Friday, September 21, 2012

How To Outsmart a Teenage Boy, Part II

I often tell people that my strength isn't teaching, per se, it's my ability to have a relationship with my students.  Part of that relationship is getting them to do what I know they need to do, and as any parent or teacher knows, this involves a fair amount of manipulation, for their own good.  I don't mean pathological manipulation, I mean healthy manipulation.

I first wrote about outsmarting teenage boys here.  I had another episode with a boy I'm tutoring and I was very proud of myself.

Me: I need you to read your writing aloud so that you can catch your mistakes.

Him: That is too embarrassing.  If I do that, I will be embarrassed.

Me: Is that a picture of you in a TeleTubby costume on the wall?

Him: Fine, I'll read it.

This is what I mean by "healthy manipulation."  We could have wasted the whole session arguing.  Instead, it took 20 seconds, he caught his mistakes, he realized how to edit his own writing, (and I think he liked the attention of me noticing that photo as well).

1 comment:

Foodie McBody said...

Genius.