With full time detention duty, I didn’t think that I would get a chance this second summer session to interact with students in the lunch room. Luckily, however, I got the opportunity yesterday as I had another teacher take my post. I love lunch time! I love being there. Smelling that wonderful school food. Hearing all the students laugh, talk, and yell sometimes. Yeah, I love lunch. Lunch is a time when the students get to be themselves more than any other time at school. It’s a great feeling to see them break out of their quiet or combative shell as soon as they sit down with their lunch and start chatting with friends. During first summer session I was quite scared of interacting with students who I previously gave consequences for misbehavior to. Even if it was one writing assignment, I would feel as though that student hates me and I should just not waste my time getting to know them because they’ll just shut down even more. But this, in fact, was the total opposite of what I should do, so I’ve come to realize.
Light bulb moment: students know when they are misbehaving and if you catch them breaking a rule their respect for you grows.
This statement has become so real to me this second session of summer school. I’m teaching more and giving more consequences out, yet I’m interacting more with students in engaging and meaningful ways both to me and them. AND they seem to really like me, or at least respectfully laugh at me…which means they like me, no? I realized just how true this statement is at lunch and after school on Friday. I asked my students questions about their interestes. I joked and laughed with them. I had genuine conversation with 15 year olds. But that’s easy. The amazing part was realizing that, not 30 minutes ago, I had given these same students consequences for loudly walking into my room, talking out of turn, and making noises. Yet, they were treating me with respect and not disdain!
It was awesome to see in myself the growth that has occurred in me compared to the first weeks of summer school to now, the end of summer school. I am so much more confident and not afraid to speak up and ask questions! I think realizing that when I give consequences, I am not correcting the person, I am correcting the behavior (and they do honestly know better and are better than to act like that).
I wish there were more days that I could have lunch with my science whiz kids at HSHS.