Friday, 11 June 2004

Poor Tired Ray

Poor little Ray was very tired today.

Ray of M1 class (formerly Ray 2 of T1 class, but rightfully promoted) is a good student. Bright, eager, straightforward and hardworking, he causes me little trouble. He's about 8 years old and today was a very, very sleepy little 8 year old.

I had to wake him up six times. The room was pretty hot today and I had the children doing their workbooks, so I wasn't actively engaging the class for the full 40 minutes. It was just up to them to get on with it. Ray is a good kid, not malicious and not lazy, so I don't have to keep a close eye on him. It was one of the girls who pointed out to me that he was sleeping. His pencil still clutched in his little hand, still sitting upright, he was fast asleep.

Of course, I can't be having students sleeping in my class, so I shushed up the class and quietly walked over to him. I took a pencil and stuck it in his ear. His eyes opened sleepily and it took him about two seconds to process what was going on, before he leapt up in shock.

The other students thought this was very funny.

A minute later he was sleeping again. So again, I walked over to him but this time had a better idea. I have a clock I take with me (the one that's set five minute slow to fool my students) and it has an alarm. So I set the alarm and stuck it right next to Ray's ear, and set it off.

Poor Ray was a little surprised yet again. The other students were extremely amused.

This occurred a further four times in ten minutes, and by the final time I realised that poor Ray really was very tired indeed and, as he's a good kid, I decided to torture him no more and just let him sleep.

When the bell went and all the other kids left the class, Ray continued to sleep soundly. His head wasn't on the desk, but was propped up as if he was just resting his head on a hand. I let the new class filter in to see if Ray noticed, telling them to be quiet. Ray didn't notice.

Until I set the alarm off against his ear for the fifth time, and he woke with a start. And it took him about 20 seconds to realise that the kids surrounding him were all about 2 year older and not his class any more, He seemed baffled for a second, and then desperately tried to pack all his stuff away but managed to spill the contents of his bag everywhere, as the older kids laughed at him.

Poor Ray. Part of me knows that I should take less enjoyment from his confusion, but part of me also knows that when I was in school I wouldn't have been allowed to sleep in class, so it's a fair trade. He can sleep in class if I can abuse him for the amusement of myself and the other students.

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