Worth giving up 11 hours of my Saturday?

The field trip that was causing me so many concerns was today.

In general we had a fabulous time; all but one of the kids showed, which for a Saturday ain't too bad. One had to leave early due to an injury from a few days ago, and another went home sick, which was a shame for him (and for me, because I missed out on an hour and a half of the conference as I waited (...and waited...and waited) with him for a parent to show up).

Three of my darlings got into moderate trouble; it almost became real trouble, but something good happened. They had skipped out on one of the conference sessions and texted me to see if that was okay. It wasn't, and I called them to find out where they were so I could go discuss it with them in person; as I hung up, I heard Drama King say to the other two, "I think she's mad."

When I got to them, I started with, "I'm not mad."

"Yes you arrrrrrrrrrre, Miss!"

I stopped them. "I'm not mad. But I AM disappointed in you. I'm not going to tell you that you have to go back into the session; you can make your own choices. But you should know that if you don't go back to the sessions, you're banned from my room for the rest of the year [all three eat lunch in my room almost every day]." And then I waited.

Grins (he's one of those kids who smiles all the time, even when he's in trouble - he often gets in more trouble for it) asked, "If we go back in, will you still be disappointed in us?"

I shook my head. "Nope. If you go back in, the slate is wiped clean and we're good, assuming the rest of the day goes well."

For a moment, no one said anything. Then Grins spoke up. "I don't want to be banned from the room....but I really don't want Ms. Teachin' to be disappointed in me. I'm going back in." He looked at his friends, and after a moment, they agreed. They got up, and went back.

Were they perfect the rest of the day? No. But they tried. They tried hard. And they did fairly well. It's good to be respected....or maybe just to have a carrot that you can use as a stick when needed.

Another highlight of the day came when one of my kids told me I would not be working at my school next year because I'd be moving to the high school to teach her there (adorable), and then later asking if I could adopt her because I'm so fun. I declined, so she asked if she could call me Mom. I said she could call me that, but I might not realize to answer.....I was immediately Mom or Momma T (for Teachin', of course) for the rest of the day to four of them.

Another one won a book that she didn't want, so she said I could have it for my classroom library but not yet because she has to do something to it first, which turned out to mean sign it to me. :)

And three of my seventh graders (kids I had last year) agreed that while they really like all the 8th grade Language Arts teachers, they're going to have a fit if they don't get me next year. They planned it out: where to lie down, how to kick and hit their fists at the same time, just what they would say (along the lines of "It's not faaaaaaaaair! I want Ms. Teeeeeeeeeachin'! NONONONONONO!"). Clearly they will not actually do this, because if they even try it, I'll kill 'em, but it was sweet.

They are so cute. I love my kids.

To answer my title's question? Definitely.


TeachEnEspanol said...

It is so great to have the kind of strength in your relationship with your students that they would rather do something unpleasant than disappoint you! That's a real impact and I love reading about it!

teachin' said...

I know, I was so pleased!

"I'm a dreamer but I ain't the only one Got problems but we love to have fun" -K'naan, "Dreamer"

I teach eighth grade Language Arts at an urban school. My kids kick ass and will change the world. I want everyone to know.
Copyright 2009 I'm a Dreamer All rights reserved.
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