Place Your Bets!

Someone here on the blog world told me they would really enjoy reading about my students.  I think it was Eda, but I could be wrong (If I am, please let me know who you are, you deserve the credit (or the curse) for this post.

Anyway, my students have been the source for many lessons learned, both by them and by me.  However, some stories are much better than others.  I will tell you this one; if it catches your eye, let me know; I will tell more.

There was a day when there were only a couple of students in a, usually, larger class.  It may have been near a holiday when the numbers really drop.  Regardless, teaching the normal lesson would be useless as I would have to reteach it when the rest returned.  We were well into the period and I had students who could be trusted to fare on their own for a bit without me having to call in the cavalry (Hmm, originally I wrote “calvary” which would have needed capitalization, but what a difference in meaning!).

One of the students was shooting paper wads at the trash can across the room.  I imagine the biggest reason for this was that one of my few major rules was “don’t throw anything in my classroom”.  The biggest reasons for this were, besides the obvious, a student once threw (let go) a pencil that struck me in the glasses and another time one went by my head and nearly hit the Head of the building, who was walking in to check on me.  So, this student knew it was relatively safe as did I.

He is trying hard to put them in the trash can and is missing all the time, mainly, because it is too distance a shot to have any accuracy with a piece of paper.  I do not, honestly, know why I was brought into this.  I may have told him to get closer; I may have reacted to something he said, however, I was invited to “do better”.  I do believe a challenge was issued to the effect of he would hit one before I did.

My challenge went thus:  I will bet you that the next shot I take goes in (I take the paper wad from him).”  I think some wager was even made.  Of course, the other person in the classroom has now taken heavy notice of the situation.

The first student agreed and smiled at me.  After all, he has been shooting all period and not gotten a single one in.  I looked at him, walked over to the trash can, and dropped the paper wad in.  I looked at him, interrupted his yelling, and said, “I said ‘my next shot’ not where it would be from.”  You need to get all info about a bet before making it.”  He agreed (with much protesting) and, I imagine, he still remembers the lesson to this day.

How about you?  Have you ever been “taken” by the details of a situation or a statement?

Namaste,

Scott

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