You could have knocked me over with a feather….
I decided to take the few students (7 out of 16) who turned up for class, to McDonalds for lunch as we had a bad day the day before. There were bad attitudes, bad behaviour and disrespect by too many students that day that I started sending them home. I was later to find out what caused most of it…will tell that story another time.
So we rocked up to Maccas and I was hoping those students who turned up would behave properly in public. I had taken some of them out to lunch once before and they were fine. No throwing food, showing off or swearing etc etc.
I wanted to do a little schoolwork after lunch so chose one end of a room with a few tables. The kids sat away from me and left a free table next to me. An elderly lady came into the room and sat down at the table next to me and took out her Sodoku book. I did not have the heart to ask her to move and thought we would fit around the remaining tables.
The kids ate lunch pretty well and it was time for the lesson. I asked them to come and sit together at the remaining tables. They wanted to stay where they were but I insisted they come and join me. As they were coming to the tables the elderly lady asked, “Are you a Christian school?” I was taken back by this comment and said no we were a class from TAFE. I should have asked her why she thought that….I am kicking myself now not using this opportunity for student learning. She asked did I want her to move and I said it was fine to stay there.
The lesson went pretty well and when I looked to see if she was still there she had gone.
Later that day when the kids had all gone their separate ways I pondered again the question and why she would have made that comment.
Maybe she thought their behaviour was typical of a “Christian” school. There was no swearing, no food fights, talking quietly amongst themselves, no showing off and one boy thanked me for buying him lunch. Did she associate bad behaviour with traditional public high schools? I know that just because a student is at a Christian school doesn’t mean they automatically show good behaviour.
Who knows what she was actually thinking. I took it as a compliment and was proud of the students for demonstrating respect to each other, me and those in the restaurant. This encourages me to take them out again.
I will definitely use this as a learning opportunity for the whole class on Monday. This sort of thing must be reinforced and encouraged at every opportunity.