Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sorry folks

I know I didn't update yesterday, and I know today isn't going to be what I promised. I have a hugeass research grant request to get in by the 14th though and I'm still working on my fucking budget, so bear with me. Plus I spent all weekend drunk or hungover. This next weekend looks very similar. I will super seriously try to have the schedule typed out and up tomorrow (though tomorrow's update is going to be late at night, sorry, that's just the way it is). If not, it WILL be up over the weekend (maybe).

Made a student cry today. Poor ol' Shauna. We were talking about them essays and I had given them some rough drafting to do over the weekend. She came up to me during class free time to look at each others' essays (yes, the motivated students actually will do this) and started asking about the essays, clarifying. She was stressed as all hell, looking at me through that sort of cracking veneer of smiling psychosis that people get. Yknow how someone's sorta smiling just a little too much and their eyes are just a little too glisten-ey? She started asking if they all had to be as long as I'd said, what kinda sources they'd need, basic shit. I told her yes and she started talking about how much trouble she'd had formulating any ideas and how she'd basically gotten nothing but a bunch of crap scribbled hastily down. At this point, I could tell she was gonna crack, so obviously I started to try to console her. "It's gonna be okay, don't worry, you'll see that everything's gonna work out alright. You're gonna come out a stronger writer than you think. Etc." She smiled and sucked it up, but not before letting a few tears spill. I told her she could use the restroom if she liked, which she did indeed do, and that she needed to calm down because she was going to do way better than she thought, and I'm damn sure she will. She's a fine student. This brings me to an important topic though, the overly emotional student. Whether they're crying for sorrow, fear, anger, or whatever, they need to be dealt with in a certain manner.

First, assess for danger. If a kid looks like he's damn near ready to chuck a desk or... has already chucked a desk (which is fucking fun for the teacher), you may just have to take action. Who knew. Now, clearly, if they're pissed and chuck something across the room and storm out, you wanna go out there, have them chill out, but the danger is over. What you have to worry about is if a student is going to be hurting other kids. Hate to say it, but you won't know what's happening until halfway through. If a kid is pissed, you're not gonna see it welling up in a room of 20 of the fuckers. They'll just snap and you'll see a book sailing across the room. Get authoritative. "WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON" always works, or something like that. Watch your swears, but they'll be an effective tool at this crucial time. Now. Taking down a student. If it's a typical fight, go get another teacher or have the kids break it up, don't dirty your hands with grabbing a student, of course try to get in the way a little bit, but don't go throwing kids around. That's inviting a lawsuit. If a kid is going fucking nuts though, take em down. If they have a weapon, you take that fucker the shit fucking shit out. So, that's how you handle a violent problem in the middle of violence. Sometimes you will see it welling up, the kid'll walk in late beet red and breathing through clenched teeth (which incidentally is the funniest fucking thing ever, especially since you know they think they look sooper serriuz guys). Take them outside and say something like "You need to talk, need me to leave you alone, need to go somewhere or just need a handshake (or any sign of affection, though if you're a male teacher, hugs are reaaaaaalllllyyyyyy dangerous)." Quick and easy and nips the problem before it gets serious. Notice how I basically did this with Shauna today, saw what she was having problems and addressed them. Even though I was the cause of the problems, I was able to set myself up as the caring loving teacher that was there for her and only her. Not only is this going to build her trust in me, but it's going to set the essays up as some foe against me and her together. Slowly she'll come around to the concept of the essays as help, but for now, it's me and her vs. the world. Pretty much the epitome of the teenage girl's mind. Any more questions on this stuff, I'd love to cover.

Also, otters are fucking awesome creatures. They use their bellies as plates. How crazy is that shit?

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