Students are peculiar. A strange breed of young children, right through to almost-adults. I find I don’t know if I’m coming or going with them, and whether what I’m saying is actually going in at all.
The day to day lessons are going well (I think) and I can already see the progress that some of my kids are making.
The thing that’s getting to me at the moment though, is the mind set and attitude of certain students. There’s the do-gooders (we salute you, and we love you), then there’s the beige kids, they blend in to the background and neither please you nor displease you. Next there’s the cheeky ones, we all have a soft spot for you – don’t worry, but you need to drop the swag. Then there’s the disruptive, naughty ones, you’re a handful. You’re causing me a headache, both physically and metaphorically. And finally, last but least, there’s the do-what-I-want-when-I-want ones, who even when helped, reject anything you try and do.
Readers, I would just like to talk through 3 cases that I’m having to deal with at the moment – just so that it’s one less thing on my mind.
1) The Bare-faced Liar
A sweetie, when it suits. And an aggressive, abusive, lying, manipulative kid for the rest of the time. Very sweet to look at, but thinks you are a fool. I am not a fool, young child, I can see right through you. Do not stand and tell me one story, when I have just watched something different happen before my own eyes. You are trouble with a capital T.
Not just for me either. No, you are disgracing me left, right and centre. All eyes are on you at the moment kid – and none for the right reasons.
I find it hard to dislike you though, which makes this whole thing more troublesome – because I am wasting my own (precious) time, on sorting you out.
Sort it out mate, else you’re not going to be in our school for much longer (and we know you’re good at heart.)
2) The “Hopeless Case”
I spent the best part of an hour and a half sorting out stuff for you yesterday. Not only did I find your lost belongings, I spoke to your mum, and your Head of Year, and we got a plan in place. Mum was so pleased to hear how supportive I was being (she’s great by the way.)
We went through the plan this morning. I’ll see you at the end of the school day. We even refreshed this plan when I saw you at lunchtime. I asked how your day had been and I kept an eye on you. I even gave you responsibility in tutor time, which to be honest you hadn’t earned. I just felt for you. You are SO close to being a great kid, but it’s only you left now that can turn it around for us.
But anyway, the plan didn’t work. You failed on day one – even after being reminded and prompted twice about it. You are, as Bruno says (in the Boy in the Striped Pyjamas) a Hopeless Case. I will try again tomorrow though, because I care.
3) The Attention Seeker
I can’t actually pinpoint this to one child. I have a whole crowd of them, Year 8 girls to be precise.
They crave attention at every minute of the day. From the first moment I see them in the morning, to the point where they leave my class at 1:20pm after tutor, they drain me of all my energy, and all my patience.
They speak over my conversations, they linger at my desk, they shriek across to one another, they demand I look at what they’re doing, and they ask so many questions that I think I’ve run dry of answers.
I’ve hit a brick wall with them too, I don’t know how to help them, because I cannot physically give them the time that they so desperately crave. They are a work in progress, and one I am mighty determined to get right.
These children are all equally fabulous and outrageous, they are characters – and I would never want to take that away from them. But I would like to tame them. And currently – I just don’t quite know how.
On top of a busy work load, and dealing with all the other expectations that are set for me, these kids – all from my tutor – are my biggest worry, my biggest fear, and more importantly, my biggest headache.