Building Character

I'm trying to teach my students more than Spanish.  I like to sneak in a little lesson on character every now and again.  This morning was one of those times.

Teens nowadays, if you haven't noticed, have become rather, how to put this, hmmm, what's the right word, umm, snarky.  I've grown weary of it. 

Sometimes I find myself being snarky back, not good. 

The snarkiness was at an all time high in my first period class this morning.  As they were exchanging barbs, I had a thought come into my mind. 

Bribe them.  Bribe them to stop being snarky.  Bribe them with doughnuts. 

Yes, yes!  I will!  I'm not too proud to use bribery! 

I threw it out there for them to consider.  I told them that if they could stop being snarky for the remaining forty minutes of class plus all of tomorrow, I'd bring doughnuts on Monday.  There was cheering!  There was merriment!  There was the question, 'what's snarky?' 

I explained what snarky meant.  Some said 'oh, yeah, we can do that.'  Some said, 'whaaaat?'  Then someone said, 'Does this apply to all of us?  Because if it does, then we'll never make it because C can't not be snarky."  Some of them caught the irony in the statement.

They accepted the challenge. 

I was patting myself on the back.  Oh, V, you are so clever. So ingenious.  So  crazy to think they can go more than five minutes without being snarky. 

They made it four minutes. 

I was not going to be discouraged.  I issued the same challenge to second period, they too have a problem with snarkiness.

They made it two minutes.

I still wasn't giving up.  I issued the challenge to third period.  They're snarky but not as bad as periods one and two. 

They made it one minute. 

I won't be issuing the challenge to the afternoon classes, they are worse than the morning crew. 

I was really in the mood for some doughnuts on Monday.

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