Monday, September 24, 2012

Self-Contained, Six Years

A colleague thanked me this morning for Friday.  A student bumped into me as she forcefully pushed past him into a hall where she was not supposed to be.  I walked after her, mainly because we happened to be going in same direction, and calmly spoke to her behavior. She eventually slowed down for me, and I said my piece.  I use this language because it was after the bell, and I was not about to reprimand an unfamiliar student of her demeanor and potentially lose be ignored.

It felt good to tell him in response self-contained, six years. To which he replied, "So you speak the language?" Yes. I nodded empathetically. Yes. I am fluent in you-can't-tell-me-nothin'-I'm-mad-at-the-world-ese.

He spoke on about the student mentioning that she has control issues.  I told him, I felt her energy.  I could relate to him too, as I vividly remember pushing kids out the door at the end of a long day-- using my energy and with the thought that tomorrow is a new day, but for today, I'm done.

But I was headed in the student's direction, so I addressed her conduct in a way that she may not have expected: a simple reminder to be mindful how she moves through the halls, as other people also occupy the same space.  And I used her name, which I had just learned from my co-worker's interactions with her.  This surprised her in a good way, as did my tone.

So yes, in four words, the story of my first six years of teaching is:  
 self-contained, six years.

Miss M

No comments:

Post a Comment