I can hardly dare to believe it. It seems too good to be true... but it appears that I have, at last, vanquished the dreaded mortal enemy. Jose Pablo, the nightmare pubescent student, has been subdued by my superior classroom discipline and teaching methods. Har har! For weeks, he giggled and shrieked like a little girl at the back of the classroom. He corrupted and disturbed those around him, threw papers on the floor, and was totally unable to control his flow of verbal diarrhea. I even had to kick him out of last month's exam, as he couldn't shut up. Moving him, shouting at him, giving him the Chinese burn, nothing seemed to work. His previous teacher, John, the Academic Director ( a large, bearded, American man) assured me that Jose Pablo had been exactly the same for him. I really was at the end of my tether, and didn't want to completely flip out (another teacher reported that John, a normally placid man, had one day screamed: "Jesus F**cking Christ! Will you just SHUT UP!" at him), so I needed a solution fast. I rehearsed a cutting Spanish chastisement at home. Then, I went into the classroom with a strict no B.S. attitude. I told him in no uncertain terms that his behaviour was totally unacceptable, moved him to a segregated seat at the front of the room and gave him a 'three strikes, you're out the door' policy. Now he is (almost) like a different student. Sure, he is still very, very irritating, but I no longer worry for my blood pressure. I have discovered that he simply craves attention at all times, and being seated at the front he now gets that from me, without having to shout and giggle. He is actually very clever, and completes the assignments in a fraction of the time that it takes his peers. I suppose he processes things really quickly, and then searches for any other way to occupy his over-active brain. If I drop something, he is immediately out of his seat to pick it up. He acts as doorman for the tardy students. He is desperate for me to check his work. He constantly adds his voice and opinion to my grammar presentations. He is driving me bonkers, but I must reluctantly admit he does amuse me somewhat. Yesterday, the students were practising passing messages. He wrote:
Dear Danilo (his ex-partner in crime), I am unhappy sitting here. I miss you, it was funny sitting next to you. Please tell Ricardo to go to the pharmacy and buy a toothbrush. From, J.P.
I couldn't help but stifle a smirk; Ricardo does have pretty bad teeth. Anyway, I had better enjoy this while it lasts. Jose Pablo is sure to find a new, enhanced method of totally pissing me off, just in time for next month's cycle.