Level Two. Behaving Badly.

Level Two. Behaving Badly.

By Michelle Lloyd.

Politeness had been a rule of thumb for New One at home and then at school. He had learnt that being polite was an invitation for responsive politeness and everything good that went along with it. It was not only politeness but the consequences of good behaviour that was in itself rewarding.

New One had not encountered anything out of the ordinary in the area of individual or class room conduct and behaviour. There were rules and everybody understood this, the subsequent behaviour ensured that the class was all on the same page about this philosophy.

It was partly because of his complacency on this subject that when New One saw a fellow pupil in turmoil, he did not quite know what to do.

Until then, nothing too awful or rude had happened in his class. A faux pas or foot out of place moment had of course been a part of the natural order of things but lately all that calm and serene good behaviour and the class synchronicity had vanished. Why was this the case? It all came down to a new pupil called Lance. Lance had been a bit hit and miss rule wise in class and then recently that took a bit of a downward spiral to misbehaving and blatant bad language.

New One watched and waited. Basically he observed the class dynamics and while in the process likened himself to an intrepid explorer on a Safari. He was there to absorb the tension, the wild rush of activity and perhaps capture a brief snapshot or two of the antics in motion. New One had a feeling that on this occasion Lance had gone a bit too far.

Rude responses to the teacher were not acceptable. Everybody knew this, or at least nobody had attempted to get away with such an obvious display or rule breaking.

It was difficult not to watch as the Lance Vs teacher moment gathered pace. Momentum built and everybody anticipated what was about to happen. Despite nobody having tested out the rule, everybody knew what the consequences were and they were certainly not pretty.

Lance was firmly admonished, and told to go and wait outside the headteacher’s office.

Bad behaviour incident over, or so New One had thought, because after class he saw the aforementioned Lance engaged in a bit more out of bounds rule breaking. He was kicking and tearing at another class’s art feature and ruining it in the process. With no one to see what had been occurring, Lance had been wreaking havoc on the art project.

New One faced a bit of a dilemma. He knew that what Lance had done constituted bad behaviour, some of the other class members had gathered and were clearly talking about the antics from an assembled corner. New One felt that was in no way helping the situation, so he decided to approach Lance.

Gently he came up to Lance. Not at all happy with his presence, Lance moved further away but New One persisted. He asked if he was all right and this got a response of silence. The assembled class members who had been discussing the Lance incident burst out with laughter. This only made things worse as Lance attempted to tear yet again at a piece of the art project but New One who had remembered what his dad had once told him, reached up and stopped his act of violence.

Instead of ask him anything else New One told Lance that if he wanted to talk to him that he could. He remembered what being new at school was like and it was not easy. That seemed to make Lance turn away and as his dad had once explained, fear or anger could make for reckless actions, so New One felt that maybe this had been the reason for his rebellion.

It was tough to stay with Lance when he would not talk to him and everybody else in the crowd had laughed at his attempts to diffuse the situation but New One felt that it was important. At least he could stop further damage to the art project and that way Lance would be in less trouble for it. In interceding his next move, Lance looked puzzled and tried yet again to rip at the papers on the wall. New One stood up to him and put him off by talking about how his first day at school had gone.

The resulting mishaps and madness of his first day was recounted so heartily and happily by New One that even Lance had to smile and stop what he was doing. It was then that a teacher had them in sight and Lance was taken off yet again.

It was later on that New One found out Lance had been given some bad news only that morning and the school was going to be dealing with him sympathetically in accordance with what had happened. It was undecided if Lance would return to the class for a while but in the end he did make a reappearance and at breaktime New One was taken aside by him and thanked for this turn of events, because if it had not been for him, Lance explained that he would not have felt that he wanted to come back to the school. New One learnt that day it was not useful to talk about a situation and make assumptions from a distance, nobody would win that way and everybody could lose out.