There are many things I’ve learned about education in my few years of teaching experience. Picking and choosing my battles, not one of them. Haha, I refuse to let a student win in the battle of wills. I often see one of my co-teachers seemingly give-up, or let things go and I can’t stand it. Every time that happens that student has won power over the teacher and they know it. Believe it or not students actually like to be under the teacher’s power (as long as it’s power with the students’ best interest in mind) and will test to see if it’s going to happen that way. I speak from experience not as a teacher, as a student. I MUCH preferred my strict teachers to the easy-going ones (there’s a fine line between strict yet fair, and mean). This probably speaks negatively of my character, but I would walk all over a teacher if they let me (talking in class, late homework, attendance, etc). But the teachers who made it clear they had strict expectations, I would jump on board and follow right along.
So, this brings me back to winning all the small battles, lol. Last week, while I was teaching, I could see a situation arising out of the corner of my eye between my co-teacher and a 5th grader. She had pulled his desk up about 2 feet in front of him (he was in the front row) and was trying to get him to move himself and the chair up to the desk…he shook his head no. She pulled the desk about halfway back towards him (what?! he says no to you, the teacher, and you decide to try a compromise? Is it just me or is that already the wrong step?!) and tried again. He moved his chair about 3 inches up and then pulled the desk back to him. She seemed to be satisfied with this, and he, had smugly proven complete control. Well, I just couldn’t take it, I had to interfere. I walked over pulled the desk all the way to the front of the room as far as it could go and commanded “MOVE!” He didn’t shake his head at me (I think they know by now I won’t tolerate as much even though we have the language barrier) but he tried to same stunt with moving halfway and then pulling the desk back to him. I said no, moved it again and this time he did shake his head. I could tell how badly he did not want to give up all of the control he had gained in this situation. So I pointed to the door and said “get out.” I do not have time to waste on getting this one kid to move his desk when all of the other students are patiently waiting to learn English. However, unlike my co-teacher, not having the time does not mean I give in to the student, it means they just need to get out if they can’t cooperate.
Am I completely ridiculous?