We sat in the gymtorium watching the presentation about the Negro Baseball League, and he wouldn’t stop. He sat a few feet away from me and he wouldn’t stop talking, wouldn’t stop leaning on other people, and he wouldn’t stop putting his hands on others. His teacher was absent, and the substitute, well, I guess he felt as long as he was there…
The student teacher pointed him out to me, and my mind raced to a time when I had tried to discipline this little boy in the hallway. He said something to me that almost made me forget who and where I was. So, instead of disciplining him, I told her, “I’m not saying anything to him. He said something to me a couple of months ago when I tried to correct him in the hallway.” I turned away, determined to ignore his behavior, but I couldn’t.
I tried glaring at him, putting my hands over my lips, pointing, even gave him “the look.” Nothing worked. All I got for my trouble was hands raised, and “What? What?” Or he would turn to his friend and say, “What is she looking at me for?” Or, he would glare back. During the course of the presentation, he raised his hand and asked me if he could go to the restroom. I knew this was my chance.
I motioned him toward me, and he came, reluctantly. I guess he was preparing himself for the scolding he was going to receive. But I surprised him, instead of scolding him, I said in a light tone, “Now you want something from me. I wanted you to sit quietly during the presentation.” He smiled and nodded. I said, “When you lean on people and touch them, it makes them uncomfortable, understand?” He smiled and nodded. Then he was off to the bathroom. When he returned, he sat down, and started talking. But this time, when I put my finger over my lips, he smiled, and stopped talking.
Now when I pass him in the hallway, he says hello. Nothing major, but a huge deal for this kid.
And I know no matter how much honey you put on that spoon, there are the kids who will curse you out, disrespect you, and not change one iota. But, sometimes, the honey works, sometimes you catch more flies.:)