First, happy birthday to my brother. He’s in Mexico right, so I’m not sure my text got him, but I hoping he’s enjoying his birthday in the sun.
Second, yesterday, I wrote about consistency, and today, during our #FinishHardFriday video I got this quote:
Without commitment you’ll never start, Without consistency you’ll never finish
– Denzel Washington
Someone is hearing my cries, that is for sure.
Finally, I have a student who pushes a lot of my buttons. Blurts, answers incorrectly on purpose, is rude and disrespectful, you name it, he does it. He’s not different than many students similar to him in the past, but he is different in one aspect: I don’t have to get angry anymore.
Not that I’m a yeller or a screamer or someone who blows a gasket frequently. I’ve got my tricks that I use, and for the most part, they are successful. But we’ve done some Love and Logic trainings and there are a couple of things I hear many of us do in class, in the hallway or where ever that confrontation takes place. If that kid is saying they won’t do something, they think is dumb, stupid, whatever, reply with “that’s a bummer” and walk away. Don’t have your homework? “That’s a bummer.” You won’t do what you are told? “That’s a bummer.” They look like a fish out of water when you won’t engage.
Today though, the student wanted to engage. They were working on a study guide, and in his defense, I changed my mine about what I wanted done. However, his approach was getting under my skin and I wasn’t having any of it. He wanted to know if he had to the work today, which I replied yes. Then he ask if he had to do all of it and I replied I wasn’t going to talk about that right now, that he had work to do. That didn’t sit will, so he asked again. And again. And again, in various formats with varying degrees of rudeness.
I finally said to him, “Hey, I talking with this student about her work and don’t have time to argue with you right now. If you want to come back in at 3:20, I’d be happy to pick this up at that point.”
And that’s what I said for the rest of the period. I refused to engage in that kind of behavior, and while my blood pressure was through the freaking roof, he couldn’t tell this was happening. All he saw and heard was a teacher, helping other students, not engaging with his desire to argue.
Later in the day, without fanfare, I found this student and answered his question, and walked away. Again, fish out of water.
Sometimes, that idea of not allowing that fight to take place is a pie in the sky idea. But when you allow yourself that time to breath, to center your being, and know what is right for yourself and your student, it just ….. works.
And it did today.
As a side note: This has been the longest day, in longest week of the year. I could do without another week like this for a long, long time.
March 5, 2021 at 9:25 pm
A lot of us are thinking (praying!) the same…
March 5, 2021 at 11:53 pm
You are wise to have learned that you don’t have to go to every fight that you are invited to.
Bravo for adeptly managing such a trying situation at the very end of a very long week.
March 6, 2021 at 10:45 pm
>You are wise to have learned that you don’t have to go to every fight that you are invited to.<
This made me smile very biggly, but is so true! We make the choice to attend or to decline! 🙂
March 6, 2021 at 4:08 am
Congratulations for not engaging. The more tired you are the harder it is to not let their words and actions crawl under the skin. I hope your weekend brings rest and joy.
March 6, 2021 at 10:44 pm
>I hope your weekend brings rest and joy.<
Thank you, Terje! So far, so good! 🙂
March 6, 2021 at 5:59 am
Wow! Now those are two great strategies! 🙂
March 6, 2021 at 10:44 pm
It’s the little things we take away from our PD that sometimes are the biggest game changers in our room! 🙂
March 6, 2021 at 6:15 am
I love your response to this student. It is so hard at times to not engage with them, but so important at the same time. Way to go for winning the day. And yes, it has been a long week
March 6, 2021 at 10:43 pm
We got for the small victories right now. They may not be much, but we’ll take them! 🙂
March 6, 2021 at 7:27 am
I can’t wait to try both strategies! Here’s to a a relaxing weekend with time to recoup and a better week next week.
March 6, 2021 at 10:42 pm
We are hoping for a better week, this is for sure! I see one positive all ready, my wife will be fully vaccinated! 🙂
March 6, 2021 at 9:57 am
I wish you more joy and fewer bummers.
March 6, 2021 at 10:14 am
Thank you for some professional development on how to manage a situation like this. This strategy could be applied in a lot of situations besides school. It’s a great reminder that emotions are fleeting and if we take a step back for a time, we may look at the situation differently. BTW-I hope it’s warm enough for an outside run for you! You can do it!
March 6, 2021 at 10:41 pm
That will be $500, please, for my PD today! 😉
Didn’t make it outside to run, but we got a short bike ride in!
March 6, 2021 at 5:33 pm
I have been away from blogging and I have missed your “voice.” Your post is one of the first I clicked on to read today. I think of your posts as always being very “real.” You are very good at telling a story in abbreviated fashion, “sticking” the dialogue,” and always injecting some universal truth into what you write. I was never good at being confronted by wise guys which is why I chose to teach elementary school, but today I wish I had some students to try out your “tricks.” I can see the smoke coming out of your ears as the student egged you on, and I am proud of you for sticking to your guns. And by the way, there’s always a self-reflection in your post which is what I enjoy most. At the end of a terrible, horrible week, I’d say you scored a very important victory with that student and all the others in the room.
March 6, 2021 at 10:41 pm
Thank for the kind words! My daughters could push me over the edge with a few words, but these kids, they really have to work to get under my skin. Even more so now that I’m equipped with these little gems!
Thanks for stopping by and welcome back! 🙂