Wednesday, April 7, 2010

An Ah-Ha Moment

Today, I had the most amazing experience. My class has been ganging up on a little boy in Primary, and today, I had had enough. For the past month, they have been pushing him around and teasing him. I’m embarrassed to tell you this because for the most part my class is actually quite good. But for some reason I have a small pack of boys that like to feel superior and have found that picking on kids smaller than them gives them power. Today, even the girls were in on cracking the jokes. All of this is done behind my back of course, I only occasionally hear about it from the boy’s older sister. Today, when the kids came back from centers, I was informed that the little boy had been teased about a picture he drew. (Not to mention the boy has a band-aid over his eye from when one of my boys pushed him and he hit is head on the concrete.) It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I was irate. Passion simmered inside. I did all I could to keep from erupting. I spoke calm but angry, my voice cracking as I choked back the tears. I explained to my kids that I can’t believe this is still happening and I don’t know what else to do…that’s when the fire alarm goes off.

Those little munchkins marched straight to the door. They knew better than to do something wrong at this point. They all walked slumped over like scolded puppies. They weren’t walking fast enough so I pointed to the door and I firmly said, “Walk.” They all, like little remote controlled robots, picked up the speed. The other teachers knew by how quiet they were that something had happened.

Maybe I needed the fire drill to extinguish the fire burning inside of me. It gave me a little time cool off. I’m not sure what bugged me the most. Imagining the little boy crying each morning because he doesn’t want to go to school. The fact that I love my students so much that I want to show them the right way to live and have them start acting that way. Maybe I was upset that I hadn’t changed them yet. Maybe I was upset because I felt they were still disobeying me. I can’t put my finger on it… We talked as a class and I told them if it happened again they would “lose recess for the rest of the week…no, the rest of the year. And YOU will have the call the boy’s mother and explain what happened.” I was still pretty upset.

Well, time to teach math. I started to explain today’s lesson and it just didn’t feel right. I turned around and said, “I’m sorry guys, I just don’t feel like teaching math right now.” Something was still missing. At that moment, another teacher came in to teach science. With the fire drill and lecture and all, we had ran out of time. So, I took the opportunity to go talk to the director. I sat in his office and let all my frustration out. What I wanted was for him to go yell at my kids. Put a little fear into them. Maybe they would listen to a man over me. He agreed to come talk to them and I stood up in a rush, and walked out the door in a hurry. He followed, but half way down the hall he said, “Wait, let’s just stop and pray about this.” I stopped dead in my tracks. THAT’S what was missing. There in the middle of the hall, with an occasional student passing by, we just prayed. Suddenly, I had peace.

WHEN can I EVER say that I prayed with my boss at school about a discipline issue? This place is so amazing! The director of the school walked into the classroom and with the calmest, most loving voice, talked to the kids…and then he prayed with the kids. It was an ah-ha moment. Sometimes, I forget to take Jesus into my classroom.

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