Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day -19

Oh the anarchy! My first period class (and homeroom) were so chaotic we didn't finish our lesson today. That's the first time this group has been so off the chain, and I held their sorry derrieres for 45 minutes after school. Tomorrow we start class with 45 minutes of detention, and they'll have 90 minutes of class time to earn off. Otherwise, they will sit with me after school again and listen to Steve Earle and Merle Haggard at top volume. Or maybe Patsy Cline.

After 35 minutes of shouting, phone calls home, and banging on things failed to stop the cacaphony, I wrote on a PowerPoint slide that I was giving them detention and then I stood at the front of the room. Five students joined me there in solidarity, scowling with their arms crossed. "Can we learn today?" one asked. I replied "Unfortunately, no. We'll try again tomorrow."

Direct objects, indirect objects, and adverbs are likely the cause. Kids who don't get it often act out. A lot of kids weren't getting it. So we'll try again.
Second period a nutcase jumped on my neck from behind. I didn't see him coming and he hit me so hard I had to walk away and take a few minutes to re-coup because I was about to thrash him. I called his mom, wrote up "assault on faculty" papers, and his mom rolled up in the building with her belt in her hand. She made a big production of swinging it too. We had a meeting with the administrators and his mom and the student. The AP said "are you filing charges?" and I said "no, but next time he raises any ruckus in my room, I'm going straight to the police officers and having him escorted from the building." The AP said "Mom, take care of your business," and shut the door discreetly behind himself as we all exited.

I don't believe in beatings. But I've counseled, cajoled, grouped, moved classes, and done a billion things for this child, and his behavior continues to deteriorate. He is a threat to himself and others, and is out of control. His mother is at her wit's end as well. He is heading toward criminality. I don't believe in beatings, but last resorts are last resorts. I left it up to mom to handle her business.

Monday I'm being observed by the principal who wants to hire me for a middle school gig even further over East. Wednesday I'm being observed by a high school which is less than a quarter mile from my house--I could bike through Dru Hill Park to work--but their position is only "tentatively" available. I'm happy with either slot, but would prefer the closer school; I regard that place as a dream job. I like the other a lot, too, however, and I have a feeling I'll end up teaching a very diverse 8th grade Language Arts next year.

One never knows, however. All is open. I'd like to know where I'm heading, and to close the book on 2009/2010 ASAP.


ellen cherry said...

ugh. whenever you're ready/free, let's hang for a beer or some nice hot tea. you deserve it.

Shelley said...

Wish my college English students had had a teacher like you.