Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Okay all you child psychologists...

I was teaching inner city last night.

Typically, the classes are anywhere from 6 to 9 students. Ages from 8 to 10 years old.

It is standard that one child acts up every class. Acts up enough to distract the other kids. This child is sent out of the class, no questions asked and the classes go on smoothly and fun from there.

Last night was no different. The rule is that no child is allowed to use the bathroom during class, and no child it allowed to get water during class. We have to do this. Otherwise, they will all ask to go, whether then have to or not. Class is only 40 minutes long, and any child that doesn't have a bladder issue can handle this. (Well, one kid has wet their pants once, but that’s a minority).

So, this one girl is clearly not pleased to be in class. So she tries the old "I have to use the bathroom" routine. It is ignored by me and the other guy teaching, because we know the drill. She persists; I explain to her that I can't let her go, why didn't you go before you left, etc... Seeing that this isn’t working, she then complains of stomach pains. Then says she is about to throw up. I almost fall for this one, until she does a very unconvincing gag. She begs again to leave to throw up, to which my other teacher (Mark D) responds "Just make sure you keep it on your paper and it don't go on the floor."

She goes on and on about this until I am finally fed up. I go to the door, open it up and say, "Get out." To which she replies by sitting still and smiling. After several attempts to ask her to get out, I finally walk over to her. I am not afraid to manhandle these kids and they know it. She then runs under the table, to where she is caught by my other teacher and 'escorted' out.

Now, forget this is inner city. Trust me, white kids that age are much worse. 95% of these kids love being there, and leave having learned a real Bible story, and in some cases, a memory verse even though half of them read at much lower levels than they should.

So, what is the deal? This girl does everything in the book to get out of class, then, when given the opportunity, she refuses.

22 comments:

bigsip said...

She wanted attention. That's the short answer.

Thing is, kids ALL want attention. Problem is that if they can't get GOOD attention (which I am pretty sure a large number of these kids do not get) they'll act up to get BAD attention.

To a child, BAD attention is better than no attention at all.

Jamison said...

i was thinking that the whole time, but by ignoring her, the entire class is disrupted and all the other kids who are seeking good attention, and getting it, get put on the back burner.

what am i supposed to do next time? Let her moan and whine and complain?

bigsip said...

No, you did all you could. When a kid does that, all you can do is send them out when you can.

It sounds like y'all handled it pretty well to me. Whatever you do, don't lose control of your emotions or let them know they're REALLY bugging you.

Just stay calm, emotionless, and be firm. If they react in a positive way, give them a warm smile and some positive reinforcment.

Children want the good attention the most. If you refuse to give them the BAD, they'll usually do better to try to get the good.

Jamison said...

it never really bothers me. What i tell them is "It isn't my rule, so dont get mad at me. I am not allowed to let you go to the bathroom."

Makes me not be the bad guy

bigsip said...

That's cool...you only have them for 40 minutes, too. That's not a long tome to have a class over all.

Brewster said...

I agree, you sound like you did exactly as you should. Kids need attention and will get it however they can. Show them that you won't stand for their nonsense, and reap praise on their good behavior.

I'm proud of you teaching those kids too.

Diana said...

For one thing, it's a crap rule. That's not your fault, though.

Sipper's right, it was just attention. She reminds me of the little hispanic girl in my class. She obviously doesn't get enough attention at home. She will do anything in class to get attention, even negative. The teacher, knowing this, tries to ignore some of her "bad" behavior knowing that she just needs that extra love and praise. I tell you, when that child gets an "r card" (a reward they have at the school), it's like gold.

I took a lot of pictures my last day and I really want her picture framed by my computer with the words, "Why I want to be a teacher" written underneath it. She's probably the smartest kid in that class, but since she doesn't speak fluent English, she won't score well on "the test."

Diana said...

Positive reinforcement is one of the best things you can do.

Did I tell you guys one of the kids in my class decided to flip me off a few times last week???

What are you teaching??

Jamison said...

yeah, the "bird" appears every once in a while, but the kids try to hide it from us.

As far as the bathroom rule goes, we simply cant let them go Di. If we do, the entire class will say they need to go. Take my word for it, 99 out of 100 times, they are faking, and the 1 time they are not, the bus riders can tell who is being honest and they let them go before they leave the church.

I teach Bible stories i guess. They are all prepared ahead of time. I do no preperation. I am not a teacher, I hate teaching, but this is the easiest thing I have ever done for God. It is ashame that I go to a church of 500 people (many of which teach for a living) and only 6 to 8 show up for this 3-times-a-month, 40-minutes-a-night ministry. Most of the people who come have 2 kids or more, so I know they arent coming because they have "free time". I often wonder; if the kids we taught were white, would more people come...? Oh well. Off topic, sorry.

Diana said...

Wow, Jamison, that's really great!!! Your right, it's a shame more don't show, but 7 or 8 is better than none!!! I"m proud of you too.

I wasn't critisizing you as far as the bathroom rule goes. I know that's not your fault, and I see the thought process behind it. When I have a classroom, I hope to have a bathroom inside it. My philosophy is, if you give children responsibility, they will learn responsibility. Then again, your not teaching five-year-olds...

If anyone wants to learn about an intersting school in England go to www.summerhillschool.co.uk/. I still don't know how to make links, sorry.

Diana said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jamison said...

no offence taken, and yes, you are right, 7 or 8 is better than none, PLUS, there are many in the church who do more, not everyone has the same talants or abilities (or time) so there are other opportunities to serve, so I hope I didnt sound grizzled...

as far as bathrooms, our school has bathrooms in the classroom from K3 to 2nd grade. higher than that and they are not in the room

Diana said...

Jamison, your school is sounding better and better to me. Most schools only have them in kindergarten!

Jamison said...

Well, the elementary just got many new additions built about 3 years ago, so requests were probably put in for bathrooms.

It is a good school, yes. In a perfcect world, I would get paid more and work here forever and my wife woudl quit right now and make babies (with my help of course) yet, nothing is perfect... but things sure come close :) Hows Stubbs?

Diana said...

Good. He would like a better job, too. He's sort of casually looking right now. So, he could be better, but we're both happy. We're both really excited that I get out of school soon. And that we get to see our friends the Sippers soon!

Jamison said...

when will you get to see the Sippers... and will I not be seen?

Diana said...

They're coming to see us right before Christmas!!! :) And my boss is letting me have time off, which is a Christmas miracle!!

bigsip said...

We're going up to SC on the 17th and will be with my Mom's side of the fam for the weekend. Then, we'll head to MB for a couple of days. Then, we'll head back to AL for Christmas!

Can't wait!

Jamison said...

we will be in north carolina dec 18th - 21. but dont tell my wife. It is her xmas gift.

Diana said...

Cool, where?
And what if she reads the blog???

bigsip said...

It's a Christmas Miracle!

Jamison said...

she doesnt read the blog, but in case she does, ill tell you afterwards