Mar 4, 2009

You've just been schooled... son.

Mr. G. has vented to me about J's misbehavior on several occasions. When I work with J, I see a kid that knows the material. He usually does his class work, but I can't get J to do anything that he doesn’t want to do. J has a restless mouth.

W is another story. He is also loud, disruptive, and attention-loving, but W is short. In fact, he overall looks and acts much younger than the rest of the kids in the class, even though they are all the same age. W is a nice little example of the "Napoleon complex". W has restless feet.

W looks up to J (so to speak). W only commits to good behavior when J leads by example. J is a leader. W is a follower (so much for Napoleon). Neither listen to the teacher. Both are smart students who have shown me that they can do the class work on their own. J is a bully, instigator, and sometimes a disruption in class while W is easily antagonized and always a disruption in class.

All throughout class, both W and J were being disruptive - separately.

J was sitting in a desk at the right-most column and in the middle row. He was dutifully taking notes and doing the class work, but he had a side comment for everything the teacher said. If J didn’t have a comment, then he would instead (loudly) repeat the last three words of each of the teacher's sentences. J is attentive, but annoying. The teacher stopped the lecture several times to ask J to stop talking (to no avail).

Today, W was sitting in the back row in the middle column. W stood up several times to sharpen his pencil, to find a piece of paper, to blow his nose... and more, but I lost track of the excuses that he found to walk around the classroom. Classmates don't bother J, but gladly tell W when he needs to shut up (also to no avail). Today, he made loud, squeaky noises with his rain-soaked sneakers.

J annoys the teacher to make his classmates smile; W smiles when his classmates are annoyed.

W and J start talking to each other from halfway across the classroom. I quickly toggle between speakers: Mr. G, J, Mr. G, W... My mind races: Am I an observer? I teacher? A tutor? A disciplinarian? For now, I'm idle, lame, slightly confused, and very inexperienced.

J: “W, why are you always walking around?”
W: “Man, don’t worry about it!”
J: “You should just do your class work!”
W: “You don’t do your class work!”
J: “Yes I do! I don’t do my homework, but I do all my class work and my notes. And I have a good grade because of it.”
W: “Well, I’ll just do my homework because then my mom can help me on it.”
J: “Man, bring your mom in here, and I’ll do an entire assignment faster than you and your mom.”

[Teacher interrupts these two, writes a check mark next to their names which are already written on the board from their first individual disruptions. Name on the board = their first official warning. The check mark now means that they each owe the teacher one minute after class. J and W continue their, conversation though.]

W: “Shut up, son, my mom is smart”
J: “Who you be callin’ ‘son’?”
W: “You, son!”
J: “Man, how ‘bout you pass this class first, and then you can call me ‘son’!”

[Teacher writes another check mark next to J's name, and the two finally end their conversation.]

Mr. G. actually had no idea that this conversation took place. W's verbal smack upside his head by J went unrecognized by the rest of class. If I weren't idle, lame, slightly confused, I would have shook J's hand. And then I would have told him to please shut up during class.

As I thought over my shoulda-woulda-coulda's J tauntingly shook his wet umbrella in W's face. Teacher holds W back before W could take a swing at J. Yeah right W, would you really have taken J?

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