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.