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

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Posted by Alissa on August 16, 2002 at 16:31:46:

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

I approach my library lectures completely differently.

I show up in a sari, which sets the mood that this is something
different. My typical lecture lasts one hour, or one and a half,
depending on what the library wants. The young adult programs are
usually groups that vary from 3 or 4, up to 15-20. Boys and girls.

I tell them right away that my style is to lecture while I paint, so
I will call them up one at a time for a design form one particular
page. I hold up the page and show fron tand back. This is a
rudimentary, mostly personally freehanded designs that I can whip out
primo fast and with little concentration. That way I can stay focused
on the lecture part.

I lecture from a one page outline and go over all sorts of typical
henna questions. I do *not* provide them henna of their own, unles it
is specifically set up to be so before hand. I tell organizers that I
don't recommend handing out henna because it stains clothing
permantently. I dont want pissed off parents calling me after the
fact when Jill or Johnny ruined their good clothes and it's all my
fault. But that's just my aproach to that issue.

I lecure and paint, lecture and paint. Usually I go from right to
left across the room and whomever wants one gets one. If I do
everyone and have enough time left, I will start over and give them
another. And another. Until the lecture and time alotted is up.

With unruly boys I find it best to call them out right away. If they
are acting up for attention, I immediately beam them down with a
laserbeam of it. Once a boy kept acting up, talking out loud and
interjecting commetns along my lecutre. I snapped my attention from
the work I was doing on to him and said in an even and firm
tone, "Your comments are disrupting me. Please refrain, or I will ask
the staff to have you removed. If this is a library setting, they are
expected to behave in a librayr manner, or can face eviction. Almsot
every library has staff and secturity to back you up on that. I've
worked for libraries for 7 years intimately, and speak from that

For boys that are jumping all around and not staying seated, I tell
them point blank, "You need to take your seat. You are distracting me
and interrupting my lecture." IMO if you take a direct and bold
approach to their actions, they will often respectfully back down.
They may act up again, and you may have to remind them again to
behave. If they are beyond your control, find the librarian and ask
to have them removed by the library staff or security. You're not
doing anyone any favors by keeping them there. They are taking away
from everyone else's enjoyment instead.

I have had situation with older teenage boyz from the Westside, gang
bangers who are antsy and mouthing off, and felt intimidated.
However, I found that still being as bold and direct, and calling out
bad behavir when I saw it, was the best approach. It takes a lot of
hutzpah, and I honestly dont know how I would've reacted in your
situation. But that's my take on my approach to YA lectures, and Iv'e
done well over a dozen, may be more, in the past year and a half.


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