8 Apr

I can’t help it. I want to remember this one. It’s another story about my class of trying-hard-not-to-be-monkeys/ ninth graders.

Well, this story is really about one of them. One that I just can’t seem to get mad at! I really do try too! I move his seat, I put him in corners, make him stand outside, and at the end, he keeps coming back all smiley and unfazed. He does his work too, and at least he comes in at lunch to do his homework if not at home.

So it was classwork time and since I do allow students to move around if they find the need to, this student got up to ask someone for a sheet of paper. He got distracted though and continued to chat in front of her desk. Well, I have this strategy, see, of using minimal amount of words to get students to move. I stand really close to them. It works like a charm and most kids just walk quickly away from me if they see me coming. When kids lag walking to the computer lab, I just tail the last ones and they hurry forward to make someone else last and lose me.

So I walk over to this kid from behind and stand right next to him w/ the meanest scowl that I can muster. He turns around, looks at me a quick second, then says, “Hey Ms. Hwang, check out my muscles!” and flexes his arm!

What do I do w/ this kid?! I desperately try to hold in my laugh cuz he’s about 5’10 and as skinny as a stick. Not only that, he doesn’t flinch in backing away. If anything, I’m starting to get uncomfortable with how close he’s standing as he keeps asking me to feel his muscles.

Mean teacher fail. Again. I crack a smile and just ignore his comments as I have to resort to telling him repeatedly to go back to his seat.

I’ve had a couple of other students like this back when I used to teach all ninth graders. I had one of them again as a junior and he had gotten so quiet, I was so sad! Something about that persistence just cracks me up. That last pair as ninth graders would walk through my class everyday to go to their new class pretending they were still my students. And everyday I would have to kick them out before the bell. I still have the “Federal Class Transfer” papers that they wrote on a lined sheet of paper in pencil (and signed in pen next to the x mark). Man I miss those kids. I hope life never takes that goofiness out of any of them.

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