Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Hear and Now

The great thing about being a teacher is that you are the one who never stops learning. On top of that you’re always getting these lessons from the students. It’s easily a case of the student surpassing the master, Grasshopper. Except I’m not talking about some mystical Kung-Fu moment. No, if there is a martial art that these kids art practicing, then it would be something like Kung-Fool or Taekwon-Jack-A-Ninny.

Yesterday’s lesson involved a teacher dressing down a student in the hallway, just outside the teacher’s classroom. I happened to be on my way to make some photocopies and got the pleasure of witnessing one of lessons in action. Now, me myself, I don’t really waste my time lecturing when I’m writing a referral (student had one in hand). I just hand it over to the student and say, “Bye” because I’ve already said everything I’ve needed to by then. Besides, if I leave my room for one student for half of a second while leaving thirty-two inside, then who knows what they would do. They would probably line up desks for some sort of Evil Knievel type stunt. Hey, it wouldn’t be the first time, and I was still in the room.

Anyway, my learning moment came on the student’s portion of the exchange:

“What did I say about using your cell phone in class?”

“I told you that I wasn’t listening to what you said, so I don’t know!”

That statement, dripping in exasperation, enlightened me. I realized that if you don’t want to be responsible, then just don’t listen. Here I’ve been, like a sucker, listening to rules and policies, and therefore, trapped into following them. Instead, I could have just ignored everyone, did anything I wanted and been exempt from any repercussions. Genius!

I wanted to shake that young lady’s hand for revealing the joys of being a complete jack-a-ninny. No longer would I have to be a responsible citizen. And now that I think about it, I wish I did stop to speak to her. I wanted to ask her about her ignoring technique. Does she stick her fingers in her ears and go La, la, la, I can’t hear you or does she just zone out?

Shoot. She may have demonstrated on me with my very own question. Talk about your missed opportunity!

I kid, but you should have been there. She really believed she had a valid argument.

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