Esau… oh Esau. I honestly cannot believe I have not written about him yet. My friends here all know Esau’s name (and Mclean’s) because about 90% of the stories I have are about the two of them. Esau can (and frequently does) single-handedly make or break my day. It’s actually a joke with the rest of the 6th grade class because he so dominates the classroom atmosphere.
Esau is in his seat about 10% of the time. The other 90% is spent either wandering around, standing right next to me, sitting next to whichever girl he is currently ‘in love with’ (read- currently tormenting), sitting next to someone he is trying to copy off of, or just sitting next to someone he can distract. He is also constantly talking. Constantly.
Despite this, however, he can still be great to have in class. He is actually quite quick and bright, he always tries to give an answer, and I can count on him to volunteer for anything from writing something on the board to letting me push him (gently, of course) as a demonstration of a contact force. He can be very entertaining and can be a good student, at least on the days when he hasn’t decided to make my life a living hell.
Some days, Esau decides to pick a fight. “Now Tina,” you say, “you are much to intelligent to get into a petty fight with an 11-year-old.” And I used to think that you were right. But when you have a learner accuse you of helping another learner cheat on a test, or of giving him bad marks because you are attacking him personally… it’s a little more difficult to not get sucked in. And despite years of trialing and debate practice, logic doesn’t really work with him. It’s only so disruptive because he refuses to stop arguing, pouting, and putting up a fuss, and kicking him out of the classroom results in him standing at the windows yelling at me. Even on days he doesn’t pick fights, sometimes his classroom antics have everyone so distracted that class cannot continue.
This behavior might sound to you like something to be dealt with by, oh I don’t know, school administration or his parents. But you have to realize that while the situation may be worse with me because I’m an easy target (I get offended by accusations of dishonesty and don’t know the system…) he poses the same problems to his other teachers (including the principal) who have no idea what to do with him. He also lives with his ANCIENT grandmother, who very clearly (as observed from the numerous times she has been called to school) cannot do anything about how he is acting.
On days when I can stay in a good mood and remember to treat Esau as a co-conspirator, he is one of my favorite students. On a day when I am already frustrated, Esau is a master at finding and pushing my buttons. Either way, he is a dominating force in my days at school and those of everyone else he meets.