Wednesday, November 10, 2004

I've grown accustomed to the place...

A friend of mine who reads this blog told me it seems to her that things are getting normal at my school. I wonder if I'm just getting used to it. I wonder if I'm tuning out the noise in the hall. I wonder if I'm becoming inured to comments to me like, "I didn't touch your fucking door." (Another conflict around a door. This girl tried to poke the taped pane out and I happened to be standing there and opened the door and saw her and another kid nearby. That's when she told me that.)
I think it's a bad thing if I am in fact accepting things as just the way it is. Things are smoother when everybody goes with the flow, like we teachers have to do when we don't know a schedule or we stand outside for 45 minutes for a fire. We go with the flow and do the best we can with what we've got, with the little noisy, chaotic something that we've got. But I think that's a mistake. I cannot let myself get used to this. If I do, things won't change.
Yesterday I stepped up in my classes. I devised a new plan to get people into class on time and to cause respectfulness. Nothing special, just points given and taken, but that I stood up and said no more was a good thing. As I think I said in my last blog, kids don't know how to draw the line between playfulness and disrespectfulness. A student told me yesterday that the kids like to be yelled at, that that's the only thing they respond to. I told her I'm not going to do that. She looked at me a little warily, but didn't dismiss me. That's a good sign.



Blogger Nancy McKeand said...

I think it's true that you MUST stand up and try to effect change. But I also think that you must, from time to time, allow yourself the luxury, the laziness of going with the flow. You can't fight all the battles all the time. You know that. So pick and choose and flow when it is appropriate. It should turn out that, as you fight some and win some, there are fewer battles to fight overall. That's when you can tackle some of the ones you bypass now.

The challenge, of course, is to remember to pick some of them to fight! But that's a challenge we all face, whether we recognize it or not.

10:38 AM  

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