Monday, October 05, 2009

making boys cry... and not in a good way (?)

I made a kid cry today. It was the first time in my four years of teaching that I have made anyone cry. The worst part is the kid is a 13 year old boy. Yeah, not exactly the demographic I pegged to be the first to cry. Now before you go thinking I was truly mean to the kid, here’s how it went down…. It’s a class of 6 young teens. We were going around the classroom reading an article. When it got to this young fellow’s turn, he had his head down on the table and wouldn’t respond to me. I asked if he was sick. He said no. He was tired. Ok, well, sorry, but you can’t sleep in class. Please read. After a few minutes of prodding, he finally began to read, no whisper the part of the article assigned to him. Ugh. This attitude kept up all throughout class. Then, a few minutes before class was over, his cell phone rang. Yeah. I looked sternly at him and told him to turn it off. Not only did he not turn it off, but he answered it! Right there in class! NOT OK. I told him that he wasn’t allowed to talk on the phone in class so he stood up, still talking away in Korean on the phone, and walked out of the classroom. Not exactly what I meant. So when he came back, I made him stay after all the other kids had left and I sternly told him that it was not ok. That next time I would take his cell away, etc. I asked him if he understood. Well, he wouldn’t answer me or look at me in the eyes. I could see him getting emotional though. I asked him much more tenderly this time, if something was wrong. He still wouldn’t look at me or answer. I could see the tears welling up in his eyes so I finally let him go to his next class. I asked one of the directors about this, if it was normal. She said it wasn’t normal for kids to answer their phones in class and not acceptable. I had the right to take the phone away right then. But she said that some of the boys at this school turned on the waterworks for next to reason. Odd, its the boys that do this. So she speculated that this boy was one of the criers. So there you go. I made an overly emotional disobedient adolescent boy cry.


kimmen said...

It's important that you maintain your position of respect in the classroom. So perhaps you should add "No talking on cell phones during class" to your list of rules on the black board? In any case, if you let the other students think this kind of behavior is acceptable, you may lose whatever respect you've already earned. You may want to discuss this during your next class.

beckalippy said...

yeah, the kids know that its not ok. THe school is VERY clear about it. I talked to the other teacher who teachers this boy (each class has two of us as teachers) and he said he thought the kid was going through something personal right now. So I am going to talk to him outside of class before it begins next class. None of the other kids in that class are problems. In fact, I call that class "the future housewives of Seoul" because there are four girls who are SOOOOO preteen PTA presidents. THey love throwing parties, and giggling about rock stars, and just being sweet girls overall. The only other boy is a gentle quiet guy who is moving to North Carolina in a few months. NO problems. Actually mom, two of the girls are twins! None of the teachers can tell them apart, but I am determined! :)

Carleigh said...

dont worry becka - i make children cry frequently - and im not even a teacher. in fact, i normally try and avoid them. haha.
sounds like youre doing a good job. youre smart enough to know the difference between a real issue and a kid faking it. i cant wait to come visit and see all of this in action. :)