So often, those words come out of my mouth. Sadly, often I stop there. However, not today. I am trying to be more intentional about dealing with the heart issues behind behavior. Here's today example:
I give students a post-it note with an ordinal number on it. Students are to arrange themselves in the appropriate order as fast as they can without talking. Tyler has the number "ninth." I hear some commotion as students are pointing to Tyler and pointing to a spot, but Tyler remains obstinate where he is. I check the line. First, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth ... "Where's ninth?" I ask. Everyone points at Tyler. Tyler is at the end of the line. He has taken a pencil and tried to change his ninth to a nineteenth. I now have two options:
1) Ask Tyler to get in his right spot, comment on the silliness, and/or let it go.
2) Deal with the heart issue behind what he did.
Today, I chose the road less traveled and settled for option #2. Tyler waits for me in the hallway. Here's our conversation:
Teacher: "What did you do?"
Student: "I tried to change the number on my post-it and refused to get in my right spot."
Student: "I don't know."
Teacher: "Well, if you don't know...who does?"
Student: "Well, I think I might know."
Teacher: "Go ahead."
Student: "I wanted to have the largest number, so I tried changing it."
Do you see the heart issue? It's pride. In his pride, he wanted to have the largest number. It's no different than the child who constantly cuts in line to get his preferred spot, the student to calls out without raising his hand because what he has to say is so important that interrupting is validated, etc... So Tyler and I have a deep conversation about pride and the foolishness of his actions.
This stuff is exhausting, but hopefully will bring forth much fruit.