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THE BALCONY IS NOW CLOSED

First Year Teacher (actually a second-year teacher, as we've pointed out before) has remembered why showing movies isn't always a good idea.

When will I learn that showing a movie is not a relaxing thing? I have this idea periodically that I can take a rest and catch up by showing a movie to my classes. Then I turn it on, after the ten minute warning about how I have another, less enjoyable, activity for them to do if they cannot listen (which is a lie, I have nothing), and they squirm quietly for two minutes, whisper for one, and then just go crazy.
It is unbelievable-- the amount of movement and noise children can make without leaving their seats. I can't catch up. I can't be on the computer. I can't answer emails. I can't do anything but stare at them becasue if I don't stare there will be paper and other unmentionable things flying through the air, kids things will be stolen and/or destroyed.

A commenter on her blog offered up a modest proposal--videotaping the class during the movie, then showing the students the movie of them watching the movie. This may or may not improve classroom behavior, but it's certainly a good way to illustrate the concept of "meta."

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