Joe’s Twig-gate

So there I was, minding my own business and teaching a buxiban class. It’s a “homework” class for grade school students, and I’ve got kids from 3rd to 6th grade in the same classroom. This means that some of the kids can get easily bored. They are of too different levels in my opinion and the class should be split.

After having told Joe to stop playing with his toys for the 4th time, I told him to give me his little twig. This happened right after I confiscated a blown up rip-off Rubik’s cube. He didn’t want to hand it over, even when the Chinese teacher confronted him. He hid it behind his bag and said he didnt have anything. I looked around on the floor and found his little twig. He took it up and tried to put it in his pencil case. I told him to hand it over. He didn’t comply and threw it in my general direction. I took it in my pocket and took his pencil case from his desk and put it on mine. By this time, he was bawling. I guess that he’s about 10. He was making a big deal and most probably saying bad words about me. I talked to him in English. I didn’t swear, but told him that I didn’t care. He should have handed it over. I didn’t care that other teacher might indulge him. He was totally freaking out and the teacher had to take him outside. Before she did, while he was crying loudly, I resumed class and spoke over his attention-seeking.

A few moments later, I broke the twig in small pieces. During break time, I threw it out. I noticed that when Joe came back into class, he was looking all over the place for his twig. He even checked out the garbage. Towards the end of class, he started crying again. He couldn’t find it. I told him that I had destroyed it and that he shouldn’t have played with it in class. Too bad so sad. If he would have just handed it over, I would have probably just put it on Teacher Kay’s desk, but no, he had to make a giant deal about it.

Later, Kay tried to explain that it was a special twig. I wanted to know more, was there a religious significance, was it valuable or a shoot of some sort? No, she said, it was just a twig. She apologized for him and I said not to worry, I’d seen plenty worse in my time. From what she said, I understood that she didn’t understand why Joe was so enamored with the twig.

2 Responses to “Joe’s Twig-gate”


  1. 1 Thoth Harris June 27, 2009 at 03:49

    What a bizarre kid. Most 10-year-olds are more manageable than that. I don’t think I have had kids who are that insane for years. You seem to get some real doozies. Is it living in Taipei, where you have a wider variety of little kids? Or is it something else. Jeesh.
    Personally, I wouldn’t have broken the twig. I would have kept it for the kid for later. The kid is not acting his age. But maybe he has some kind of thing. Maybe autism, or aspergers, or some sort of o.c.d., or something. Understandable that you would be frustrated with him. But there is no telling with some kids. As you say, there are worse instances out there.

  2. 2 range June 27, 2009 at 11:43

    I know, that was a bit of an episode. I don’t know why the twig was so important, but he’s a smart kid.

    I wasn’t planning on breaking the twig, but it was just a series of events on his part that escalated to a total bawling freakout. That’s why I broke it up. I knew that he’d be searching around to find it again.

    Ah well, it’s the weekend.

    That kid is in a Banciao school. I’ve been fortunate to find teaching jobs within a few minutes of my home. It makes things a lot easier.


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ranjitwithkinginbehand.jpgI'm Range, your host. On the menu, photos, art, stories, entertainment and reviews. Links, maths, education and social issues. I'm in Quebec (Canada) or Taiwan (R.O.C.). Follow me on Twitter.

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