If this sounds ridiculous, it’s because it is.
I missed studying so I decided to take French classes after a few years of inactivity. I was very happy to discover I was actually the youngest in the class (being 30) because I’m not a fan of studying with teenagers (I realize most are fine, but in my experience it only takes a couple who are forced to be there by their parents to ruin things for everybody else).
Since it’s an advanced class, and we’re (kind of) done with grammar, it’s mostly a conversation class. Teacher is great. My problem is with this otherwise nice lady who, despite pushing 50, doesn’t seem to have grown out of her teacher’s pet days. She monopolizes every class. If there’s a quiz, she literally sits on the edge of her seat so she’ll be the first to answer every single question. She answers questions that are specifically directed at others. Every now and then she’ll even answer questions made by one of the students meant for the teacher. You’d think after a few seconds of speaking over the teacher she’d realize how inappropriate her behavior is, but no such luck. She’ll start rambling about personal experiences at the most inappropriate times – while we’re watching a video for instance. If she decides she has something to say (which is pretty much always) she sees nothing wrong with interrupting others before they are done speaking, even if it means speaking louder and louder until the other person gives up. Her stories aren’t even relevant to whatever is being discussed, she just wants to show off whatever fancy word or construction she learned last. We were supposed to read a short story and discuss it the following week but since she was familiar with it she thought it would be a good idea to spoil the ending for everyone else. The funniest part is she gets visibly annoyed when corrected by the teacher.
It might sound like the teacher doesn’t care, but the truth is he’s done everything short of putting his hand over her mouth. He’s ignored her, joked about her monopolizing the class, told her (politely) not to interrupt others when they are speaking, apologized to others on her behalf for the interruption… I swear he once held up the palm of his hand 4 inches from her face in an attempt to shut her up while he was trying to hear what another student was saying. No, it didn’t work. I kind of feel sorry for the teacher because there’s only so much you can do when dealing with an adult student as opposed to a child. And it might seem like she’s deliberately trying to provoke the teacher, but I’m (95%) sure she honestly just wants to be admired.
I might sound petty, but it’s honestly affecting my enjoyment of these classes and I don’t feel like I’m getting my money’s worth. Subtlety doesn’t work with this woman and I’m not good at confrontation. Is there anything I can do or say to get her to realize she’s not paying for private lessons? 0407-14
First, I don’t think she’s a teacher’s pet since that would imply the teacher likes and wants that kind of behavior. She’s a teacher’s pet wannabe.
This is a tough situation since your teacher appears to be powerless to control an unruly student in his classroom. You don’t have many options available to you that are not blatantly rude in retaliation. When confronted with a habitual interrupter, I take one of three paths, i.e. I can ignore it, or I can respond with, “Oh, please do forgive me for talking while you were interrupting,” or recognize that I am in a battle for verbal supremacy and I will win…meaning I talk louder and more insistently than the interrupter in order to finish the point I was making. The latter assumes some people are verbal bullies who will roll right over another person whom they don’t respect.
Selfish people who believe their words are wise jewels tumbling from their mouth and expect the world to come to a standstill while they bloviate are not likely to stop running roughshod all over other people’s right to speak. You could talk to the teacher about making a class rule that unwarranted disruptions will result in an automatic grade devaluation. Informed that she just earned a zero grade for the day may take the wind from her sails. When it’s a member of your family, confronting them about the constant interruptions and talking over people before they are finished is often quite helpful….assuming the person being confronted has a speck of contriteness to hear the message.