Yesterday afternoon, as soon as school let out, I had to do what teachers don’t always like to do.
I had to call parents because of some unacceptable behavior that was going on.
Today, I braced myself for the fallout…figuring that the kids would come in angry and resentful.
One of my students stopped by before school started and asked if I’d called his mother yesterday.
I answered honestly.
He laughed, told me everything was okay, and said that he was going to do better and focus more.
I nearly fell out of my chair.
True to his word, when his class period rolled around, he came in smiling, sat himself away from the students who might distract him, and kept himself busy with his work.
Another student, in the same class bounced in before the bell rang.
When I called her back to tell her about her new seat, explaining that it wasn’t punishment, she nodded, smiled, and went to her new table.
That was it.
As class proceeded, she participated in everything that was going on…without an attitude.
The same thing happened with the third student whose father I’d talked to.
I had fretted all evening about those phone calls because, quite honestly, these are good kids. They aren’t overtly rude. They are simply very social and passionate about their feelings.
They are teenagers…good ones.
I wanted to maintain a good rapport.
I’d worried for nothing.
They treated me with respect, and I, in turn, respect them for that.
Teenagers are so awesome…frequently given less credit than they are due.
I love my career choice!