I’m teaching a group of 10 y.o.’s who want to be 20. They are cool, unruly, ready to fight and very strange to me. I can’t figure them out. I’ve only been teaching them about a month, it’s true, but with other groups, other times, it was a lot easier.
Our last session was a complete disaster. They were talking, drawing, checking their phones – anything to escape, even though I’d explained they did not have to be there if they didn’t want to. I tried to lure them into having fun with a game that quickly degenerated into chaos and mayhem – and I quickly caught on to this spirit so I shouted at them. To sit down. And be quiet. And no, they did not listen. I got upset with them and they got upset with me. It was lovely.
So today I went to class armed with a couple of songs. They did not really like them and I think the lesson would have been another disaster except… when I got to school I found all the desks rearranged into a U, with a large space in the middle. This, I think, is what saved me because they could all see me and the board, they could not hide behind others and it really short-circuited the “I don’t give a ….” thing they had going.
I would not have thought that such a simple thing would have such a huge effect. But it did. I would not have thought to re-arrange the desks to begin with. They were there nonetheless. Thank you to the unseen helping hands! You know who you are.