Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Win?

I'm not the best teacher.  I have my moments.  Monday, 6th period, around 3:32 was a moment.  I had one student who wasn't on task and wasn't following directions.  She needed to get her computer put away for our 3:30 dismissal.  I grabbed the computer after I had told her 4 times to put it away.  She didn't like that. Her friend liked it ever less.  Her friend argued with me until 3:40.  

Today, this young lady and her friend struggled to be quiet and listen to the 2 minutes of directions I had.  When they weren't being quiet, they were being disrespectful to everyone around them.  I asked both of them to step into the hallway.

After I had given directions, I went to the hallway and talked to them.  

One girl told me that if she didn't follow directions again, then I should call her mom.  I told her that I wasn't going to call home again.  I had previously called home.  I told her that if that first phone call had truly worked, then I wouldn't be talking to her in the hallway again.  She struggled to make that connection.  I repeated to her that calling home really didn't work because we were talking in the hallway again.

***

One thing I really strive in middle school to impart, regardless of academic content, is the need for young people to be in charge of themselves.  That they don't need to worry about anyone else is doing.  That they don't want to give away the power that they have.  That if they are doing the right things, then they can do just about anything they want.  Middle school is when students need to start taking control of themselves, their learning, their futures and their lives.  

***

I didn't have any more lack of respect from this young lady.  In fact, she even put up a few chairs at the end of the day and said good-bye.  She didn't do much work though.  In my mind, she was using her time to think about the wisdom that I impart during our brief time in the hallway.

I'll connect with her tomorrow morning and thank her for putting up chairs and being respectful at the end of the hour. 

I'm counting it as a win for the day.

1 comment:

Ms. Spearman said...

One win is a win for all of us!