Here’s the backstory: And I was overstressed by situations not involving my students. My goal for the day was to not take my undue stress out on students. A student in one of my classes finds what most would call odd (like satanic sheep) to be particularly amusing. I’m sure you’ve had many of these cherubs in your own classes. This day, it was the sheep, horns, fire, a devil’s tail, the works. I was mildly intrigued at this point. This kid then made a rather punny joke about his creature having steel wool. This exchange of oddities had me forgetting about my tough day and laughing at the cleverness of a 9th grade boy.
Since this event, the student has stepped up his math game tremendously. He has demonstrated over and over his intuitive numerical abilities as well as his persistence in solving difficult problems. He adds his own creative edge to my class as well as strives to thoughtfully engage in the activity at hand.
I kept the picture and put it in a prominent place on my desk as a reminder that what first comes across as outlandish and tough has soft bleating heart underneath. I think a lot of people don’t see past the satanic sheep and miss the creative, caring, hardworking problem solver underneath. My challenge to you: find a “satanic sheep” in your class. Show them you appreciate the creativity they add to your classroom mix. You may be pleasantly surprised at what comes next.