Thursday, September 11, 2008

Day 13

Ah, that last class. Yesterday Ms. R the 6th grade AP detained them after school. Imagine Snoop from The Wire but about two feet taller and ruggedly beautiful, like a wood carving come to life with cornrows. She don't play. I would never fuck with her. She told them "You cannot return to this building until I speak to your parents tomorrow." Some of these kids had already had parent conferences.

So today again when they came in I had two social worker interns. Within five minutes I had three office referrals written and one picture dictionary out my second floor window. All my furniture was moved around and papers and books were on the floor. Someone stole my grade book. Pride was pulling a girl along the floor by her pony tail. I wrote him a referral to the office and he pulled his typical "Oh my God. You always pickin' on me!"

"You never take responsibility for what you do young man. I am not dealing with you any more."

Then Fate jumped up again shouting "I'm gonna bring my father up in here and he will beat your asses." Office referral #2. Then Mr. W the long-term sub knocked on my door. Mr. W is an imposing African-American man who stands about six foot six. Next to him was Mopey, one of the six severely emotionally disturbed kids in my last class. Mr. W and I spent a lot of time in the trenches at the Book last year, striding into 8th grade melees like Legolas and Gimli into a swarm of Orcs. We have rooms next to each other now.

"You know what Mopey done?" Mr. W asked me. "He asked me if I could carry his bag up here and then he cussed me out."

"Mopey, you tell Mr. W you are sorry or I am calling your house."

"Tell him give me my damn stuff."

"You apologize and he will give you your stuff."

"Tell him give me my stuff."

"You have ten seconds." I counted down and Mopey just stared at the floor. "Ok, I'm calling your house and Mr. W will keep your stuff in his room until you grow up."

Mr. W looked in my room at the chaos. "Don't tell me the guy who man-handled 8-23 last year can't handle 20 little blue shirt punks!"

"I saw you had to call the police in twice today Mr. W. We'll see who can't handle their shit!"

"It takes special people Mr. G to do what we do."

"Yeah--crazy people."

Mopey was sitting in my chair when I returned. "Get out my chair Mopey, or you going to the office like Fate and Pride." He didn't move, so I wrote him a referral. The poor intern social worker who helped yesterday served today to escort youngsters down to the office one at a time. This is how it is going to be in that class until they break it up and get these kids appropriate services. Again Mr. H sat at a table and worked with the six or seven who can sit still for fifteen minutes at a time, while the rest of us chased the others around the room.

On an up note, I broke up my first eight grade fight of the year. Mr. T, one of the Filipino teachers, had a commotion in his room. I entered to find two young men charging each other. I got between them and one reached around me to sock the other on the nose. At that point the burly hall monitor and one of the police officers came in and handled business.

The one who socked the other got arrested. His younger brother is in my homeroom and first period class.

A big thanks for the response on Donors Choose. You humble me, and my kids will be so happy!

1 comment:

alicia said...

No problem on the donations to Donors Choose. Reading your blog is entertaining enough, and I really start to care about the kids. The one kid with a behavior problem who wrote you that little note about how he will try to do better...just killed me. I don't even know them, but I want to give him a hug. I still can't believe this is your life. My doorman doesn't give my package to Fedex and I go ballistic. Your patience humbles me. :)