Monday, November 26, 2007

I Guess I'm a Mean Teacher???

I have something horrible to admit. I feel smug when a child in my class begins to cry because they have disappointed me. There, I said it... and now let me explain:

I really don't raise my voice at my students. I try to respect them and just as I wouldn't want them yelling at me, I'm not going to yell at them. I feel pretty damn good about the respect thing in my classroom. The students all really work hard and because they're 5 and 6, the only motivation some of them need is knowing that their hard work pleases me. (What a rewarding thing right?) Its when they begin to NOT please me anymore that we have an issue.

So today, S. was acting completely out of character. Not sure what was going on really. Usually he's very quiet, but today he was Chatty McChatterton. One verbal warning, two verbal warnings, thrrreee verbal warnings...ahhh ahhh ahh! Still, his behavior didn't change and I realized I wasn't being taken seriously. So, I call him over to me, we talk privately about what was going on and I just kept saying, "I am not impressed with the choices you are making today, yada yada yada," and his face was getting redder and redder. I was truly feeling for him. He walked back over to his table and get this...HE STARTED UP AGAIN! He was talking, spitting on L's paper next to him (on purpose), and then he took his pencil and scribbled on J's paper. I was livid. "S. you have lost free choice center time," I bark. His response, a silent cheer. Hands raised over his head and cheering like this punishment was relief. ARRGH! So again, he is called over to me and this time I really let him have an ear full. I saw tears in his eyes and I didn't stop telling him how his actions disappointed me, no, I kept right on going. The tears then started down his face and I dismissed him. He got back to his table and was covering his face but he managed to say, "I'm so sorry Ms. H. I don't ever wanna disappoint you again."

Doh! A part of me felt bad, but then this other feeling crept over me. I was really quiet smug that this little guy felt so bad and it was because he had disappointed me.


Mean Mommy said...

And I'm a mean mommy. So yay for me and you! :)

johnnyp said...

OK, so now I'm a little scared of you. Please don't make me cry! Honestly though, if I didn't know it before, I know now that to be a teacher is to have limitless patience. I so could not do the job that you do very, very well. Those kids are lucky to have you.

MadMad said...

I wish I knew why kids acted like that - like the cheering thing after you take something away. It drives me nuts. I don't think you're mean - I probably would have lost my mind on him.

Mimi said...

You know what? Sometimes they need to cry and feel bad about what they've done. I feel the exact same way sometimes...then you know you've gotten to them. I say, good for you!!!