Thursday, September 20, 2007


Wrote a post yesterday about a fight that started in my classroom. Today, when I walked into my classroom, I realized I could talk about irony.

"There was a fight in here yesterday," I told my class. As if they didn't know. "And do you know what I had put up just a couple of hours before the fight? That sign right there."

I pointed to a framed print that looks like this:

Live * Laugh * Love

When I put it up, I thought it might add a little positive spirit to my room. I'm so tired of walking into classrooms and seeing signs demanding respect or telling students to act one way and not another. But I guess it takes more than just a sign to change behavior.

"The only thing more ironic," I said, "would be if the two people fighting had knocked it over and broken it."

I wanted to stay positive, but also wanted students to know I wanted peace. They were working in groups. I walked up to each one. "Can we all get along?" I asked.

"I don't know," one girl said, pointing at her neighbor. "I really don't like this one."

The other girl turned with a giant smile. "Oh, but I love her!"

"Do we all need a group hug?" I asked. Girls started hugging each other. Guys smiled.

"OK, let's get to work," I said.

Students started studying their parts for their assigned Shakespeare plays. "Look," one girl told another. "I get to kill you!"

"Yeah," the other responded, "but not before I poison your drink. So you die, too."

Students were trying on little props required in their plays, laughing. "Hey, I get to call you a lusty wench," I heard someone saying.

"What's that mean?"

So, here we were a day after a fight, getting along, learning (hopefully), laughing, and getting ready to kill each other and call each other names. I guess it's OK when it's Shakespeare.

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