Friday, December 19, 2008

Silver Linings, Whiskers On Kittens and All That Crap...

I heart complaining. I think it's something at which many teachers excel. Yes, we chose to work with children. Yes, we love our jobs. Yes, we love to complain about both our children AND our jobs. (So, get over it!) I don't know what it is about complaining that we love so much...maybe it's the act of venting, or maybe it just feels indulgent to be negative after being so damn positive all day. Whatever it is, we thrive on it.

And gossip.

And chocolate. Complaining, gossip and chocolate. Oh, and kids. Yea, them too.

This week, I had a DOOZY of a situation to complain about. It was like the Mecca of Complaining...the stuff of Champion Complainers' dreams.

Late one morning, the Visionary came into my room with a new student. But not just any new student, a VISITING new student. Why is he just visiting you ask? Well, let me tell you. He's just visiting because he's been suspended from his regular public school and is being sent to our school for five days. (Mind you, the five days before the holiday break in which my job can be likened to keeping the lid on a boiling pot of small child enthusiasm...so yea, awesome timing.)

And that's not even the best part! This new little visiting boy has been suspended from his school for "attacking his teacher" (those are his words not mine.) Evidently the poor woman took a pencil or something away from him when he was being disruptive and that's when the kicking and slapping began. Yea, he's adorable. We won't even get into a discussion here about the ridiculousness of this entire situation. But I would like to say to the person who thought it was a good idea to create a policy in which the children who ATTACK the adults who work tirelessly with them are thoughtlessly placed in OTHER adults' classrooms...sir, you are a total d-bag.

So my friends and I accept this little boy into our fold despite our better judgement because we have no choice. The Visionary comforted me by saying that it would probably be a few days before this kid felt comfortable enough to act out. Evidently, I put kids at ease quickly, because boyfriend started throwing things across the room, barking (you read correctly, I said barking) and hitting other children.

And can I tell you the craziest thing? I don't have any desire to complain.

I know! Shut the front door! Me, not complaining! Pigs flying, fat ladies singing...crazy!

Because I think I may have officially bonded with my class. (Yea, I know it's December...I'm a little slow this year!) It was tough for me after the Dream Class that I had last year (love you Curly!), but I think they have finally broken into my shriveled little heart.

Just like the horribly misunderstood Grinch, my heart grew three sizes in one moment. Suspended Boy had just yelled out some sort of unintelligible something and instantly most of my friends turned around in their seats and gave him a brilliant and quite scathing "What-The-F-Is-Wrong-With-You" look.

And in that moment, I knew we would be okay.

So while deep down (deep deep down in a place far far away), I do feel badly for Suspended Boy because I realize that he goes to a really rough school, probably lives in an even rougher house and most likely has a sad, difficult life...I also know that there is nothing I can do in the next five days to change that. (I shed my Hero complex years ago.) Plus, the kid kicked a teacher...not cool, my friend, not cool. But I have taken comfort in the fact that 1) I did not fall victim to the temptation of complaining in the face of insane odds and 2) my friends and I are closer than I ever thought we would become.

I guess it's all Rainbows and Kittens from now on....

9 comments:

Rebecca Bell, Ph.D. said...

Santa will surely be bringing you something special this year for helping out this little boy. You may have "the curse of the good teacher," in which you get all the most challenging kids. "Ms. Mimi can handle it!" It's a compliment, in a way. Not that I think you owe Visionary a thank-you note or anything. :)

Rest up this holiday! You deserve it.

ChiTown Girl said...

Wow! That's a lot to deal with the week before Christmas break! Glad to read it went "well." Merry Christmas!

Charlene said...

It probably helps that you can see the light at the end of the christmas vacation tunnel too...LoL..but seriously, you are an inspiration.

Garland said...

You are amazing! I know I would be complaining! I found your blog recently and it helped me survive the last few days before break. I look forward to more entries!

btrp said...

...Wouldn't surprise me if that were one of our students. Heh. But then, there are plenty of those situations around the city.

Our school doesn't have a suspension room for our in-school/principal's suspensions either. They go into another class. So my kid who pushed me in the lunch room? Three days in a 4th grade. A 4th grader who got in a knock-down, drag-out, five-child fight? In my room for five days. Also in the almost-vacation days. I can only wish my students were as perfect at handling our visitors.

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