Mini Jekylls and Hydes

For anyone who hasn't spent a lot of time with human beings around the ages 6-12, you'd be amazed how quickly their behavior can change. Even more strange, are the triggers that set off these alterations. You can have a perfectly quiet, diligent classroom of students one moment. Then the phone rings, or a literacy coach enters the room, or a cluster teacher comes in to cover your prep.

Now you no longer have 19 industrious children, showing off their best "star behavior." Instead you have five kids clammering to go to the bathroom at once, three kids moving around aimlessly on the rug, two kids who can't keep their hands to the self and the rest are either tattling (He keeps touching me!) or staring blankly waiting for it all to be over. It's amazing how they can sense that even while you're physically present, they no longer have your full attention. And once they sense this, immediately they take the opportunity to break every rule you've worked so hard to establish.

At least order is quickly restored when I intervene. I'm doing my best to teach them ways to keep busy while I'm dealing with one of the daily interruptions by phone or visitors. As for the cluster teachers and push-in teachers, they'll have to find their own way to coax out the inner Jekylls from my students and not the Hydes.


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