The Problem: Sometimes you get a class that will not behave.
If you are reading this, you have been there, or maybe you are right in the middle of it right now. If so, I'm sorry and I completely understand! At the beginning of my 3rd semester teaching, I was assigned this new curriculum that was going to change the world of math and solve all student problems with learning math. It was going to be a miracle.
It was a disaster.
But, it wasn't a total loss. I learned about the red folder trick.
I'm all for problem based learning with the right group of students, but this was not the right group of students. Let me explain. This program took the lowest performing students and put them into one college classroom. Those students were then given assignments to complete inside of class and outside of class with little to know direction. Yes, lets give a bunch of students who tend to have behavioral issues full reign of the classroom. Like I said, it was a disaster.
I went to my boss who was the department head after 3 class days and told him I was going to have a major problem on my hands this semester and I needed some guidance. He told me that his mentor had told him a trick and now he would tell me.
"Go out and buy a bright red folder. Make a reasonably hard test or quiz, and place that test into the folder."
"When they start to get loud, slipping on doing their homework, etc., you just raise the folder up. They will change pretty quickly."
"That's a great idea!!"
"It won't solve all your problems, but it will make this semester bearable."
So, if you have realized that you have an unruly class, go write a challenging quiz, buy a red folder, and maybe pray for the two quiet kids who got stuck in that class! Hehe!
Hi! I'm CoScine Creative. I have developed and run a tutoring center at a small college. I also teach some of their algebra and chemistry courses. And I will neither confirm nor deny pranking my students by pretending to be one.