August 27, 2011

So, as you know I have been teaching students for about a week now. The time I’m writing this is about 3 hours after I have sent students away for the weekend. Seeing them exit the room was one of the more satisfying  things I’ve ever seen. I wonder what it’ll look like when I send them away for Christmas break? Or even after the school year ends?

I may fall to my knees and cry.

So here is a little “teacher-ism” I noticed today.

“Those who dig for gold, unfortunately, also have a heart of gold.”

I have a student in one of my classes who…is unique. Every time I manage to pay attention to him while he’s working or just listening to instructions/material he is always picking his nose.

And I don’t mean he is secretly using his pinky (little finger) to just barely reach inside of his nostril. He’s not even trying to hide it. His index finger is so deep inside his nose I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up damaging his sinuses. His vision even seems to focus on some distant object, as if he has the 1000 yard stare. The booger hiding near his brain must be his one and only goal in life.

The reason I mention this is because I may have influenced him to start a new habit.

Shaking hands.

One day after class he wanted to talk to me. He asked me about my little Yoda statue on my desk. He identified me as a nerd and really got a kick out of that. Then, as he was leaving I decided to do the nice thing and shake his hand. He really liked that too. He even wanted it to turn into one of those “bro” hand shakes**.

**(This is a very humorous exchange every time we shake hands. I don’t know why, but I always seem to forget he wants a “bro” shake. So I extend my hand, begin a normal handshake and then he changes grip real quick. I comply. Then he wants to change it again. But we both have never discussed what the next step in the hand shake is. So I always break it off there and just say “We’ll figure it out later.”****)

**** I’m certain we never will.

Keep in mind, this handshake exchange occurred well before I caught him digging for gold multiple times.

As of Tuesday, he wants to shake my hand at least five times every period.

And he’s a really nice kid. I mean, he’s got “a heart of gold” like I mentioned. He just seems to not realize the social implications and health implications of picking your nose in public.

I did not intend for that behavior to catch on among any of my students. I really appreciate a good handshake. I think it shows character and respect. It’s also a very safe maneuver to use in a school setting. That is why I use it. Sometimes I greet kids with a good handshake. Sometimes as they’re leaving I’ll give them one. I’ve always thought it was a pretty classy decision, until I came across this kid.

So there is my teacher-ism. The kid who picks his nose is the one who wants to shake your hand.

Now, I’m not going to deny this kid a handshake. He’s the only one who doesn’t hate me enough to give me one using his own free will. So I will accept anything I can get.

But do I cringe on the inside every time he extends his hand? Absolutely.

:::commences failed bro handshake on the internet with you:::