One of those days…. and “one of those kids”

I have a very social group of 8th graders this year.  Not uncommon; middle schoolers are social by nature, brain research proves this.  But I also have  a very smiley, very “cute” boy who transferred in this year.  Now, understand, I am one of those people who lets kids tell me who they are… I don’t seek out past teachers’ experience with students because often they grow up between 7th/8th grade and sometimes there are just personality conflicts.  

So, anyway, today was said boy’s second day back after being suspended for 2 days.  Boy began our block with singing… “please stop singing”…  “I wasn’t singing”… .ok, fine, whatever, just stop.   I began reading aloud a detailed story from Amy Tan… boy is throwing small pieces of paper…I stop… read again… now boy is mouthing whole conversations…  I stop….  read again… look up, boy is blowing spit bubbles.   *Really????*  Spit bubbles?  In the 8th grade?    I calmly ask boy to remove himself to the hallway so I can finish actually teaching the rest of my students.   During the break I talk to the boy.. do you know what is expected of you in a classroom? (yes.)  Then what is the deal? (I don’t know… grin)….  What is your plan?  (I don’t know … grin)….  ugh… that grin, complete with dimples infuriates me…. but I just state what boy will do the rest of the class (his assignment without distracting).  Boy writes his name, then tells me I can’t make him work.

Nope, I can’t make him work… I can punish him but I can’t actually make him work.  He has to accept my authority as teacher.  As frustrated as I am… I am also sad… sad because the child is setting really bad habits, sad because he has a gender-authority issue (he never causes a problem for our male teachers) and sad because he is SO smart, but refuses to show it.   And natural intelligence can only get you so far….  I’m at a loss… so I guess I just pray….  and keep my temper buried.

Needed to get that our, sorry!

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One thought on “One of those days…. and “one of those kids”

  1. I have a lot of those “you can’t make me’s” this year. He’s right. We can’t make him/her. Remember earlier in the year, I told the kids they had an option to either participate or sit silently, but I informed them that disruption and distraction were not options. Most chose to work. But I get so sick of the power struggle, because there shouldn’t be one. Teachers are the authority, students are not. But on the flip side, getting into a power struggle with a kid will NEVER work out in your favor. Letting them get away with not applying themselves doesn’t help anyone either. UGH

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