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Memoirs of an Amnesiac

Zoning Out

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by , 10-27-2014 at 04:37 PM (1492 Views)
Having taught for almost a decade, I have a fair glimpse of almost every kind of personality that comes in and out of my classroom. Modern psychology has acquiesced to what leading psychologists have categorized students with.

During my student days, there were only two kinds of students: those who are "bugoys (the naughty ones)" and the "buotans (goody-two-shoes)". It was imperative that if you don't want to be in the first category, you have to behave so much so that you'll get a high grade in GMRC (Good Manners and Right Conduct, that is), a subject that needs no studying but a lot of conforming, sensitivity, psychology sometimes (as you would need to psyche up a teacher's mood and temperament for the day), and a hefty sum of all the traits and virtues from the Bible, patience, self-control, kindness, and others. I was not educated in the private school, but I remember very well up to this minute in the public school (without having subjects as Religious Education nor Bible) how I learned about my final destination in case I still do not behave---to the place where it is eternally hot and unending gnashing of teeth. We had Catechists (because I was raised in a Catholic family) who would perennially talk to us about being and doing good in order not to go to the world of he who must not be named.

There were no grading systems, no assessment tools, no specific evaluation procedures, just human estimation as to how we behave during class. It was very subjective.

I don't remember how in my young mind I was able to even come up with a model of "good and acceptable" behavior. I just knew I need not do the "don'ts" and I'm fairly safe. To my young and innocent mind, it is bad to make the teacher angry, to make a statement you would regret saying after. It is wrong to steal because you would go to hell and it is hot there.

At present, there are a lot of behavior and learning disabilities. Most of us educators could identify the manifestations as when a student tends to be a bit "off" from other students. Then our guidance counselor recommends "an assessment." The teachers of old never seize to amaze me as how they were able to make remediations or interventions in order to modify behavior.

It is ironic sometimes that the more we tend to understand student behavior problems, the more there are cases of students tending to commit suicide and end their lives. More than just learning the subject matter, the best way to teach and connect the subject matter to students' prior knowledge, teachers at best need to know how to properly "process" students with behavior problems.

One particular student in my class, Dina (*real name withheld), now tends to stare out the window for some reason. While discussing poetic devices in the poem we read, my mind wanders to what Dina thinks and why she isn't mentally present in my class. Is it about her classmates? Her family? Her friends? My lesson? Or something I said made her zone out?

Oh, how I wish I could just put her in two categories.
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Comments

  1. Dorothea's Avatar
    hi shey! miss u!
  2. tiolos's Avatar
    As you have correctly mentioned the more we are trying to be understanding the more negative result we find there. My personal opinion that there should be some framework for what is allowed and what is not. We cannot say that a girl or a boy is in their hormone fever and they can act as they like. They should still realize that some things should be done. Complete freedom is a way to nowhere.

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