The kids I’m teaching are continue to inspire me and challenge me and often both together.
I have my Doug Goodkin TM partner-choosing method which is not foolproof, but often bypasses the drama of who picks who for a partner. But in today’s 2ndgrade glass, I let them pick their own partner and that left two boys who ran screaming to opposite sides of the room refusing to work together. I pulled out my “bus in a snowstorm metaphor:’
“ You know, though we all have people we like without trying and some people we find it difficult to like and be with, we all have to learn how to get along with everyone in this world. If you’re on a bus, you don’t get to choose who the other passengers are. You might decide that you don’t like the person sitting next to you, but if the bus gets stuck in a snowstorm, suddenly you may have to work together to figure out how to survive. So you might as well start now.”
One of them turns to me and says, “Well, I don’t have to worry about that —it doesn’t snow in San Francisco!” Kids. You gotta love ‘em. Or not.
So I went to Tier 2 and made clear that they could choose to try to be together in a super-fun game or sit out on opposite sides of the room and watch the rest of us have a great time. They tentatively agreed to the former and off we went to play one of the most fun music class games in my repertoire— Stations. (If you’re curious, get my Intery Mintery book). Within two minutes they were working together and having a great time. At the end, I asked whether they discovered that they could work together and they agreed that they could.
And so I repeat the offer I make often that no one ever takes me up on. Before Congress meets, I would like to do a workshop with them. Have MTG (can’t stand to say her name) team up with Joe Biden in a small creative project and see what changes. If she refused (as I imagine so many of her ilk would), she’d have to sit in the hall and let the grown-ups take care of business without her.
And for the record, I would not be happy to be stuck in a bus during a snowstorm with her. But if needed, I’d do my best to partner up.