FDR– The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself
SJ and I are lying in the grass. We are a few houses down from our own.
You may be wondering why we were lying on our neighbor’s front lawn.
Well, I pushed SJ down. It was for his own good.
School has begun. It’s back to work for this high school English teacher. This is how the school year starts for me.
I look out at my students. I study them. Who am I working with? What makes them tic? What challenges do they have?
I see a young man in one of my senior English classes. He’s quiet, eager to do right. Yet, he’s scared and nearly shaking. When he talks, it’s clear that there are some issues he’s dealing with. He appears alone and fragile. I’ll have to be careful with him, sensitive.
The girl in my senior class is familiar. I taught her in the 10th grade. Her moods swayed like a bridge in desperate need of repair. The boys seemed scared of her. I liked her on her good days. She participated and was willing to learn. Her writing was inconsistent. Now, she’s a mom. She’s not the first senior I had with a child. Still, I worry for her and the child. How will she have time for school and a life?
There’s a rambunctious boy in my sophomore class. Seriously. His energy level is ridiculous. He clearly can’t handle himself. I’ve been told he’s a struggling student. I wouldn’t know. He has done no work yet. He is too busy pruning for laughs. I’ve already spoken to his mother. I hope it helps.
There’s a girl in my sophomore class. She’s short. And loud with seemingly no filter button. Her work/participation has been weak so far. She seems more interested in strolling the hallways despite claims of injured feet. Then yesterday, she shared her journal entry. Her sister died last year of cancer. She could not make it to the funeral. Maybe, there’s a way to get to her.
Every student has a story. At some point, I’ll learn all their stories. I’m going to be listening, reading their journals, and studying their behavior. Who are they? Who am I working with? How can I get the students to work to their potential?
This is what I see from behind the desk. It’s time to step out.
“How long did it take SJ?” BR asked. This seemingly insignificant question came while he was in the chair at the dentist office. The dental assistant had a drill in his mouth and water by his side should he feel the need to spit.To put it simply, it was not the time for talking.
However, for my boys, the time for rivalry and jealousy seems to be 24/7.
They love each other. They kiss each other without prompting. They play on the computer together. They feel bad if the other one is upset.
However, it seems their more natural state is to argue.
“Hey, he got more juice. It’s my turn to go on the computer. I want to go in the bath first.”
I don’t know what has caused them to behave like this. I know children argue with each other especially when they are close in age (31 months apart).
My next older brother and I are 27 months apart. And we argued plenty. I can remember many “shut up, no you shut up sort of fights.” But other than wanting to go to go to bed later like him, I don’t remember feeling jealous. Though I suppose I was to some extent which I think is natural.
However, my children are excessive. Their whole personalities can change when each other is around: BR becomes more tense and SJ ruder.
Car rides are hell. There is no room to go to or door to shut. Our last car ride, a 25 minute trip, featured screaming from each family member and my heart rate doubling. BR had headphones yet said he heard SJ’s movie, and it was distracting. SJ insisted he choose the movie, and BR did not like the movie that was on.
Petty crap, wouldn’t you say? Typical.
Neither my wife nor I does the, “well your brother does this, so why don’t you” sort of thing. Well, maybe on the rare occasion.
Each of the children gets attention. Is it equal? Probably not.
However, I don’t believe that everything is meant to be exactly the same for each child. They have different personalities, needs, and wants.
Again, this is grating on me, and I don’t know what to do about it. Like all parents, I want my children to be friends. I want them to be loyal and have each other’s back.
On those occasions, when they do act nicely towards each other, I am thrilled. There is something beautiful about seeing them together that brings me a great joy. (https://larrydbernstein.com/you-should-always-be-together)
Anyone got some advice? We have another dentist appointment coming up.