pseudo mano-y-mano

January 8, 2007

Day two of teaching! I learned very quickly a lesson about some kids that others label as “problems.”

Let me preface by saying that the teacher at said school is a bit on the bottom end of work ethicists. He’s lazy, likes to compartmentalize and pass off problems to administrators and other teachers. For this, I’m sure he’s not the best friend of anyone, though he gets along great with everyone. He also is the stock pessimist of the group. Really, I thought I was bad, but some of his ideas rank up in the “no hope for that one” category. He can be downright depressing.

So in this last period class, a class full of “not good enoughs” and “not well behaved enoughs” and “when are they gonna quits.” He tells us to take a couple sections each, and I take trumpets and horns, and we go to this closet of a practice room. Me and four other kids. For one, I was scared that I was about to do something really dumb and completely confuse or bore the kids to death.

Well, we have one kid in there who was moved down from the band just above this one, and he’d been acting up since he moved down, cause he’s bored, of course. Anyway, we get in the room, and one kid doesn’t have his trumpet, but he stays quiet, thankfully. Another is really sugared up or something, and he’s bouncing off the walls, but I put his fate in his hands and he calmed down. The fourth kid was just a good kid that wasn’t quite good enough. Well, we worked, and we played, and we had a decent time, and the first kid, the one that got moved down a band, was completely attentive and workable the entire time. Sure, we didn’t make leaps and bounds, but we got something done, and we had a good time.

The moral: kids that are believed to be problems sometimes just need a little attention. And who doesn’t like that?


  1. And isn’t it something to finally give back some of the attention that us insolent bastards have been given forever?

  2. *hugs* I’m proud of you for seeing what others neglected to see. 🙂 Honestly, I think the same thing happens in all age groups. When I was working with pre-tods, I could tell who needed to be moved on and challenged. They needed to stay busy and get that little extra attention. Keep that star burning bright.

  3. You’ve learned a vital lesson in your first few days – sometimes, all the problem kids need IS a little attention. Remember, though, that some kids’ needs go FAR deeper than that, and it’s unreasonable for you to expect that you’ll be able to reach all of them. Idealism kills. Keep doing your best, certainly, but don’t blame yourself when a studen exceeds your grasp…

  4. Who doesn’t like that? Teachers. I have some friends around here that teach at a slightly lower rate high school, and I was appalled one time when I had dinner with them and all they could talk about was how a certain section of kids were pretty much useless. They went on to the classic “kids these days…”, which is such a cop-out. It’s a different world. I would have to think that there are different problems for these kids than the ones I faced, and some of them may just be more complex than people know. At the very least it seems that these kids, in an heightened information age, are exposed to a lot of stuff that I never even knew about when I was their age. Sure, there are some bad apples, but just to dismiss them out of hand like that is disheartening. Idealism only goes so far, but I really got the gut-wrenching sense that they didn’t really care anyway. So what I’m saying is that I’m glad you stood up for those kids.

  5. I’m doing my best! Thanks for the support.

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