Saturday, October 3, 2009

Opposite ends of the spectrum

Sad but true: On any given day, 90% of my energy is directed toward making sure William and Julio don't burn down the school. Which leaves a paltry 10% of my energy for kids like Leah.

Who is Leah? Leah is your basic dream student. She is polite, conscientious and intelligent. She raises her hand; she never calls out. She always follows directions, and in a timely fashion. If I say, "Put away your social studies book, take out your book baggie and go to the carpet," Leah will always be the first (and often only) student there. Best of all, Leah does all this without fuss: She never brags about how smart she is, or yells at the other kids at her table to get their mess together so they can get a table tally. She just does what she needs to do in a totally mature fashion without any complaint. Even my other brightest students are in my face all the time, asking me for drinks of water (albeit extra maturely: "Miss Brave, my throat is really dry, may I please have a sip of water?") or trying to show off for me, but not Leah. That would be just so...beneath her.

Now, I know there are teachers who might find Leah boring. After all, she never kicks up a fuss; it's actually a treat to see her even smile, because Leah is clearly not in school to fool around, she's in school to learn. But I, for one, am thankful I have a Leah in my class. Leah doesn't get caught red-handed by the School Safety Patrol at lunch for drawing pictures of naked ladies. She doesn't have to be sheepishly returned to the classroom fifteen minutes after dismissal for managing to leave school without her backpack. She doesn't pretend to be shooting machine guns at the other students, or blow air inside her book baggie with her mouth hoping it will blow up and pop, or crawl underneath a table and pout when she gets upset.

She just tries her best, every single day. Thank goodness.

No comments: