I have a bit of a hard time comprehending what students (and their parents) are thinking when they (or their child) leave for school in the morning without any of their books or writing utensils. There are a few lower level students in each of my classes who constantly “forget” their notebooks or books at home and then just sit and fiddle in class. They (and their parents) are perpetually reminded to bring books. I am also constantly tearing out sheets of paper and lending pens and pencils to them so they can participate in the class (although they tend to just doodle on the paper). Some of these students say that they have left there materials at home, but really have just kept them in their bag or desk because they do not want to do anything. They do not even want to have to pretend that they are paying attention. It then comes to other students tattling on them to have them bring out the book or notebook. Then it usually just sits unopened on their desk while they day dream, talk, doodle, or just plan disturb class in ways that I think only Georgian children can manage.

Then there are the upper level students. When they forget their books and notebooks, they literally mean that they have brought nothing to school that day. Not even an empty bag. What do they expect to do all day? Oh, right, they are there to just talk through all and every class. It is a like an ice-cream social for them, but without ice-cream. School is not a place to learn. No, there is no need to listen to the teacher. Nothing will come of the teacher’s threats or yelling anyway, so might as well just ignore her. Or say “bodishi, mas” (sorry) and then continue with the conversation in a slightly quieter voice. Usually there is not even an acknowledgment from the student that they have done anything wrong.

Talking is not restricted to the “bad” students. There are quite a few students who are “good” who are some of the most obnoxious. Constantly fidgeting, talking, shouting out answers when others have been called on, etc. “Good” students can also be the students who know absolutely no English, but do not disrupt class at all. Is that messed up that I sometimes like those students better than the disruptive students who know some English? Then the “bad” students are those who never do homework, constantly forget materials AND disrupt class. I have quite a few who will randomly shout irrelevant questions, others will get up and start fighting with other students (punching and shoving type of fighting), and spit balls have become the latest annoyance. Some students like to sing and dance in class.

All levels of students find it perfectly ok to argue back to the teacher. If I recall correctly from when I was in school, when I teacher said “be quiet”, students were quiet (at least for a few minutes). If a teacher said “move to this desk”, there might have been some grumbling, but the student would do it. If the student did not do it, there were consequences. And if a teacher raised their voice, it was a very bad thing. Yelling is a daily occurrence in Georgia (not just in school) and there are not really any consequences. Here a teacher can tell a student to stop talking and while the teacher is looking directly at the student and saying this, the student will nod or consent and then keep right on talking. Then the teachers usually try to move the talking student away from who they want to talk to and the students response is “mas, ar minda” (teach, I dont want to) in the most ANNOYING WHINY voice you can conceive. If the teacher responds that she does not care what the student wants, the student will take a good five minutes to actually move (if they move). Then the whole time they are sitting in the new seat, they continue to talk and complain.

At the moment, I do not have the energy to verbalize any more anything really. It is exhausting thinking about student behavior.