Why do we always scheme to contain the disruptive kids? I mean, it’s a noble goal, but maybe we’re going at it from the wrong angle. I don’t want to “contain” any of my students. I want to make them come alive. Even the crazy ones who make me want to pull my hair out.
That’s easy enough to say, but six feet in front of me, the mother of all make-you-pull-your-hair-out students has just made a second paper football. I confiscated the first one five minutes ago. And she seriously thinks I don’t see this one.
I definitely see it. I’m just trying to decide if I should march over there and snatch it. I’m caught between the need for consistency and the importance of picking my battles. Plus, I don’t just want Crazy Child to stop flicking paper footballs for the sake of eliminating a few of the various and sundry projectiles from the classroom airspace (although that would be nice). I want her to stop flicking paper footballs for the sake of engaging in what’s going on here.
Why does she feel the need to make those stupid things in the first place? She must be terribly bored. She finished her Math quiz early. She doesn’t want to read. I wonder if she knows how to pick out a good book at the library. I wonder if she even knows what she likes to read.
Good grief. She just flicked the football and somehow it flew over her shoulder and landed on the floor a couple feet away from me. She muttered an expletive under her breath and then started giggling with her cohorts. “I’m not going to go pick it up! Are you crazy?”
“Don’t worry.” I said as I retrieved the contraband, “I’ll get it.” And I put it on my desk. The entire PFL (Paper Football League, of course) got wide-eyed and quiet.
I felt kind of smug about my wit in handling that whole thing. I dealt with the situation, but I didn’t get nasty. Hah. Take that PFL. Take that, Crazy Child. I’m going to be a darned good teacher one of these days. I felt pretty smug indeed. Until this very moment.
Six feet in front of me, she’s making another paper football.