Several weeks ago I made a professional goal--namely, that I would make friends with the surly 12-yr-old who tried to call me a f****** b**** when I told him his time was up on the computer.

This is not because I have some compulsive need to have everyone like me. Because I don't. Much. But I happen to like 12-yr-old boys, and I've always had a soft spot for the punk ones. This soft spot was strongest when I was about 10-14 years of age and was always falling for the Bad Jr. High Boys. Now it is more of a benevolent, legal sort of interest. Plus I know that their lives can be pretty crappy and they need safe(ish) places where they feel welcomed. I'm absolutely fine with banning adults who make my life hard, but I don't want to do that to a kid. Kids have enough problems.

Anyway. I'd like to think I've been making progress. We haven't started having tea parties at my desk or anything, but there has been no more attitude. And yesterday when he walked by my desk he waved hello. I nodded my head and answered, "Hey."

Inside, though? Inside I was doing Snoopy dances.


Scully said... [reply]

Wow, a wave is even better than a Frat-Boy Head-Tilt!

Yankee Girl said... [reply]

Excellent mile stone. Scully is right it is even better than a Frat-Boy Head-Tilt. Glad to hear you didn't ruin by doing a public Snoopy dance.

Nemesis said... [reply]

YEAH it's better. I mean, it was one of those cool, straight-arm, barely there waves, but it WAS a wave.

Scully said... [reply]

But for a teenage boy, Nem, that is nearly like jumping up and down and squealing at the sight of you.

Audra said... [reply]

Ooo... I am impressed! I am like you... have a soft spot for the teenage boys who seem like that have been through something... maybe it was from reading the "Outsiders"! It is like every troubled youth is a PonyBoy Curtis... "Your Golden Ponyboy... Golden!" Hahaha! I even had a kid at Classic Skating whos mom would drop him off and basically use the rink as a babysitter. I would let him get a better prize when he brought his tickets to the counter... what a softie... haha!

Azúcar said... [reply]

You're so cool for doing that. Kids need more adults they can respect and trust, not freeze out.

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

I get it. People look at me like I'm a bit off when I tell them I'm a middle school teacher. Then, when I tell them I actually like it, they pretty much are ready to ward off whatever demon is possessing me by crossing their fingers at me and taking a step back. Keep up the good work, Miss Nem. If the world was kinder to them, there probably wouldn't be so many with such difficulties.

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