Okay, when I said I was ready for the change of seasons, doing my part to usher in autumn with my own traditions, I in no way expected to come to school today and find the heat on in my classroom. Mainly because IT’S NOT COLD.
My plan is to try really hard not to complain this year, as every year, and attempt to focus on the positive. But it’s difficult when you start the day with the heat on in your room in September. Thank God the head custodian likes me. By second period things were looking up.
Until later in the day, when I had this discourse with a student:
When I called him over and asked him to measure 2 g of salt for me on our electronic balance, he says (with attitude), “What’s the point of this?”
I resist the urge to smack him—verbally, of course, with some barb. Cuz this is school? How does that work for you? I don’t remind him that I am the teacher and he is the student. Instead, I answer calmly, “so that I can be sure you know how to use the balances during lab.” (Which, incidentally, he did not.)
Without acknowledging my response or the sound pedagogy of the exercise, he changes the subject, and challenges me again. “I’m pretty sure it’s a scale,” he says.
Again, I don’t hit him, belittle him, or berate him although clearly he has an attitude problem and an issue with respect. It’s not until he walks away that I wonder if his parents are divorced; I wonder if he treats his mother like sh*t too. While he stands in front of me I show great restraint. “Um, no, it’s an electronic balance.”
He repeats again his assertion that I am wrong, “No, it’s a scale.”
I make him make eye contact with me. “It’s an electronic balance.”
He sees clip art of an old fashioned balance on his worksheet, points and says, “I’m pretty sure that’s a balance.”
“It is,” I say. “That’s why this one is an ELECTRONIC balance.”
At least the heat was off at that point. At least I had that.
Tomorrow I'll try again to stay positive all day.