I Am the Bigger Person

As a teacher--and it's taken me a while to learn this--I can't always say what I want to say.

I know this will surprise you, but I can be a TAD sarcastic at times.

There are times when I want nothing more than to tell a fourteen year old exactly when and why he's going to be in jail. There are times when I want to say that no, you are NOT going to be in the NBA, and I don't care how many points you make during the Teacher-Student Homecoming game. There are times when I want to ask just how many ribs DID you have to remove in order to get your head so FAR up your butt?

But I haven't said any of those things. (Out loud. Because y'all, I cannot keep myself from THINKING).

After my disastrous conference the other day, the principal was talking to me, calming me down, and he had this to say:

"Ms. Flower, I know that you're upset, and that parent was really rude to you, but you've got to remember that the child is not at fault. It would be easy to take out your frustrations on him, but you've just got to love him and treat him as kindly as you would any other student, and try not to let his dad's behavior affect the way you act."

Well, that was excellent advice, and I've been thinking on it for the past couple of days. Because, yeah, it WOULD be easy to be all OVER that kid, because he's lazy and he blames stuff on other people (ahem, ME) and he fell asleep in class the day he was supposed to make up his work.

Yesterday, I looked up to see that he'd written his name on the board to have a conference with me.

My first thought: CRAP.

But then I started thinking some more, and I had this whole conversation with myself, in which I said, "Mei Flower, you are a Grown-Up Person. This kid cannot do anything to you. This kid's father can't even do anything to you. THIS IS YOUR CLASSROOM."

And then I thought, "Gosh, it would be AWESOME if I could just YELL at him a little bit."

And THEN I thought, "Mei Flower, you do not need to get onto this child like that. Doesn't he have enough problems? After all, just LOOK at who he has to live with!"

That thought made me laugh so hard (inside my head) that I perked right up, and I was sweet as sunshine for the rest of the day.

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