Monday, 24 September 2007

Mr Arrogant

I'm stuck in an absolute hole of a "conference centre" this week, in the middle of nowhere. It claims to have rooms that are "set up to enable you to work in comfort", but they have no internet access. If I want the internet, I have to come down to the coffee bar and put up with the noise - OK for blogging, but not ideal when you want to get some serious work done. Oh, and the only place in the hotel that has internet access is different from the only place in the hotel that has mobile phone reception, so I have to choose between them - and neither of those places is my bedroom.

And I'm looking after the class with Mr Arrogant in it. He's the one who, when I asked him to stop talking while I was teaching, said, "I was talking about work, if it helps." I replied, "Not really. Whatever you were talking about, it's rude to talk while I'm talking, and I find it distracting." Later, I gave him another chance to apologise, and he reiterated that he found it helpful to discuss things with the person next to him as we went along and didn't see why I should make him stop. I said he was welcome to ask questions or share comments with the whole class at any time, but that it was distracting both for the tutor and for the rest of the class if someone was talking (not even whispering) the whole time. He reckoned that was my problem, not his.

This morning, they're doing a mock exam - the real exam is in November, and this is a revision week for them. I handed out some papers to the class and said that if anyone wanted additional material they could come and find me. I gave them my mobile number (not that they'll be able to get hold of me if I stay here) and my room number (not that I can stay in it if I want to use either the mobile or the internet). Mr Arrogant piped up: "We don't want to have to chase round the hotel after you. Can you put the stuff under our doors." (No question mark there - his intonation didn't suggest a question, but an order.) Right, so instead of each person knocking on my door once, I have to go round all of their rooms.

Is it me, or is this guy (who is one of my students and is several grades below me on the career ladder) totally out of order? And what have I done to deserve an entire week of looking after his class?

Anyway, blogging may be sparse this week, what with the whole internet access and phone reception issue. Hope your week is better than mine is shaping up to be.


Anonymous said...

Hope things improve asap..

Beth said...

Oh my gosh! Hey I loved your reply to him though :) Good for you!

Mac McLernon said...

I'm afraid that I would be tempted to tell Mr Arrogant where to get off. Basically, if he wants the material, he should come and get it... it's "extra" stuff.

And he isn't "chasing" round the hotel: you've indicated where you'll be.

However, if you've said you'll deliver it, how about giving it to reception: that's the way most hotels deal with post & messages (ie. pigeonholes which can be checked by the students)

As for talking: I would suggest that the next time you ask him to continue his conversation outside, and only to return when he is able to give you his undivided attention...

...alternatively, the next time he asks you a question, talk to someone else: see how he likes it!!

(Ok, only the first suggestion on talking was serious!!)

leutgeb said...

The other students probably find him annoying too.

I thought it was only 14 year olds who said, 'We were talking about the work.'

Some of the older boys I teach say that half jokingly when you look at them for talking because they know that you know they are just having a chat.

Hope he takes the hint. Huh and don't feel you have to pander to him. Putting things under doors I ask you.

newhousenewjob said...

Thanks for the support. My blood is now somewhat below boiling point, and I think he's safe from being strangled ... for the moment.