One of my students has been a constant source of stress the entire camp. He’s of the “rules do not apply to me” Napoleon small guy variety students, so no matter how courteous I am towards his behavior, I couldn’t get many concessions to civil behavior from him. He was constantly interrupting and arguing with people in class, which he did do in English, but it didn’t really help my class to need to keep two threads of conversation going whenever someone else tried to speak in class. The class would be whatever he wanted to talk about, and the conversation at hand.

The class was ending today, and his behavior got worse as the day went on. At first he started slapping and hitting students near him. He’s the smallest boy in class, and he thinks “I’ll smack that large boy’s scrotum with the back of my hand. That’ll be fun. Teacher won’t let that big kid me back, of course.” It’s not like I have any power than threatening to call his parents anyway, so I ask for him to stop touch others. Later, he’s kicking people in the leg, and pushing others around, like I asked him to fight everyone.

What can I do?

The next escalation was when he started bothering the girls. The girls were at the board writing something elaborate for a game. This naughty kid wants to get attention all the time, so when he sees the girls doing something he goes over to bother them and gets his own space at the board. The girls, annoyed by this, then scribble on what he was doing to copy him, which he takes offense to and gets angry about. He then goes after one of the girls and draws on her expensive coat with a marker. It’s stained, possibly ruined, and all I can do is give him a stare of annoyance. I went to make a call home, but the coordinating assistant was outside making a run for the pizza party.

My campus assistant, who is supposed to be taking care of these behavioral problems for me since that’s his only job, has checked out completely after failing to discipline him the entire camp. My campus assistant was sitting in the room listening to music so loudly that he missed the entire incident. He wasn’t doing his job. Since there was only one misbehaving student he didn’t have much to do anyway. That’s very frustrating for me, since I have a class that was otherwise very good wrecked by a naughty kid. Excellent English or not, there is no excuse for attacking other children.

When confronted, the naughty student said writing on a white board and writing on someone’s clothing were equivalent, he had done nothing wrong, and that he wouldn’t listen to anything we say. I hope, for a minute, that his parent shows up to the ceremony tomorrow to listen to him participate in the speech, and I can take her aside and say, “Your kid is a difficult handful and you shouldn’t allow him to get away with everything he does at home, because he thinks the rules don’t apply to him at school.”

Other than making a speech tomorrow for the camp closing ceremony, I won’t have to spend any more time with these students. It’s not been a good experience at this camp, although I’ve taught worse students. If the schedule wasn’t so good for me, I doubt I’d continue working these things.