i have taught quite a few kids at this point. and there are always a few students each year that i
want to meet at the flagpole after school don’t connect with. when i first started teaching, i felt this need to be “liked” by all the kids because i couldn’t possibly be a good teacher if the kids didn’t like me.
about two or three years in, i realized something. not all the kids will like me. and i definitely won’t like all of them.
teenagers are like crazy people for a few years. they make no sense sometimes. they’re moody as hell. and they’re also stubborn as all get out.
(i should know. i had a pretty bad case of “teenager” once. i’ve apologized to my mother SO MANY times i’ve lost count.)
by now, i’ve learned how to best deal with them. when to back off. when to push forward. when to use humor and when to be quiet and sweet to them. but there are some kids that you just can’t stand. they’re annoying or rude or playing dumb. and no matter what you do, you can’t build much of a relationship with them (and frankly, don’t want to).
and that’s okay.
no one tells you that. ever.
but it is okay.
i have a two students right now that i just can’t stand. one of them is a boy who uses his good looks and above average athletic abilities to get what he wants from the other kids and plays dumb all the time. and you know what? it works for him about 90% of the time.
i didn’t really figure him out until a few weeks into school. he was assigned tutorials because he was screwing around in class so much and not doing his work. he came in, finished it all in a matter of minutes, and i graded it in front of him. i wanted to scream at him. i wanted to fly across my desk like a crazy person and shake him. it was all freaking right! he was wasting my time and disrupting my class to preserve his image as a dumb athlete who doesn’t care about school. it was infuriating. i told another teacher that had him the year before this story, and he told me that he only “breaks character” every once in awhile and it’s never around other kids.
i’ll say that i don’t like a student to my friends at school. but i’d never say it to a parent’s’ face or the principal or any other students. it’s something that teachers just learn to understand and accept.