Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Little Amnesiacs

One of the hilarious things about being around kids all day is their extremely short memories. Obviously, this has its negative side (What do you mean you don't remember how to add? We learned that last quarter!) - but really overall, its incredibly beneficial to teachers.

Case in point:

I've expressed in previous posts how - ahem - challenging my kids this year can be behaviorally. Specifically, they don't listen or stop talking. Like, ever. By the end of the school day (3:45 p.m. is waaaay too late, btw) I am hanging on to the last minute shred of patience left in my body. Inevitably, every once in a while, one child gets to be the lucky straw that breaks this here camel's back. It might be, "Wait, what do we have to do?" or "I left my folder at home." Or any of the other 192945394093 things I swear my people do just to irk me.

I confess. There are days I lose it. I get loud and lecture the class at the top of my lungs - making sure to work some praise for the friends doing the right thing in there somewhere - and basically do everything I swore in ed school I would never do. There may be screaming involved.

I always get this knot in my stomach afterwards. I feel incredibly regretful and am sure that I've ruined my relationship with my class. I just know that from now on, I'm going to be the teacher that the students and parents dread getting. I'm the mean teacher and I've crushed all their little spirits and am going straight down to hell.

And you know what happens, fifteen minutes later? The former hellion who caused my meltdown hugs me as I walk out the door, parting with, "I love being in your class. You're the best teacher!"

And I'm like... come again?

So it's great from that standpoint. But sadly, the students not only have a short memory for my behavior; they also have a very limited ability to recall their own. Often the kids who get on your nerves all the dang time haul off and give you things. (You get a lot of adorable handmade presents from elementary school kids. And you have to keep them all and display them somewhere near your desk.)

Here's the thing, though - and I'm going to sound like such a b!tch - I don't want your artwork, small child who demands my attention 75 times per hour. Please skip the lopsided flower or the three-legged horse picture.  Next time you want to show how much you appreciate me, listen to what I say. The first time I say it.

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