This places me in a somewhat awkward position, paints me in a less then perfect light.
But let me explain.
Lessons are forty-five minutes long. Classes can have more than eighty students. That makes possible individual attention about thirty seconds, and that's without actually spending any time teaching. So what I do, mostly, is create groups and give them tasks to do as a group. Unfortunately when students don't work or don't want to work there simply isn't the time to try to persuade them so generally if they are quiet I just let them sit without participating.
I feel bad about it but I don't really know what else I can do without seriously disadvantaging all the students who do want to work.
Anyway, here's the poem.
Classroom Poem #2
In groups of eight they contemplate
the task I've set before them.
It's been designed with them in mind,
I hope it doesn't bore them.
Some buckle down without a frown
and try their best to do it:
apply their minds and try to find
the skill to get them through it.
The groups behind may be inclined -
at least when I am near them -
to put some thought in what they're taught
and talk so I can hear them.
But at the back, with faces slack,
they pay me no attention.
They can't disguise their panicked eyes
and lack of comprehension.
I do my best but if I'm pressed
admit I simply let them
ignore the class they'll never pass -
and go home and forget them.