BrondaBailey’s Weblog

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Meeting a student in the “real” world

I have a humorous story to tell. Please do not take this the wrong way – I am not trying to complain about a student – that’s something I try hard to studiously avoid. Not because it wouldn’t be fun, more because I’m afraid it might be a little too fun and I might start doing it quite frequently. It’s possible that the more frequently I did it, the less I would like my job. I like liking my job, I think it makes it much easier and more fun, so I have no desire to change that. So, I’m not whining here – stick with me until the end and I promise we’ll get to the funny, ok?

I’m a pretty easy-going guy and can get most kids to at least pretend to pay attention in my class. I try very hard to keep it light and peppy – it’s very much tailored to seventh graders. I can only imagine what a group of, say, high school seniors would act like if I used some of my bad jokes on them, but the seventh graders love them. Sorry, my bad, most seventh graders love them, or at least appreciate me trying to interject a little entertainment into class. There have been two exceptions though – two kids that no matter how hard I tried, how many different things I attempted, no matter what, had no desire to be happy in my class. Funny enough, I had them both the same year.

No, they’re not related or anything. And I’m not pumping myself up as some kind of super teacher or anything. First off, we have great kids at my school. Secondly, I’ve sent plenty of kids to the office for various things in my day. For example, one of my favorite students ever shot another in the eyes with cleaner in my room and I had to send her to the office once. The other day our current Student Body President told me that I had sent him to the office in seventh grade (I have no recollection of this) for talking too much when he was a seventh grader. Generally though, after the kids make it to the office, they return a little more contrite and I can work with them.

Not so with one student I will only identify as “Student X.” She was not at all interested in my class (or school in general.) I tried various ways of getting her to pay attention. I even let her go on and on once about how she was a member of both the Bloods and the Crips (I know I’m not an expert of gang-lore, but I’m pretty sure that’s not very common) in hopes of winning her over. She wouldn’t have any of that. Student X was more interested in talking (loudly), ignoring me, disrupting class, and occasional swearing. I will admit that part of me was relieved when the school year ended because I wouldn’t have to teacher her anymore.

Fast forward a year. Guess who Bren and I met as we walked into Wal-Mart one day? You guessed it – Student X. She was standing there with her family. Being the generally polite person I am I said hello, though I wasn’t on planning on lingering and having an extended conversation. The strangest thing happened – despite the fact that nothing I (or as far as I could tell, the school administration) did at school fazed her in the least bit, she was genuinely scared of me in public. Literally. She didn’t say a word to me, but walked behind her mother and cowered behind her – no exaggeration on my part. I somehow contained my laughter until we were out of earshot, but it was just surreal. It’s quite amazing what a difference the setting of an encounter can change things.

I haven’t seen her since. I do, however, have her sister in my class and she is a polite young lady. I take it as a small reminder that siblings are not always alike, which, considering I have four siblings, is probably a good thing for my mom.

One Ron is plenty.

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September 28, 2008 - Posted by | From the Frontlines of the Education of America, Ron's Posts | , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Teachers are askerry.

    Comment by Jeremy | September 28, 2008 | Reply

  2. She probably thought that you would rat her out.

    Comment by Mel | September 29, 2008 | Reply

  3. Also, those pics in the fort are artistically taken. You must have had an excellent photographer. And the girls in the pics are beautiful and clever. How fantastic.

    Comment by Mel | September 29, 2008 | Reply

  4. There is enough britts, and linds’, and jeffs and wendys in the whole world. i’m apathetic on the issue of human cloning, but i am highly against the idea of cloning any one of us. i can assure you 2 lindsie’s would be cool for about…and hour and then literally we would kill eachother. But i hope i would be cloned after i was in the army, so i would have an upper hand with the hand-to-hand combat.

    Oh ya, having been the obnoxious student in all classes, she was scared you would mention her indiscretions to her mom. she wasnt scared of you, but of the info you had. and also pretty scared of her mom

    Comment by mjrfrankburns | September 30, 2008 | Reply


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