One day as the "very special" group was filing into her room, Susan -- who I
should say is somewhat above the ideal super model weight and quite a bit
below super model height -- and I were greeting each child when on boy blurted
out, "Good f***** morning, Miz G!" I was aghast, but Susan smiled, patted his
back, and returned the greeting (without the adjective). Like many of you,
had Susan not been there I would have grabbed the kid by the scruff of the
neck and marched him to the principal's office. But, as Susan explained, this
was a big improvement for the child. She was pleased that he had finally
gotten to the point where he didn't greet her with "Good f***** morning, you
fat b*****!" We had a good laugh about this, but it taught me such a
Respond, don't react. Get to know each child and address individual needs.
Susan taught me a lot that year. The kids (all of whom were predicted to fail
the state standardized test of achievement) all passed. Susan credits
teaching through arts as rescuing these kids. I think a lot of it had to do
with her attitude. And that student with the foul language, by the end of the
year had started to simply greet her with "Hello, Miz G!" He's in junior high
school now. In regular classes.
Regards from Texas,
North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts
"Stupidity and wretchedness always go in pairs."