Wednesday, February 02, 2011

A Small, but Important Victory

I knew the minute that I entered the classroom that I was going to have "one of those days". I had been working through many scenarios in my head of how I would handle this situation and I was curious to see how this instance would play out. As it drew nearer to starting time for school, I grew more apprehensive about how it would all go down.

As the bell rang, I worked to strengthen my resolve, stood up, and waited by the door to greet my herd. Students started to file into the room, some alone, some in small groups. Still the one I was waiting for had not arrived. I began to think that possibly I would be off the hook and this student would not be attending school. That was not to be. Right before the second bell the student arrived and sat down.

I knew that the day before, when the student had stayed for help after school with many other students, and had left angry and yelling that it was going to be an interesting morning. I had worked had to maintain a clam demeanor and not express the frustration and anger that I had felt. I feel that I did a good job of not expressing any excitable emotion. I let the student yell and me and be angry. This had transferred to silence and being ignored. I wasn't sure what to expect as the student returned the next day, but I was ready...or so I thought.

The reception was chilly to say the least. This student, usually so eager to visit with me, gave me the cold shoulder and moved as far away as possible from me in morning meeting. I was prepared for this exact treatment and "retaliated" with my own attack. I simply ignore this student. Boy did that work. Within the hour, the student was back to full operation with in the classroom community- participating, visiting, and for the most part happy.

A small victory for this teacher who, in an attempt to show compassion, empathy, and forgiveness- sometimes forgets that a firm, calm reprimand is required for a healthy and balanced teacher-to-students experience.

I just thought I would share my small victory.



  1. Bravo! Sometimes tough love is the key.

  2. Sometimes we all need to do the "cold shoulder" thing for a few minutes -it's called regrouping. You did the right thing and the world, or at least your little corner of it, is on its right axis again. I'm sorry the student was mad at you and you went through this but it was for the best, you will be remembered at some point in the future as the teacher who didn't give in to the little temper tantrum or display of yuckiness that was exhibited. Trust me, you are making a difference although you don't see it right up front. Your students do gain some insight and appreciation as they get older. See you in class - Mrs. E :)

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad, 50-state, mystery, trivia series

    Where will the adventure take you next?

  3. Here's to small victories! May there me many more in the future...


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