Background Noise

Today’s 10 minutes nearly didn’t happen. I lived 3 days in a single Wednesday, and I was content to just lie down and rest. But just as I was thinking, not today, I heard a still, small voice say “Tuh!” And here we are.

I am a teacher. Some say a good one. Others say an awful one. I say a novice one. But this, my 4th year, is presenting unique and new challenges that, as usual, I could never have dreamed up as I prepared myself for a new school year. This time, I have a student who heckles me during lessons. Literally heckles. I kid you not. On a bad day, like today, a lesson will go something like this:

Me: So you want to solve using standard algorithm…

Student: Boooooooo! Booooooooooooo! You never teach us anything!

Me: So if you need help,…

Student: You can’t help us! You’re not our real teacher! I’m gonna go find my real teacher!!!

And sometimes, he will leave to do just that. Right now, as I put this ridiculousness in print, it’s hilarious. But in the moment, I want to rip out my eyebrows a single follicle at a time. His classmates and I have grown accustomed to his heckling and other unusual behaviors, and so we continue on as usual without even a glance in his direction. There may be a time or two when I have to deploy the stare of correction to remind a student of our objective during a particularly intense heckle session, but other than that, the heckling has become harmless background noise that only possess as much power as we allow.

There is a really deep life lesson here. One I’d like to expand on and explore. But I’ve reached the end of my 10 minutes, and I’d probably just muck it up.

See you tomorrow!