To be honest, the past month has been filled with a lot of anxiety. I have overextended myself a little bit, and those who know me will tell you that I do not always rise to the challenge. Rather, I can be found in bed with the covers pulled over my head.
Don't get me wrong. I still love my job. Seeing 19 smiling, eager faces every morning is a blessing to be sure. Twelve of these faces happen to be boys. This leads to a very lively and spirited atmosphere. Yes, those are euphemisms for loud and at times out of control. During group work I will notice boys in the back of the room yelling. I will shoot them "the look." While very effective with girls, "the look" does not always get the point across to boys. As females, we have to be so attuned to others thoughts and feelings. We are trained from an early age to carefully analyze all body language cues from others to be sure that we are acting appropriately in social situations. We are intensely self-conscious and we carefully scrutinize our every word and our every movement. We also have a highly developed ability to follow conversations where only pronouns are used.
Boys are different. When my carefully practiced, and to be honest quite scary teacher look fails, I walk over to the boys. Close physical proximity is a tried and true classroom management technique. Once I come close to the group of boys, do they magically become quiet? Do they even acknowledge my presence? Of course not! However, suddenly, I realize that they are not yelling, but actually rapping the words to a song they have come up with to present the information they learned in their group to the class.
What do I do then? Naturally, I applaud them for their creativity and I give them all little pats on the back to encourage them to keep going. I then always walk over to the girls to see how their projects are going. They can usually be found carefully sketching out their ideas with pencil and ruler before going over them with marker. This is my happy place. We look at each other, look at the boys, and roll our eyes a little.
Of course the boys act this way because I let them, and I think I'm okay with that.