. Regurgitated Alpha Bits: October 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Don’t Mess with Coach

Friday was field trip day!

If you are a regular reader then you know that field trip day usually involves adventures like this and this.

Amazingly, THIS time it really was adventure free!

So then why write about it, Edna?

Because, and I am being brutally honest here, I am an awful, awful person. I really, truly am yet I am going to offer no apologies for it (and I feel bad about that too.)

Now, before I begin my story, let me tell you that I am not proud of the story I am about to share. I realize that a better person than me would not have allowed this to happen.

So here goes…

I while back, I shared a story about George, the student who got busted for telling his neighbor that I am the smartest teacher in the world.

Well… I am OVER that shame I felt for busting him because that was about the last nice thing that kid ever said about anyone.

He hits.

He throws elbows.

He pinches.

He shoves.

He bullies.

He name-calls.

He back-talks.

And this is not just how he treats kids. Adults are fair game to him too.

He is, in general, kind of a difficult person for others to like.

And when you address these behaviors with him, he folds his arms, furrows his brow and stomps away from you like a toddler in need of a nap.

So, I'm having a hard time warming up to him.

I recognize this shortcoming of mine though; therefore I make extra efforts to reward him for making good choices and being kind to others. He is, after all, just a kid.

But frankly, I know I am just faking it. And since I am faking it, it was inevitable that I eventually would fail him.

As I did.

On the field trip.

Our naturalist at the estuary also happened to be the wrestling coach at a local high school and told the kids to call him Coach.

He was great with the kids, keeping them learning and laughing the entire time, however he soon grew weary of George's constant complaining and off-putting attitude.

At one point, Coach was talking about an ecosystem while looking for a vocabulary card in his backpack. He sort of left his sentence hanging while he dug around in the bag and George sarcastically yelled out, "Aw Geez! Like you're really prepared to teach US!"

I immediately stepped forward to take George aside, but Coach gave me a look that told me he wanted to handle it and said,

"Now George, I know you think you're funny but looks aren't everything."


The entire class snickered and ooooo-ed behind their hands.

George was quiet for the remainder of the trip, silenced by the adult who handed him low blow

and the teacher who did not step up to comfort him.




Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Here is a story shared by a third grade teacher in the lounge today:

Mrs. X: Alex, tell your father what you shared in school today.

Alex: I like Hawaii.

Mrs. X: Alex...

Alex: I like Hawaiian girls.

Mrs. X: And?

Alex: I like Hawaiian girls in grass skirts.

Mrs. X: Aaaand?

Alex: Fine. I like Hawaiian girls in grass skirts and their BOOBS!

'nuff said.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Less is More

I'm beginning to feel that if Lou ever moves (He's this guy and this guy), I'd have to close up shop and call it a day.

This guy is blogging GOLD!

Where do I begin?

Oh! I know! Thursday!

On Thursday, Lou came to me before lunch and said he'd like to talk to me about a problem he's having with another student.


Since his M.O. is usually to push, shove, stomp, or scream at a kid, I was pretty impressed with this move so I arranged for him to talk to me at lunch.

At lunch he strolled in, pulled a chair up to my desk, and said:

So you know how I take that medication, right?

I do. ADHD meds.

Well, I take it mostly because I have a hard time controlling myself. Sometimes, when I get mad, I lose control and hit kids.

I've noticed.

Well, I think I'm gonna hit Sammy and I don't want to do that.


Well, you see, he's always bugging me, following me, and he won't leave me alone. I've asked him NICELY to play with other people but he just won't go away.

(Insert image of Lou screaming LEAVE ME ALONE! LEAVE ME ALONE! LEAVE ME ALONE! in Sammy's face.)

I know his methods might be a bit, shall we say, abrasive, however we work with the tools we've got. Lou hasn't taken a swing at Sammy yet so I'm all good with what's happened so far and pretty durn impressed with his willingness to ask for help.

So I tell Lou that I agree with him in that he and Sammy should not be playmates for awhile. I say I'll talk with Sammy about finding some other playmates; however Lou has to agree to stay away from Sammy as well. If he initiates contact with Sammy, all bets are off.


Jump to late in the day on Friday, when I finally have time to pull Sammy aside and talk with him alone. He readily agreed to find other friends to play and stay away from Lou. The whole encounter was over in less than two minutes and Sammy said about two words. As I am talking to him, I see Lou watching us and feel that great teacher feeling you have when you know you're winning over a tough nut who trusts no one.

(Insert image of Lou accepting the Nobel Peace Prize and in his speech he thanks Mrs. Lee because she was the one he "could always rely upon". Camera pans to an older, yet surprisingly stylish me, wiping away a tear using a tissue handed to me by his mother who is forever grateful for the impressive impact I had on her son.)

As we leave for lunch, Lou stays behind the rest of the class and says:

So, you know how Sammy just told you about how I pointed my binder at him like a gun, cocked it and pretended to shoot him with it…
 …over and over again?

 (Insert furrowed brow head nod from me.)

Well, I didn't do that.

And that is why, ladies and gentlemen, less is more. Lou had to be suspended for the rest of the day because even imitating guns is a suspendable offense and Two-Word Sammy had a great afternoon.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

How Thoughtful

The Bits is on a list!!

The Bits is on a list!!

The fellow over at Masters in Education has oh so kindly included The Bits on his "100 Blogs That Will Make You a Better Teacher" list.

Clearly, this is a man with discerning taste.

The list has some great blog resources on it for teachers of all levels so you might wanna drop by and check it out. I found a few more to add to my Google Reader!