screwed up and moved into administration, I used to teach middle school children with behavior disorders. This experience gave me a lot of tools to use when dealing with adults. Regardless of the oxymoron (because aren’t all middle schoolers behavior disordered to a certain degree?), there were some great stories that came from those years in the classroom.
Charlie (not his real name, dooh!) was a beautiful boy with blond hair and blue eyes and the mouth of a sailor. His mouth got him in trouble, outside my classroom, on a regular basis
though, truly, I agreed with most of what he had to say. There were many failed attempts to teach him to other ways to express his ideas. He just needed to cuss.
In a moment of desperation, I asked him to write his feelings down in a notebook when feeling his rage was working up to a blaspheme-fest, then tear up the page
because if he still had evidence of potty mouth, there were still too many teachers ready to take him out back and shoot him.
One day, as I was conferencing with a parent about their child’s progress, Charlie came charging into the classroom slamming the door into it’s frame. The parents had a look of fear on their face. I tried to ignore Charlie and carry on with the meeting.
Charlie ran to his desk and grabbed his *special* notebook. I tried not to smile and continued talking with the parents. Their furtive glances over their shoulder at the mad boy frantically scribbling in his notebook made it even harder for me not to laugh. I redirected the parents back to their son and our concerns.
Suddenly, Charlie ripped out several pages from his notebook and began shredding them over the trash can, then ran right back out of the room.
I finished the conference with a huge smile on my face.
I never knew what made him so mad (and I really didn’t care as it was usually something minor). At least on that day, Charlie was a success.