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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sad Liam

I normally have the brightest, most lovely days at school. I have lots of happy, well behaved students, who love coming to my class, and that makes me happy.

Today, though...I did have a downer moment. Every time my students are in line to be picked up, they know my big rule is "You may not touch the board". They ALL know this and their little hands are still tempted over and over to touch the board, or play with the markers...or worse...erase what I have there. That definitely does upset me a little, because more then anything, it's annoying. The students are in line waiting for their teacher, and I hear: "Mrs. Balla, Liam touched the board and erased the feet of your turkey!!" (yes we're doing turkeys, 'tis the season) I always give the student the opportunity to tell me themselves. We also have a very very very strict policy in our school called GYRO (green/yellow/red/orange) cards, and students get their cards flipped when directions aren't followed, etc. It is a school wide behavior thing, so everyone does it. Anyway, so I look at Liam, and I ask him about it. He has a grin on his face which made it look like he was proud of what he'd done. I simply told him that he knows the rules, and it's a pain for me to have to re-draw it, and that I'd have to talk to his teacher about flipping his card. He quickly got his act together, standing straight and tall, and waited quietly in line.

His teacher came. I told her the situation quick and basically asked if she thought his card should be flipped for that. I like to talk to the homeroom teachers about that stuff because they know the student better then me. She goes, "Oh absolutely, he gets his card flipped for that". As Liam walked out of the room, I gave him the little 'nod' to let him know he was going to be on yellow. Instantly, his face sunk and his eyes welled up with tears and he wrapped his arms around me and sort of smooshed his face into my stomach area. I felt h.o.r.r.i.b.l.e. It was my worst moment yet, I think. I just kept telling him, "It will be okay and you won't do it again...it will be okay". I couldn't help but feel horrible that I flipped his card for that. I feel like I let kids get away with worse then that sometimes. It was just so blatent and in front of so many of the kids. It's moments like those that just break your heart. I still feel bad about. I saw him only 45 minutes later, and he was bubbly and smiling again. I looked at him and said, "Are you okay, now?" He gave me a big, huge smile and said, "Yea!"

There are moments like those where I wonder if I made a bad decision. I know that this sort of thing is bound to happen in my type of career, but it made me kind of sad.

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