Along the Watchtower

I rarely have a rant about work, but now is the time. In a nutshell: I have to mark children’s worksheets. While they wait for their work to be marked, they should read a book or do a puzzle.

What really irks me is when they stand around my desk waiting for me to finish. It makes me feel uncomfortable, and just makes me want to mark their work slower or just stop until they go away. I realise I am impatient myself, but I feel like it would feel uncomfortable for a person if I were watching them do something – whether I am waiting for something from them or not. I feel weird watching people, and I also don’t like being watched.

I suppose it produces the same reaction as when someone stares at me.

I often have to completely stop what I’m doing because I feel the gaze of some child upon me. It’s like the time I blogged about the nerve of some girl who talked back at me – she was watching me, and when I instructed her to do something productive while waiting, she completely and rudely refused. I don’t like being watched. It makes me feel uncomfortable and it gives me the feeling that the child is being impatient.

Last year I actually had bunches of children stand in front of my desk and actually tell me to hurry up. Rude.

When some kid stands in front of my desk, I feel like they’re in my way. I don’t even want to say, “Wait a second”, because some children don’t even have the manners to say “Excuse me”.

Yeah, that’s right. Sometimes they just stand at the side of my desk. Maybe expecting me to raise my head or something. I’ve experienced this so many times. When a kid stands at the side of my desk, they obviously want to ask me something. Here’s a list of the different things they might do:

  1. stand there in silence and just wait
  2. say, “excuse me” to get my attention
  3. say, “Hello Georgina, can you help me?”

You won’t believe it; about 95% of students do number 1. It’s like they expect me to look up and come to their attention. Sometimes I don’t say a thing and I purposely ignore them until they say, “excuse me”. And the same 95% of students with no manners are the ones who just stand there even after I’ve looked up and asked them what’s wrong.

They stand there and just hand me their worksheet. Um, what? What do you want me to do with it? Eat it? Are you feeding me like an animal? What kind of child just goes up to you, as their supervisor or mentor, and just wavers their worksheet in your face? What do they expect?

It doesn’t hurt to ask.

If you can’t ask questions, you can’t get answers.

I know I find children hard to deal with, but it’s this that makes it so. If they ask me politely or even just ask or tell me what’s wrong, then I’ll know. Because, you know, I’m not a mind reader.

If they can’t even ask for what they want or need, I don’t know whether they’re going to be going anywhere in life. They shouldn’t be scared to ask.

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