The unseasonally warm weather last week meant that most of the students spent their spare time outside. (I suspect that many of them should have been in lessons but that's another matter). This left the main building feeling like the Mary Celeste with empty corridors and a deserted student lounge. My fellow supervisors thought this was great but I wasn't so sure. I'd rather have them all cooped up inside where I can keep my eye on them.
The alfresco lifestyle brings its own problems. I've had to confiscate footballs and skateboards as well as warning some of them about water pistols and frisbees. There are ample playing fields at the back of the college but the picnic areas seem to be the preferred spaces for larking about. You would think it was a primary school instead of a sixth form college.
There must be something in a teenager's head that makes them query every reasonable request to behave responsibly. Maybe their brains are wired in such a way as to cause them to question everything. Perhaps it's evolution's way of ensuring that the human race progresses and never becomes satisfied with the status quo. Being a firm fan of creativity, I can't really complain too much about their inquisitive nature. I believe, however, that it's important to channel their curiosity into something that is productive rather than rebellious. I'm not a teacher or a student counsellor so I try, in my own small way, to use my experience of the outside world to apprise them of the expected code of conduct. After all, it's our taxes that are paying for their time here.