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Brotherly Love

posted Jul 22, 2010, 7:03 PM by Alex Frye   [ updated Jul 23, 2010, 9:02 AM by Taller de Paz ]
As I was walking over to my classroom to begin teaching the green group – the group of younger kids – I saw one of the student  crying his heart out right outside of the classroom. “Julián, que tienes?” Julián what's wrong, I asked, but Julian ignored me and kept crying uncontrollably. The more he cried, the more frustrated I became at my inability to comfort him.

It was 10:05 am. Class was supposed to have started five minutes ago.

My partner had not yet arrived and I didn't know what to do. Should I listen to Julian cry his heart out? Or should I go inside and teach nine other students that were in my class, waiting for me? The nine kids were becoming impatient and began to peep out the door to see what was going on.

Necesito que pares de llorar y me digas que tienes. Si no me dices no puedo resolver nada,” I need you to stop crying and tell me what's wrong because if you don't tell me I can't solve anything, I said to Julián.

Julian finally revealed that Yeison, his older brother, had pushed him into a table and that his stomach hurt.

“Ahorita hablo con Yeison. ¿Te me sientas para poder empezar con una actividad muy chevere?” I will talk to Yeison in a little while. Can you sit down for me so that we can start a really cool activity?

I lead Julián back into the classroom where Yeison had decided to crawl under a table and wouldn't come out. “Not this too...what am I going to do?” I thought to myself.

“Yeison puedes salir de debajo de la mesa para poder empezar?” Yeison can you come out from under the table so we can start?

Yeison looked away and pretended not to hear. All the kids were starting to say, “¿Va a dejar a Yeison alli?” Are you really going to leave Yeison under there? 

It was 10:08 am. I decided to begin the activity and left him alone, thinking that I could entice him to join the class. I handed each student a piece of modeling clay and told them that we were going to work on a really cool activity and that Yeison was missing out on it.

“Vamos a hacer un pequeño cofre donde podremos poner nuestras quejas o sentimientos” We are going to make a small chest where we can put our complaints or feelings.

After Yeison saw how excited the other kids were with the clay, he crawled out from under the table and sat down with the others. Once my partner finally arrived to help with the activity, I took Yeison outside and asked him to tell me his side of the story. I let him know that what he had done was not acceptable behavior. He eventually told me his side of the story and we sorted out the matter later that day.

For those 10 minutes I was clueless to how I was going to solve the situation and became extremely frustrated. However, the experience taught me, for when I have to manage my own classroom in the future, the importance of staying calm and collected even in the face of frustration.