The entire sixth grade blew up so badly today at lunch that the administrators gave them all detention. Ten minutes in the Big Cheese got on the horn and said "Stop holding these children. You need to meet with me about detention policy!" Uh, 10 minutes is too long for detention? How are we ever going to control kids whose parents are unreachable without the threat of keeping them until 4pm? Sounds bogus to me. I fully intend to keep doing detention. If the Big Cheese don't like it, I'll go over her head.
Had a young tough steal stuff out my desk drawer today. He thought I didn't see him, but I grabbed his ear and hauled him out in the hallway. "Don't f*** with me, Geronimo," I whispered in his ear. "I will pull your ear off your skull." I've had him for detention five times in 9 days. The only reason I didn't have him for detention the other four days was because other teachers got to him first.
First period I have my homeroom for Language Arts. They're darlings. Everyone compliments me on their behavior. We had a surprise visit from home office today and everyone was on point as I taught complete subjects and predicates. I was quite pleased with myself. This lasted until half-way through second period when the shit hit the fan, and that class went suddenly off the rails. There are three kids in there who are supposed to each have a one-on-one assistant in order to be in an inclusive classroom setting, and I don't have any help that period. So when Mohawk and Bob and Tre go ape-shit separately or concurrently, the entire class gets derailed. Today it was concurrent. Mohawk started saying "fuck" over and over, then he kicked his desk and told me to shut up. I gave him the Pinch of Death until he promised to stay after class and help me clean up. Meanwhile Tre was climbing up on the desk where our PCs are-by the time I grabbed him and hauled his ass back to his chair, Bob was in my desk and throwing markers on the floor. This spectacle freed up the entire class to run amok. At this point the Big Cheese, intending to thank me for my good show in front of the home office inspectors, walked in to find a zoo. She saw all the names on my phone call and detention lists, and then began calling parents with her own cell phone. Nice!
But last period? Smooth, for the first time. I have 37 kids in there, 7 with IEPs. But at least that period I have a special educator and a co-teacher who handles half the disciplinary duties. Mr. E, the math teacher next to me, is pretty vocal about the fact that our classes keep getting more students while the female teachers are getting less. There are sixth grade teachers with less than 20, while Mr. E and I are carrying 30 and 35+. Mr. E always bemoans the dominance of women in the field. I don't object to women in charge; most of my bosses have been women. Nor do I care about taking on a few extra hoodlums in a school where attacks on faculty are rather common. I can fend for myself better than others. But I see his point. My last period class has more than twice as many as the other female language art teacher's, and she's a veteran whereas I'm a rookie.
Whatever. I need to get on a system of rewards soon, so not all my classroom management stems from prohibitions and punishments. In the City we go hard first, then get softer. Never start nice.