Every teacher has one. One of those kids. Who am I kidding? I probably have about 30 of them.
This one is a little girl and for some reason this year she’s trying everything to get attention. Weird noises, rude comments, lack of participation… It doesn’t seem to matter to her whether it’s positive or negative.
So on picture day (yes, ANOTHER picture day story), I was complimenting her class on how nice they looked and she blurted out, “You look ugly.” (Yeah, seriously. Twice in one day. Did I mention I’ve started doing my hair different since then?) To be truthful, it actually doesn’t hurt my feelings. Being bald and scarred will do that to a girl. I did mention it to her teacher though and he set some things in motion that gave me a wonderful gift.
He called the little girl on her behavior and had her send a letter home to her parents that needed to be signed. And she came and apologized to me. (This wasn’t the gift part. Though it’s a good reminder that we need to hold all kids accountable for their actions.)
Here’s where it gets good. When you only see students every third day for 40 minutes, it is sometimes hard to really get to know a kid and where they’re coming from. In that little 5 minutes I had with her, we talked about why she said what she said. “I was trying to be funny.” she mumbled.
Now I’m all about the funny. Once, when I came back from an absence, one of my students ran up to me and said, “Thank goodness you’re back! We didn’t laugh once yesterday!”
So the little girl and I talked about being funny but not at someone’s expense. And I gave her a hug and she went back to class.
So here’s the gift part.
When she came to music, she sat right down next to me and sang the whole class period. To be honest, I didn’t even know she knew the songs. And out of the mouth of one of “those” kids, was a very sweet little voice. On task, the entire class period.
Now, I can guarantee you she’s going to act out again. It’s part of who she is and the life she deals with every day. But now, when she does, I have this memory.
Of the day she sang.
And the day where she really loved music.