To the point now where kids are trying to lash back at my disciplinary system. I give them a verbal warning and put their names on my phone call list and they say "bitch ass mutherfucka writing my name for nuthin'." I hear a lot of "I don't care if you call my house," and then the teasing starts: the young men in my homeroom who are particularly rebellious make fun of my shoes and clothes and the way I walk and talk. I've seen and heard all this before. It's how kids react to structure when they haven't had it. One boy told me today that he made the old "honky" teacher cry. My predecessor in the position quit.
So far, however, the kids are just rowdy. They talk, they punch each other in the nards for fun, they get out of their seats and do stupid stuff. But about 80% of the goofballs get their work done too. And some of the work is rather good.
There hasn't been a fight in the building since I've been there. At the Book we had five or six fights every day just in sixth grade--and that was way down from last year. Part of this is due to the Big Cheese at the March. Unlike the Big Cheese at the Book, she is in the halls regularly, she knows the kids' names, she puts her head in classrooms at random. Good stuff. I saw her big ass frame roll up on a young punk who called her a b today--she is not an athletic woman but she had him in a crazy grip and marched him elegantly down the hall in a flash. I asked her about it later. "I have a brown belt in Tae Kwon Do" she said. "I don't play up in here."
Some of the kids are starting to drop by my room after school and ask me stuff. "Why you got Malcolm X on the wall?" or "You like Biggie?" They don't want anybody seeing them talk to me yet, but I'm making inroads. Slowly.