Thursday, March 22, 2007


Guess what...I have a blog best friend! She's my best friend, but I'm pretty sure I'm not her best friend. Maybe a good friend. Well, maybe just a blog friend, but that doesn't matter! She included THIS blog in one of her entries. She even said that it's one she really likes to read!!! OMG! The pressure. Now I'm going to have to write impressive, humorous, creative entries regularly. Okay. Breathe...

My blog best friend is Melody. She's at: She's AMAZING! Melody is a great mom--you can tell by her sweet, precious entries of her sons. Of which she has 4--one biological, he's older, and three adopted, each with his own special needs that are medical, academic, emotional, etc. I want to take her out for a cup of coffee one day and soak up her kindness, wisdom, class, etc. I am not exactly sure I remember how I stumbled across her blog. She's uplifting and real. She doesn't sugar coat her life, but she makes you have a great desire to be a part of it. Melody, thanks for including the Benson's in your blog. I really can't tell you how much that meant to me.

I'm trying to think of an interesting or humorous or creative entry to share with you today. I think I'll focus on "the other stuff" part of today.
1.) My student with the facial injury returned to school this week. I saw a different side of my students when she returned. Their kindness and thoughtfulness touched me in a way that I had not been moved by this particular class this year. When she (the injured student) didn't come back last Friday, they wanted to decorate her desk. So, I got bulletin board paper and we drew all over it and put it around her desk. When she came in Monday morning, the other students reacted like she was their long lost sister.

2.) I've been having some behavior issues with some of my kids. I'll be the very first to admit that I have a long way to go before becoming the teacher that I want to be--you know, the one who says to h#** with the testing, I'm going to TEACH. I have a student teacher this year who still has a long way to go. She's just not "there" yet--at that place where a first year teacher should be. So, some of the behaviors I see are a result of having wishy-washy authority. Sometimes me, sometimes her, etc. Some of the behaviors are a result of the fact that I started the year with a kidney stone and I was just there to be the final authority. I truly cannot remember the first day of school.

SOOOO, I've about had it with some of the behavior of a few of my students. I will not, under any circumstances, tolerate disrespect of an adult. I have one normally precious little boy who has developed this rather annoying habit of feigning innocence when corrected and then pouting like a two year old when he is in trouble. Today he was sent back to his desk from carpet time. When he finally put his little behind in his chair, he began making this rather heinous "humph"ing noise. I finally lost it. I marched myself by his desk and said, between gritted teeth for effect, "Follow me, NOW." I marched out of the room, with a terrified little guy behind me. On the way to the office I was debating: mother? father? mother? father? mother? father? "Is your dad on the train?" I asked. (as in a real railroad train) "I don't know," he pouted. "Is your mom at work?" I asked. "I don't know," he pouted. "Not to worry. I'll contact SOMEONE." I promised. When we got to the phone, I asked the dreaded question: "Who fusses at you more?" "My dad," he said as he rather easily gave up the information I needed. He realized, too late, that he'd given me the person he wanted to talk with the least. Oh, how the River Nile flowed from his eyes then.
Father: "Hello?"
Me: "Mr. So-and-So? This is...."
Father: "Why is that boy crying?" (notice that he didn't even have wait to hear my introduction)
Me: "We're having a little trouble with..."
Father: "Oh, no...there is no "we're." HE'S having a little trouble. Now, tell me, exactly what is he having trouble with?"
Me: "Oh, accepting responsibility for his actions, pouting, sitting quietly in his seat when he's removed from the group."
Father: "Put him on the phone, please."
At this point, my little student is nearly hyperventilating with his sobbing. I couldn't hear the father's end of the conversation, but the child's went like this:
"Yes, sir."
"Yes, sir." Sob.
"Yes, sir, I'm very sorry for being disrespectful to my teacher."
"Yes, sir, I was making noises in my chair."
"Yes, sir, I can accept responsibility for my actions."
"Yes, sir." Hiccup.
"Yes, sir, she's my favorite teacher."
"Yes, sir."
"Yes, sir." Sob.
"Yes, sir."
"Yes, sir, I want to stay at school today."
"Yes, sir." Hiccup
"Yes, sir, I'll apologize and mean it."

Sometimes when you need to be the most firm, you want to laugh the most. Can I tell you how hard it was to keep a straight face as I listened to this exchange?! And can I also tell you how sweet he was the rest of the day. Ahhhh....calling parents is priceless.

On the Benson home front: M and I had a picnic at her new table today. She fed herself a whole container of yogurt. Pictures to come soon.

Thanks for stopping by!


Stacy said...

I think I would have had some trouble keeping a straight face at that one. Ahhhh, a parent that doesn't blame the teacher for his child's refreshing! Nothing like having an authoritative figure in a child's life to help them behave correctly!

melody said...

Hi BEST FRIEND!! Oh, you just had to give me something to live up to, didn't you? Seriously, thanks for your kind words.

I've been wondering about the little girl who was injured. Thanks for updating.

And the little boy story, thanks for that one. I would have had to leave the room and laugh. Glad he came around to "acceptance".

And I will be checking back for those photos. I bet we'll see them on Best Shot Monday.

natalie said...

Stacy and Melody,

You are so right about my little guy. I teach at a Title 1 school, which means something like 75% of our students are on free and reduced lunch (our number is actually much higher). With that "poverty" sometimes comes a deflection of acceptance of responsibility. There have been MANY times when a parent does not make their child accept responsibility for their actions. On the other hand, I think I've had MORE instances when the parent completely supports my authority as the teacher. It is a breath of fresh air.

Melody, my little "scarface" is doing great. When she came back Monday, she was thrilled to be there and her classmates were excited she was back. She told me that her family was calling her scarface and I could to, if I wanted! She was giggling while she shared that little tidbit with me. I suggested perhaps that stay a family nickname and we just call her by her name. She thought that was just as delightful!