Club management issues and drama
I am one of the leaders of a club at my high school and had been encountering multiple issues with it. The club members, for one, are mostly disruptive and hard to control - bringing in kids that walk by from other clubs to talk with them during club session, arguing with other club leaders over the information we present, and messing around with other club members. I know this sounds like a typical teacher nightmare - losing control over their students, but the greater issue I see here is the fact that these people have no obligation to stay in the club and can walk out anytime they want - which is something that I also want to prevent if possible. There are few people during club sessions who actually seem like they are interested in what we do, and have done everything that us leaders have mandated so far but are also afraid of losing them if they start to believe that they will get nothing out of attending this club. And a bit on the history of our club: this is our first time running it and its first year in existence at our school. Our club is informational, meaning that we teach club members like a typical class but club time is supposed to be fun and stress-free, unlike our highly competitive school environment. We currently have around 25 in attendance - maybe around 5-10 who I think are genuinley interested (which is really low). Recently, I sent out a Google Form to do a quick survey on some of the club members' thoughts - and received over 1500 responses of which less than 20 were genuine responses as the 'spam' submissions did not even bother to select any answers. I know for sure this was the working of a club member - and shouldn't take this too seriously because it probably was a joke but this just goes to show that a lot of people in our club are probably not taking it seriously enough. During sessions, most of these people choose to show next to zero respect for the leaders, and as I mentioned above, argue with us over the information we present to them. Currently, this club is just being managed by me and another friend - we are both girls and that also makes me wonder at times whether part of this lack of respect stems from the fact that it is being led by two girls who do not really have any credibility or background to be leading a science-related club that is dominated by male participants. It is true that we don't really have anything to show for ourselves but all we want is to be able to convey our knowledge to those who are genuinely interested - and we wouldn't care less if the uninterested dip the club altogether but at this point the messiness of this club must definitely have some degree of negative impact on the impression of those members interested in what we do.
If anyone could provide me some advice on how to deal with these situations - I would gladly appreciate it. Thanks for reading!
So discouraging, isn’t it? Like trying to herd cats.
I wonder why those so uninterested even stay. Is there pressure on students to even be in the club?
Your theory that young males discount young women in leadersip has merit.
I guess I would involve the students as much as possible in presenting the curriculum or even bringing their own ideas. Try to get some of them to even lead the club meeting once in a while.
Good luck. Keep identifying the committed ones. The others will disappear shortly, anyway.,