Toddlers vs Teenagers
It has long been my theory that teenagers, especially young ones, are just overgrown toddlers with bad skin and a larger (though not much) vocabulary. The last few days at school have borne this out in spades---I'm probably not going to do a very good job of explaining what has been going on, but in the interest of self-therapy, I'll give it a shot. But first to free my baked potato from its radiation prison...
All right. Basically, I've discovered that teenagers are convinced that everything they come in contact with automatically becomes theirs, AND rules don't apply to them. Like the rules of not eating in class, not wearing their baseball cap, not talking WHILE OTHER PEOPLE ESPECIALLY THE TEACHER ARE TALKING...it just boggles my mind. These are not hard dictates to follow, and it's not exactly like I'm infringing on their Constitutional rights (although God help us when they find out about the Constitution in a few weeks---all you hear is "my mom can sue you!! My mom can sue you!!). I also have a sign up on my door when I'm pumping at lunch or similar that reads "Pleeeeeez do not disturb!". But again, apparently this doesn't apply to anyone under the age of 15, because every single damn lunch period or recess I hear knock knock knock rattle rattle rattle. I know they aren't the world's most literate children but COME ON.
Toddlers also throw tantrums when you cross your eyes at them...young teenagers do too, especially if they think you have "disrespected" them. I said to one of my particularly chatty girls last week during a quiz, "I don't think this is going to work..." and before I could get another word out, she flung herself out of her chair, made some snarky comment and flounced out of the room making as much noise as possible. ???! I went outside to deal with it, was informed that she was NOT talking, blah blah blah, so I thought, why argue (just like with toddlers)? I apologized, and unbelieveably, this girl was still acting wretched. At which point I pulled out the Mom tone and informed her that the attitude could now be dropped and I'd appreciate some maturity in accepting an apology, etc etc etc.
And they just never shut up. Ever. I even bought a coach's whistle because I was tired of calling for quiet. It barely works. The thing that depresses me is that we hardly have time to do anything worthwhile in class because all I'm doing is crowd control---and I actually don't have problems with classroom management. It angers me for the kids who aren't being a pain, and it angers me for my own self-esteem, because I think I'm a fairly fun teacher, and I try to make history interesting and relevant, and these kids are forcing me to resort to boring tactics to achieve some level of calm in the classroom.
One girl said to me today, "we're just preparing you for your daughter, Mrs. Hoffman". True, but at least I'll get a couple of handmade Mother's Day cards and pasta neckaces out of the deal instead of just an ulcer.
Teenagers? Not exactly a huzzah today. Although one of my charmers did say that I was "tight", which is apparently a positive comment these days...I believe it means cool. I think.
by at October 16, 2002 6:23 PM