After You...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I'm so blessed to have been called into the ministry of teaching. The profession of teaching is easier than the ministry of teaching. All my babies come from somewhere else. Yes, we're all from the southern playing field, so there aren't too many who aren't versed in the "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am" school of law and culture, but you still have the diversity of broken homes, damaged hearts, and life-less dreams. And the flip side: two parent homes, egos larger than life with every advantage known to man and those somewhere in between. Educating the brains of the diverse isn't too complicated. It's educating the brain while impacting the spirit and mind that's the challenge.

(Thank you, God, for choosing me to serve. Please help me when I think I can do this on my own because I can't.)

A day or two ago God blessed me with the "After You" lesson taught to me by my children...uh-my students. (My personal birth children don't much care for me sayin' "my children," so I have to say "my students.")

Fourth Period: Diverse Group- common 6th grade ground...."Mrs. Adams, Rusher. ran us over when he came into the room!" whined all my babies but Rusher. who had stepped out to the nurse. "Well, what exactly happened to cause such an uproar?" I asked.
"Here, let ME show you!" My little darlin' demonstrated and about knocked me to the other side of the room as he gently plowed me over. "Wow! Just like that?" "Yes, ma'am!" they all chimed with justice on their mind.

Couple of things to note: These babies all love R., so it wasn't like what you may be thinking. You do have to understand about sixth grade pecking order, though, and this lil' rooster done ruffled up the entire hen house.

Immediately I went into teacher mode. As soon as he gets back, I'll have to write him up 'cause they ain't lettin' this one go. Then I get this whisper-tug. "Will writing him up change his behavior?" I mentally answered to my Whisper-Tug..."Yes, Sir." I knew there was more coming..."Is that the best way?" Interesting how the Lord lays it all out sometimes and you just know what to minister to their precious hearts and minds.

"Every body! Out in the hall. Line up! Girls on one side boys on the other." Some smiling, some put out by the idea, they complied.

"Now, I can give R. an infraction, but I don't think that's the BEST way to handle this situation, so here's what I want us to do. When you go through the door, I'd like for you to invite someone to go BEFORE you saying...'After YOU.'"

Long story short- each of my boys said "after you" to the girls and the girls didn't have to say after you. So when we got back into the room, the boys said..."They didn't even say THANK YOU!!!!!"

Back into the hall! I'm thinking...Lord I have lessons to teach! I don't have time for this. Whisper Tug Again..."Yes, You have lessons to teach."

"Girls, this time, please don't take the boys for granted. Please say 'thank you.'" "Yes, ma'am"...they all smiled at the boys.

Here comes R. "Do you know why we're out here?" I told him. "Instead of giving you an infraction, I'd like for you to enter the room properly." He did it. Confused, he comes back out. Now, I'd like for you to invite the others in after you.

Robotically...he begins..."After you." "Thank you." "After you." "Thank you." his arm is raising up and down like an automatic guard rail. I whisper..."Like you mean it." He smiles. "After YOUU..." "Thank you, Rusher." "...and you." ...and so on until all 28 were inside smiling...hugging...and cheerful....even Rusher.

Done! Movin' on to educating my kids, I put the incident out of my mind...until the next day when I see fourth period again ready to enter the classroom...

"AFTER YOU!" they all chime! Big smiles, warm voices, crooked elbows and palms up! Even Rusher.


(names have been changed to protect the innocent)

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What an awesome way of handling the situation! You not only teach your students, but us, as well!

    3660 days ago
    Loved it. I love when those "teachable moments" happen like that. Sometimes we are so busy we don't listen to that whisper. Today was our first day back this week.
    3660 days ago
    Hmmmm... you mean that you actually thought outside the box and treated the root of the problem instead of just addressing the symptom? What a fabulous concept!
    This world needs more teachers like you!
    3661 days ago
    Wow!that was great idea.We have to teach manners and not cutting in line a lot with our students,but have one who often loves to hold the door for others . I always tell he's a gentleman for holding the door
    3661 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/13/2011 7:20:23 AM
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