Today’s post is a bit different. There aren’t any tips for teaching science or classroom management. This post is about Little Ari, a first grader in Alabama.
I got a good look at the eraser. It was one of those really cool erasers, the retractable kind. It was blue and had the name of a bank on it. I knew that I had to be sneaky with it at school and make sure my parents didn’t find out that I had it. Every day, on the bus ride home, I gave the eraser to my best friend who took care of it overnight and gave it back to me in the morning. It was the best plan I could think of to keep the eraser a secret. I knew I would be in trouble if my mom went through my backpack and found it.
A week or two of this “hide the eraser” game went by.
Finally, I made the ill-fated decision to take the eraser home. Luckily, my mom had to finish drying her hair when I got home and my dad was at work. I hid the eraser in a basket before she could see it. Safe.
Unfortunately, I forgot about the eraser just long enough for my mom to find it.
The uncomfortable questioning began.
“What is this?”
begin shaking in fear
“Where did you get it?”
“Did you steal it?”
extreme bawling and shaking
At this point, I should probably tell you something important. I had not stolen the eraser. I was awarded the eraser for having Perfect Attendance. Somewhere in my warped mind, I decided it was something I shouldn’t have.
The truth somehow came out, despite my shaking and bawling . I had won a school supply as a prize for always being at school. The end.
This type of event was pretty common for me throughout elementary school. Don’t know how to spell “baklava”? Shut down. Forgot the capital of Paraguay? Shut down. The book has a fold on the page? Shut down.
I remember my teachers and parents being so patient with me. My teachers would calm me down out in the hallway when things got to be too much. I mean, I was a good kid and easy in a lot of ways. I followed the rules, was kind, and always did my work. I actually had nothing to be afraid of. I had never been spanked at home or yelled at by a teacher. I was just an anxious child.
With your new students entering your classrooms soon, be on the lookout for the anxiety-ridden child. There might be awful reasons for the anxiety or it may just be free-floating. Whatever the case may be, they will appreciate your kindness and patience.
Do you have a story that would help teachers better understand their students? Please share in the comments.