Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sometimes I'm pretty smart

I had a stroke of brilliance at work last week.  I have this kid who I love, but who honestly, drives me absolutely nuts.  He is anal and needy and a total butinski.  Because he is so anal, he is super organized and always has his work done.  This leaves him lots of time to point out everyone else's flaws which drives his classmates NUTS.  If he sees a discrepancy between what another student said they did and what they actually did he literally cannot stop the loud, annoying, tattling words from spewing out of his mouth.  He MUST correct the situation.  His neediness manifests in asking me a question every 1.5 seconds no matter what else I'm doing (talking with another teacher, teaching the whole group, working one-on-one with another student, going the the bathroom, etc. etc.) which drives me NUTS.  I bet he has said, "Mrs. Lindahl...Mrs. Lindahl...Mrs. Lindahl...Mrs. Lindahl...Mrs. Lindahl...Mrs. Lindahl...Mrs. Lindahl...Mrs. Lindahl..." a billion times this year. But generally, he is a sweet kid and a good student.  Just annoying.

I have another student who I also love, but who also drives me nuts.  He is a very bright kid, but is so slow-moving and dreamy that he is always ten steps behind the pack.  I passed out lists of missing work last week and this kid's list was looooooong.  I was trying to motivate him to do his missing work, but every time I turned around he was off in La La Land again.

How could I get Kid 1 off my back for two seconds and get Kid 2 to finish all his work?  The solution:  Assign Kid 1 to "help" Kid 2 finish his missing work list.

As soon as I proposed the idea, they both thought it was brilliant.  Kid 1 went from being on my heels every second of class, to tenaciously nagging Kid 2 in ways that I'm sure nobody has ever been nagged and cajoled and browbeaten ever before.  The result were wonderful:

1. Kid 2 finished about 2/3 of his missing work, bringing his grade up considerably.
2. Kid 1 was off my back for a few days which was a welcome relief.
3. Kid 2 was WORN OUT after a few days of having someone relentlessly dog him about every little thing.
4. Kid 1 and Kid 2 both privately expressed maddening frustration in having to deal with the other every day which gave me unbelievable satisfaction because I successfully deflected their annoying behavior off of me and on to each other.


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