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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Worry about yourself?

Why is it that so many of my kids have a supreme sense of responsibility when it comes to OTHER kids in the room, but they can't seem to look after themselves? There are so worried about the kids around them not following the rules, but they never seem to notice when they're not following the rules themselves.

I think it's great for kids to take on responsibility, but one of my boys, A, always wind up taking responsibility AWAY from somebody else. I'll ask one of the kids to hold open a door so the class can walk through, and seconds later I'll turn around and A will be holding the door. Or someone in my class will ask if they can take a basketball out to recess, yet A is always the one who winds up holding the basketball after lunch.

On Friday, with a few minutes before the bell rang at the end of the day, I asked everyone to clean up the area around their desk, as I always do before we leave the classroom. Usually it's the kids with the lumber yard right under their desk that just sit and stare at me, while the kids with a few atoms of dust under their desk are lying prostrate on the floor, trying to make it clear enough to eat off of.

As I'm asking everyone to look on the floor around them, I'm looking directly at several scraps of crayon wrapper right underneath A's chair. Rather than glancing down and picking up his own trash, however, A notices that a boy roughly 10 feet away from him as part of a crayon underneath HIS chair. So he goes running towards this other boy's chair, does a power slide on his knees that would make Tenacious D proud, and picks up the crayon. Then he looks at me like I'm going to award him the Silver Star Award.



Anonymous said...

You may say frustrating, but I say abso-freaking-lutely adorable. I can visualize A's dramatic dive to the crayon. I guess that's what you get for teaching elementary schoolers. If I asked some of the classes I taught to clear their area, they'd look at me like I had 9 heads then turn to talk to someone more interesting.

Kids like A -- kids that want to please you; who want you to see them do good deeds and in turn praise them -- don't bother me. It's those kids that decide that what you say doesn't actually matter or doesn't apply to them that really get my water boiling.

Sarah said...

There's always one of those in every class, isn't there?! They just don't get it either!