Me: What did I just say?
The Guilty Parties: Repeat exactly what I just said for the last thirty seconds while they were busily chatting amongst themselves.
I can only conclude that teenagers can pay attention and not be quiet at the same time. Women can pay attention and be quiet at the same time. We are skilled in so many ways.
Here are some tips on controlling your anger, straight from the Sunday School Manual, with my practical advice following:
1. Talk it out. "Chatty Charlie, I'm trying to end on a spiritual note and you are interrupting me!" (Yes, I actually said that, in addition to interrupting one of my students while he told a totally irrelevant story and saying, "I'm going to continue the lesson since what you're saying has nothing to do with controlling anger." I really like this whole talk it out tool.)
2. Wait until you aren't angry any more. Stare at the wall just above their heads until the students are quiet because they are afraid that it is too late and they have incurred your wrath.
3. Pray. Dear Lord, please help me get through to these people and survive the hour with my sanity and without injuring any teenage boys in a fit of rage while teaching a lesson about controlling anger.
4. Exercise. Run away when the lesson is over, and just keep running. Unfortunately, I just had to run down the hall to teach another lesson. Fortunately, it was to the reverent, lovely, participative mothers of the wild bunch, so I didn't have to use my sweet anger management skills any more.