The other 99

I can’t remember where I heard it. A professor, a colleague, a mentor. I wish I could give credit where it’s due:

10% of your students will take up 90% of your time.

I couldn’t disagree more.

I spent a lot of time yesterday … and we’re talking almost all blooming day … dealing with one student.


The feather in the cap of my day was watching this kid fly into an angry rage as the last bell for the day rang. What joy.

But what about the other 99 students in my program? These students were left hanging, in the hands of my very capable ladies-in-waiting, mind you, but hanging nonetheless.

What frustrates me more than anything about yesterday is that there were three of us. THREE adults pulled away from our other 99 having to focus all of our attention and expertise on ONE student.

I feel bad for my still-newbie teacher that was working with me during this crisis. Goodness knows she as empathetic toward our students as anyone can possibly be, if not more so. This kid got to her yesterday. In the throes of his last rage of the day, in amongst all the crap that came flying out of his mouth, he found her “button.” And he pushed it. Over … and over … and over.

After the last crisis of the day was over and she & I sat down to debrief the day, I asked her if she realized that the kid was putting on a show. It was all a performance for our benefit. She looked at me and was shocked. Up until that moment, she hadn’t known and she fell for the whole act. Hook, line, & sinker.

I should expect to spend 90% of my time dealing with 10% of my students?

I wish.

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