They have an interesting way of weeding out kids with problems here. By the time they reach year 11 they have all pretty much been counseled to either continue academically or to focus on vocational courses offered here. Also many of the students who have trouble with the core curriculum are channeled into sports and community supported endeavors.
One thing I would like to see while I’m here is what some of the students do when they go the Marae on Fridays. I think it must be interesting and culturally enlightening for the young men who get out of class to go. I saw some of the older Maori men in the community here practicing some sort of ritualistic dance with a spear in the parking lot during interval the other day. It looked pretty fearsome and I remember thinking to myself that I wouldn’t want to be on the other end of that exchange if it were a real confrontation of any sort.
The kids are getting used to me. The year nines are still bouncing off the walls a bit but I’ve managed to establish my role as ‘the teacher’ more to them. I’m still trying the ‘nice guy’ approach but if I don’t see marked improvement over next week I’m going to pulverize them into submission 🙂 . I did have to send one mouthy boy out into the hall for getting defiant with me when I asked him to return to his seat. I’m glad it happened because it gave me a legitimate reason to set the standard for the rest of the class so they could see that I’m not mucking around. It worked.