mathinaz

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 26 2012

Not Aging Gracefully

Sometimes, I have to spend all day with kids who are in too much trouble to go back to class. Today was one of those days.

 

I was sitting in my office, trying to get work done, and this kid was supposed to be writing an essay. Unfortunately, he is an incessant pencil-tapper and would not stop. We were stuck in a small office together, all day long, and I couldn’t take the pencil away or he wouldn’t be able to do his assignment. Nothing I did would quiet him for long. Instead of being productive, I was using all my energy trying unsuccessfully to ignore him. taptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptap

 

Finally, I had enough of my personal torture chamber. I walked over to him, put my head at his eye level, and pointed at my scalp. “Do you see those grey hairs?” I asked him.

 

He poked at my hair for a few seconds before determining that he was not up for this task. He shook his head.

 

“Right. You don’t see them now. But it’s your job to just watch this spot over the course of the year. When they start to show up, you’re gonna know where they came from.”

 

He dropped his pencil, fast. When he picked it up again, all he did was write. An hour later, he tapped twice before he realized what he was doing and stopped himself.

 

That was the last I heard of the pencil tapping.

One Response

  1. Ms. Math

    you have the most creative strategies to get kids to do what you want them too. i think that surprise is the key in many of your strategies. and the honesty of what you say to them.

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