Re: Mixed bag for henna class at library- advice please?


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Posted by anne in CT on August 16, 2002 at 15:19:46:

In reply to: Mixed bag for henna class at library- advice please? posted by Lauren on August 16, 2002 at 13:35:22:

Hej Lauren,

Glad you got into a library! It's not always like what you've
experienced, I promise.

: Anyway, most of them were only vaguely interested until I passed
: around the pattern books.

I'll leave some pattern books out, but I also have photocopies of
simple patterns on the tables for the kids when they come in. This
is a very good thing, handouts on tables.

: Then the littler girls started going "Oh,
: GROSS" when they got to the pages in Spellstone and Africa with the
: breast designs. I've always been sort of uncertain about those
: pages. I mean, I love the designs but I'm afraid someday a parent
is
: going to go ballistic on me for showing them to her kid. Is there
a
: way to have the designs without the boobs?

I usually give a ten minute brief overview of henna, what it is,
where it came from, what it's for, where to get it (have referred
kids to you, btw), how to mix it and what it isn't (black). Then, I
float and answer questions on an individual basis. My workshops are
usually two hours long, and if I talk to the group any more than 10
or 15 minutes, we run out of time to play.


: Then there was the group of about six more-gangsta-than-thou older
: boys who were obviously there to make trouble. They heckled me
from
: the very beginning, asking rude questions and talking over me.
When
: I finally gave up on the history part and handed out the henna
cones,
: they kept complaining about the smell (I used eucalyptus) and the
: color and the texture. Between the six of them they used about 50
: alcohol wipes and then kept asking for more henna cones. Call me a
: silly animist but I didn't want to share my little cones of baraka
: with them. The facilitator told tem if they didn't cut it out they
: would be asked to leave but it never happened and eventually they
: wandered out on their own. How do I deal with this? They were all
: about a foot taller than me and fairly buff and I'm fairly flabby,
: plus I was wearing the baby. I was pretty intimidated and didn't
: know what was appropriate to say or do, so I just ignored them.

I would have warned them once or twice and if they kept it up, I
would have asked them to leave - and I wouldn't have done anything
with the rest of the group until the boys in question had left. Peer
pressure can be a wonderful classroom management tool, and that goes
for workshops also. If the boys chose not to leave, I would have
sent someone out to find official library staff to remove them.
Ignoring them tells them that there are no consequences to their
actions. Even having just one removed from the class can have a
positve affect on the behavior of the others.

Being able to do the "teacher stare" - you know the one, I'm sure you
remember it from school - helps, too.

Best of luck in future workshops!

 


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