone seems to want to have the last say... even students. You should see recalcitrant my students are at this.... there is this group in this particular class who must always have the last say! I've discovered that niceties don't work with them. They are too used to having the last word. These days I use a point blank approach. I tell them straight what I see in them, no sugar coating... and it can be really sarcastic. So much for psycho approach.

These kids wizened up... I just learned something from them. If I want to take more leave, I should just go see a psychiatrist and feign frustrations, sleeplessness... very much like what's happening in schools now. I will actually be given more time off. Recalcitrant students get to meet school counsellors during on-going lessons. Yup! You got it right. That means they get to skip lessons! If I were the student... my marginal mind would be rejoicing at the fact that I get to skip class with permission! Counseling sessions becomes a farce to these kids. Counseling for such kinds of kids should not be so comfortable and fun. It should be done after school. We are teaching our kids compromises which I think will not be good for them in the long run.

Anyway, back to last says. So, is having the last say important? I think it's not. Last says are more likely to break a relationship, hurt another, make us look arrogant, even foolish at times, start a fight..... in the case of my students, make them look stupid. Last says can stir up dissension simply because by insisting that others listen to us with the final words, we invite resentment. Last says don't mean we win. More often than never, last says mean we have lost something - a friend, our pride, our humility, a goodwill, etc, etc.

I walked out of my class this morning... shaking my head at the foolishness of the boys.... it's usually the boys who will want the last say in a class. Testosterone overload??? ... Last says they must have... and they are all languishing in their lessons. But then again, these days the kids feel that we owe it to them to make them study, not that they owe themselves.

So, last says... it actually might be better to just try take a deep breath every now and then to slow down the train of words coming out from our mouths. Last says win us our battle... but it actually might cost us the war. We end up losing more than gaining...

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