The ‘Ick” Monster
May 21, 2010 by Lisa Freeman
“The teacher doesn’t like me. The person next to me was talking and I got yelled at and I was being quiet. I always get picked on.” I’m sure many of us have heard this complaint from our children.
The other night in our session, we were discussing unexpected classroom behaviors - behaviors that might ‘annoy’ a teacher. Talking too much. Not doing the class work or homework. Sarcastic remarks. Not paying attention. Staring out the window. Doodling. “This list would certainly fill up my ‘Ick Monster’!” we commented. “What’s an ‘Ick Monster’?” our students asked.
We drew an ‘Ick Monster’ on the board - an outline drawing of a person - no big deal right? But what happens when those annoying behaviors continue day after day? With each annoying behavior that the students named we colored in a little bit more of the outlined drawing- first the feet, then the legs, arms and body. Finally the drawing was filled to the neck. That’s the point where someone says, “I’ve had it up to here with you!” and they EXPLODE!
We went on to discuss how we could ‘clear’ the ‘Ick’. Do your work. Keep your eyes on the teacher. Be quiet. Apologize. With each suggestion some of the ‘Ick’ was erased. First the body was cleared then the arms, hands and upper legs. Now it was only filled in up to the knees. “So what do you think would happen now if you accidently dropped your pencil or you were talking to your neighbor?” “Would the teacher be as annoyed or upset?” “Would the teacher be less likely to ‘explode’, less likely to ‘yell’ at you?”
Our behaviors cause others to have thoughts and feelings about us that can be positive or negative. It’s our job to help people to keep on having positive thoughts about us. Because, In the long run, it will make us feel good too.