Friday, September 18, 2009

Day #14

A hard day today, fearsome indeed, perhaps the hardest I've had outside the first few days at the March after I got transferred in. I was due after a couple relatively smooth days. It happens when you get cocky.

I have a darling young man in my home room and first period who told me "you a fucking bitch," and who then told me "you ain't my momma, and the principal ain't my momma, and I ain't gotta do nothing y'all say." Then his sister came to detention and took him out, saying "he ain't gotta stay in your detention. You ain't his momma." And his momma also told the principal that we ain't his mamma.

Of course, according to the law, we are his momma when he is in school custody.At least according to that Teachers and the Law book I read.

Of course he is only one of a dozen darlings with the same attitude and the same kind of parental support for his attitude. Some of the long-time teachers call it "that street attitude." His mother got shot in the leg a couple years back when two neighborhood corner boys started throwing down on the street. One chased the other into her house, where a gun discharged, hitting her as she was feeding dinner to her babies. Who am I to judge a woman trying to raise children in that environment?

Mr. A, the new science teacher, uses such realities as a weapon. He's much colder than I, more steely. He taught at the Doug for four years, after all. If he pushed or pinched a kid and they complained he used to say "I can do anything I damn well please to control you, because your parents don't give a damn about you." The kids would protest that of course their parent or guardian loved them, and Mr. A would respond: "I know your parents don't care about you because you go to the Doug. That's all the evidence I need. If they loved you, they would find a way to get you out of here." He has started using that line at the March only 3 weeks in.

As hard as today was, I kept fighting. I held my second period class 45 minutes into their gym period. I wasn't letting them go until they let me finish my lesson. I cleared it with the administrators and the phys ed teacher ahead of time. The kids were warned, they acted out, and five minutes before class was over they blew up. We were two minutes away from ending class, too. I waited 35 minutes until they finally quieted down to finish reading two paragraphs of text, and then I gave them a 10-minute dressing down. After school we kept 36 sixth graders for detention in my room. They wrote letters of apology to the entire sixth grade team for a variety of atrocities.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm wasting my time.

[if you'd like to help fund a classroom library for my kids: click!]


Denise Hagvall said...

Charmaina used to call it "having no home training."

Nyarlathotep said...

I often think of Peachy. Last time I saw her she was teaching somewhere and getting an MA.