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SMART ALEC STUDENT PLUS DISORDERLY IN CLASS

 
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Theo7



Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:23 am    Post subject: SMART ALEC STUDENT PLUS DISORDERLY IN CLASS Reply with quote

'and what does one do with an adult student who is older than the others and who -

a) often acts like Mr smart Alec and
b) doesn't listen properly in class and
c) does not connect with the other students and
d) is disorderly in class and has separate notes and notes and
e) does homework but is always a mess ?????

Help please ?

Theo7
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Sheila Collins



Joined: 22 Oct 2007
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A) Make friends with him, because he's probably feeling awkward about his age and will find it easier to bond with you than with the other students. Find ways to make him laugh.

B) Find his assets and use them to make your class better. If he can play the Smart Alec, he's probably really funny and has a fair understanding of the language. Use him like a secondary teacher.

C) Don't sweat the homework and the notes. Your job is to help him learn English, not train him as a secretary.

D) Figure out why he's "disorderly" and not listening. Is he bored? Does he have a learning disability? A hearing or vision problem? Once you've found the problem, fix it to the best of your ability.

"I don't like that man. I must get to know him better." - Abraham Lincoln
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1304
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My profs always treated me with great respect. The first class they would speak to me privately and ask me to be patient with them as I obviously had much more experience than they did. They called on me often at the beginning for "words of wisdom" and treated me like an assistant teacher. Of course, with all that respect and attention, I really tried to help them out and make their lives easier. They often referred other students to me to so I could help out and feel useful.

I was probably as obnoxious as your student at the beginning and one prof complained "jokingly" that I had run a simultaneous course to his because we were allowed to contribute to the chat line and I used to put on long articles and papers that were interesting to me. Finally one of the other students said that she couldn't download long things on her computer and taught me how to use a chat line.

When you have been out of school for a long time, you forget how things work. In the real world, you learn to listen for the important things and not listen most of the time or you would go insane. You forget that you have to look like you are listening to the teacher and anticipate when the teacher is going to ask you a question so you can answer intelligently. You have forgotten how to take notes and to organize your work in a school way and you certainly have forgotten that the teacher wants you to regurgitate what the teacher has said that day for homework rather than process or take action on something the boss has said.

There is a whole school culture to relearn plus the social issues of not being accepted by the younger students who either ignore you or treat you like their parents.

If you throw in the fact that you probably had trouble in school in the first place or you wouldn't be back, the mix is pretty difficult.

Take him for coffee and get to know his issues. Then teach, kindly, the way to operate in your classroom because it is probably important for him to get the credit.
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Theo7



Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 2:55 pm    Post subject: SMART ALEC STUDENT PLUS DISORDERLY IN CLASS Reply with quote

Thank you both Sheila and Sally for your input - valuable !

In truth, this older student is generally more *beep* than being a smart Alec however your comments said it all.

For what it's worth:
When he was young, he attended a skippers school, for children of shipping people. These kids would sit at school for a week from early morning till late at night and still have to do homework before going back onto the ship again and there were always new and different kids. Hardly any stimulation on the boat, and then in class, full steam ahead to catch up. Very few of these children have actually grasped the basics of grammar in their home language and now want to learn a foreign language. For that reason I often teach two languages at the same time.

At the last lesson he was late, whereas he is usually the first to arrive and this made him feel quite awkward. He had also rushed from hospital where he'd had a scan and as we had started class already, we could not give him the attention he probably needed at the time.

Small wonder he tried to compensate and just cope with it all. He has also become a widower last year, so all in all, he may do well with a bit of attention on the side.
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alawton



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 45
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 9:11 pm    Post subject: Troubled Student Reply with quote

The responses to your post are great. I agree with what they say. i did wabt to add one thing though. In my experience teaching adults, especially adults who haven't been in school since childhood, many people revert back to how they acted as a young student. If a particular student had a bad experience with his teachers in the past he will probably come into your class thinking that is how it is going to be again. I make a point of letting these kinds of students know that, as an adult student, things are different. Both the teacher and the student now have the same goal. I hope this helps!


Andrew Lawton
http://drewseslfluencylessons.com
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AmazingESLTeacher



Joined: 07 Dec 2009
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:35 pm    Post subject: SMART ALEC STUDENT PLUS DISORDERLY IN CLASS Reply with quote

I had a very similar situation happen to me but it was with a group of students instead of just one. I kept the three of them after class one day and asked them, very frankly, what the problem seemed to be and if there was any way I could help them be more successful in the class. I explained that it made my job more difficult when they acted in a disruptive way and after that, the climate in the room with that group changed dramatically!
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