Monday, January 14, 2013

Somethings are worth more than money can buy.

Barn Owl, Fort Valley, GA, USA
I taught many poorly behaved students over the years. Some were control freaks in that if they could get you frazzled, they controlled the class.

Some just did not want to do any work and once again getting the teacher off topic or creating a disruption pretty much did the job.

Many had no clue their behavior was a problem or understood how an education could make their adult life easier. You have that infamous adult who crows they did not finish school or go to college and did just fine. You have that other infamous adult who swears their education really didn't help them.

An education really does not open doors. It just increases the possibility of someone thinking you may be a better employee. It also broadens your horizons with what might be out there.

As a teacher, you deal with whatever students cross your classroom threshold. When I was young, I was at their mercy. I've heard of students running teachers off but I always needed my paycheck and that was not a consideration. I was careful never to let students know how little power I really had.

I had one particularly difficult sixth grade class. I was truly at my wits end and I made an incredibly long list of concrete rules. I gave the students the list and I just keep a table of which rules they broke. If they worked all week with no rules broken. I gave them a reward.

The first week was McDonald's Big Macs, fries and a soda. What humbled me the most was all three were on the free or reduced price lunch program? They asked me if they could eat the school lunch and their treat.

This is one of the reasons I felt so much patience and compassion with children like this. I would have picked at the hamburger and ate the fries at their age. I would leave a great deal of my purchased school lunch on the tray each day.

Sometimes I see former students who have gotten in trouble. More times, I meet them working in businesses or in town. A great many went into the military. I grew up and lived in a military town.

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