Monday, August 20, 2007

The Wild World of Teaching

Needless to say, it has been a wild and strange few days. The first days of school have shown me a great deal of new things. So far I've been trying to figure out the stories these kids are trying to tell. They hold their heads a certain way, project body language a certain way, and use words a certain way. What kind of things have these kids had to deal with at the tender age of 12 and 13?

Today I was greeted by several of my kids covering their notebooks with graffiti about a teenager named Fat Head. Fat Head was the street name of a young person named Aaron. He was shot and died last night in the neighborhood where some of my students live. This is the second teenager to be shot to death in our area in the past two months. We are a small Southern town. We have less than 68,000 people in the entire county. You wouldn't expect to have this level of violence in the little backwoods area where we live.

How did these children react to the death of someone they knew? There were no tears. There were no sighs. Just drawing and writing. Frankly, the lack of emotional display bothers me almost as much as the ending of this young life.



Blogger lu said...

It's not real to them, not now, might never be. For them it's all about "me." There will be tears, forced and melodramatic, searching for how to be "me" and how to react to the crazy world and their growing brains. Suddenly there are all these ideas to juggle where before it was just one at a time, now they have to balance opposing values, hormones, and the desire to crawl back home and play with the Barbies again.

I bet you're doing a great job with them. Just be real, consistent, and fair. For future reference, when the honeymoon period is over and kid start testing you-- "Is there something I'm asking of you that you find unreasonable?" Works every time.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Peach Pod said...

No honeymoon here. Part of my day is spent saying things like, "Cameron, please be quiet." Cameron starts in with a story about why he isn't being quiet and I cut him short with, "I didn't ask you what was going on. I asked you to be quiet. The correct response is 'Yes, ma'am."

BTW, thanks for your feedback.

6:32 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

We live in a world of numb people.

6:40 PM  
Blogger ellie bee said...

we also had a kid killed last week--drug related shooting. Lots of angst in the high school world among his "friends", but more so was the talk of retaliation from the gang he belonged to.
Our kids live in a different world--one we cannot even begin to understand. I hate it for them.

7:54 PM  

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