The first quarter of the school year is completed, in the bag, done. We had a staff meeting last week and were told that we only had a few weeks until our Thanksgiving holiday. It was nice to hear; however, we will have work to accomplish before some time with family. I find that some of my clients’ true colors and personalities have surfaced. I redirect those who need redirection, and I praise those who need praise. Last week, I put a sticker on the workbooks of students who were reading quietly after finishing their assignment as asked. It was lovely. I did not have to say anything to any of my students who prefer to “rock the boat” in class. They conformed to my simple request; we all left class that day in good spirits.
We have an anti-bullying initiative in place called Olweus (it’s Norwegian and the “w” has a “v” sound). Our students are divided into randomly-selected groups, and we hold class meetings once a month to discuss bullying situations and how to respond when they occur. I remember that feeling of being picked on all too well. It made me angry that other people could talk to me rudely and treat me poorly. As a result, I react strongly when a student puts another student down in my presence. I guess I am defending myself to my tormentors after all of these years. When you criticize someone or laugh at his answer (given sincerely but wrong and NOT for a laugh), expect the “evil eye” and do not dare make a disparaging remark under your breath. I hear those cutting, mocking words, and the claws of Mama Tiger become unsheathed. It is a righteous anger and not easily abated once unleashed. You have been warned.