I’ve touched upon this before, but if I go back a year in my journals I find: One thing I’m learning to do is ignore, another skill you can’t use in ordinary classrooms. Ignore the rapping, the tapping, the napping. Ignore the strange random sounds coming from the banana suit during writing time. Ignore the “I’m NOT doing THAT.”
Banana Suit receives no attention or permission and slowly stops. Having been told that I am hanging student poetry on the board, anonymously I might add, Mr. F. reveals his defiant side. In the meantime, I explain, he needs to select two photographs from the pile to accompany his poem. I leave him alone, and he does the assignment. On the other side of the room I modify the assignment, and Mr. R. writes a longer poem than assigned. His grammar is wretched, and his spelling worse, but the ideas are insightful. Two other students play cards with me as I observe one student isolate himself, a bad sign. Mr. F. has also separated himself with a game of solitaire, but for different reasons. Nothing to worry about. One interrupts the other with card tricks.
No matter how my seventh hour complains or flirts, or maybe because of it, they’re following me. Sometimes we wander through beds of hot coals and sometimes across green pastures. They are a dream and a nightmare. Did I tell you? They write poetry and they diagram sentences!