Background

11/2/09

The Standoff

It was 10 minutes until dismissal. Everyone in the room began furiously writing their homework into their agendas. All but one. Queen Goldfish was busy throwing her used tissues on another student's desk. Until my voice turned into flames and axed down that activity.


It was 5 minutes until dismissal. Students were circling around me to share their weekend news and "Guess what I pulled out of my nose" stories. We were happily getting ready for dismissal... I was smiling, they were smiling, and then, DING... they were gone in a flash. As they paraded past my post at the door, I would look up at their desk, then give them a hearty "Have a great afternoon," and send them on their way.


Queen Goldfish was in the line to leave. Since I know that Queen Goldfish is not good with homework - writing it down or doing it - I made sure to ask her a few extra questions. I'm trying to be good about helping her learn organizational skills. If you know me, then you'll know that this does NOT come naturally.


Me: "Queen Goldfish, did you write your homework in your agenda?"


She sticks her bottom lip out and turns away, pulling out her agenda to go write her homework. A few moments later she's back up, trying to push past my post at the door.


Me: (noticing that THAT didn't take long) "Did you write your homework in your agenda?"


Queen Goldfish: "YES" (grumble)


Me: "May I see it, please?" (all honey, right?)


Queen Goldfish: GRUMBLE and pulls out her agenda, where her homework is in fact written, but on the back of some random page - sprawled in scribble and barely legible - in marker.


Me: "Please go write your homework in the correct spot, on today's date, and in the correct way so that you can understand what you wrote later today."


This is when the standoff begins. There was throwing, there was huffing, there were LOTS of tears and sobs.


After a few moments I approached her and asked if she needed my help. I'd be more than happy to help her, I repeated. She grunted at me and threw her pencil. I said, "Looks like you're not ready to answer me, I will be back in 2 minutes."


Two minutes later I walk over and repeat the same thing. This time, she responds with YES, she does need my help. I happily sit next to her, pulling up a chair and getting a pencil ready. When I ask "How may I help you?" she tells me that she needs help writing her homework because (and here's where I have to take a breath)....she "doesn't feel like doing it."

I walked away. I ended up finding her a spot closer to the homework board, since she was sans glasses today. She huffed and grunted and pouted her way through writing all of the homework. All the while I kept the sugar tone in my voice in hopes that she'd just come around.

I walked her to meet her sister to walk home. The whole way I tried to lighten the mood by telling jokes and asking about what she'd do tomorrow (a day off). If you were within a miles distance, you would already know how she took that...

Tomorrow we have a day apart. Back to the demands on Wednesday though.


1 comment:

Joan said...

Wow, your patience is admirable! I have some seriously lazy students too. Drives me nuts!