One of the inevitable side effects of teaching music in a classroom is that sometimes, the classroom instruments become more than that – they become weapons of childish acts of revenge, objects to tease with, objects which can be used to get attention.
After a particular trifle between 2 groups in which Boomwhackers were hurled through the air, I got them to stay back after class to Talk.
Long story short – after rounds of blame-pushing and fact-crosschecking, the culprits finally owned up to their actions and agreed to accept the consequences.
Still feeling angsty over their misbehaviour, I then curtly told them to make it quick and to make sure I can see how much dust they have each cleaned from the room. The 2 boys picked up the brooms and started sweeping earnestly. After a while, 2 small mounds of dust accumulated on the floor. Boy1, after sweeping his mound into the dustpan, went over to Boy2’s mound and attempted to do the same. Boy2 became startled. “Hey!! Don’t steal my dust!!”
That he would be so protective over a mound of dust tickled me to no end.
Almost at once, I felt the irritation and angst over their earlier misbehavior dissipate, and I saw them for what they simply are: Young boys who are growing up. With hormones and all.
I allowed myself to crack a half-smile (even though I really wanted to burst into laughter), and told them there was lots more dust under the teacher’s table and under the stacks of chairs. It became almost like a game, with them trying to show me how much dust they could each collect.
I went back to the staffroom and shared the dusty story with a colleague, and we had a good laugh over it.
Self care for the day, done!