"I don't understand," I said loudly into a sudden silence, "why it is taking us 40 minutes to do the GODDAMN WARMUP! And WHY is it taking so long to do a ten-minute activity? Because of 'he touched my notebook,' 'he got my gel pen!,' 'he packing my gramma,' 'he farted...'" At this point I was in full thespian mode, mimicking certain kids' voices and mannerisms and practically foaming at the mouth. Just then the Big Cheese walked in, but I kept right on going. "You guys had a good week last week. Now we have all this childish nonsense AGAIN. SOMEBODY EXPLAIN TO ME WHAT HAPPENED." Nimoy pulled out a little toy skate board and started rolling it on his desk at this point. Usually I just grab them and hold them, but today I grabbed his and snapped it in two. At this the Big Cheese walked out.
This is how I deal with 7th grade boneheads. The touchy-feely stuff isn't working. We're a month in and the behavior is still not where it needs to be, and is occasionally drifting toward the redonckulous. After my rant I had them for 45 peaceful minutes, and nearly completed my lesson. Tomorrow they'll go off again and I'll have to think of something else.
Jerky is a mouthy kid who likes to cuss out and threaten teachers who call out his annoying behaviors. But over the past few days I've been getting somewhere with him, and he's been trusting me more. I found out he went for testing at Kennedy Krieger, and I filled out some paper work for him. Today I found out he's started medication for anger and depression problems, and I'm supposed to watch him for two weeks and record his behavior on a sheet. "I feel hot," Jerky said. "These medicines is fucked up. I feel like staying in my chair." And he did. And he answered questions. And he did his work for the first time. And he didn't cuss anyone out. And when I told him he couldn't sit in my room and use my laptop during lunch he didn't flip out, but instead he listened to the reasons why, and said "that makes sense. I understand. Maybe some other day!"