I guess he was my class clown that year. He was happy and fun-loving and everyone’s friend, but he was always too busy doing something other than the academic tasks that I’d assigned. He didn’t turn in classwork. He didn’t complete (or even start) homework. He didn’t read the textbooks or take notes or study for tests. In my gradebook, any spaces by his name that weren’t empty were filled with Ds and Fs. He wasn’t inherently booksmart like some kids, but with a small investment of time and effort on his part, he could have been just as successful as his classmates. His total apathy towards schoolwork infuriated me.
Unfortunately, I let him see my frustration and my anger in rolling eyes, hands on hips, harsh words, and raised voice. I am ashamed at the lack of patience and restraint I displayed not just to him, but in front of his classmates and other teachers as well. I should have invested more of my time and effort in trying to find ways to channel his enthusiasm and boundless energy without stomping on his carefree spirit with such blatant disrespect. Although I use the experience to guide my actions in a more favorable direction now, all of my mistakes with that smiling, impish, lovable little third grader will forever haunt my memory—I can only hope that they don’t haunt his as well.
Today’s post was inspired by January 2nd’s writing prompt on oneminutewriter.blogspot.co.uk