Tuesday, April 06, 2010

So, what's a person to do?

I was very discouraged today by my students. I've lamented more than once in this forum that I find this year to be extremely frustrating, far more so than years past, and I am seriously considering what else I can to to earn a living.

I'm hopeful that 'published author' is in the not-too-distant-future.  Alas, I can't say that YET.

My day began thus: I was in my classroom, trying to get some paperwork done before the students arrived. My room was dark, the shades mostly drawn.  My door opens.  A head peeks in just enough to NOT be seen, but heard.  This student decided his greeting to me this morning would be to belch loudly and LONG... and then run away giggling, right in front of the break in my window.


I confronted him on his behavior.  His response was a cursory, and flippant "sorry, don't see what the big deal is."

I confronted his cohort when I saw Knucklehead #2 later in the day.  He appeared slightly more remiss, but not enough to actually convince me that he felt remorse at the act, but rather at being caught.

Fast forward to my last hour of the day.  Knucklehead #1 told me "Ms. Speech-teacher told me that I need to say I'm sorry for my actions and for my stupidity".  Yeah, thanks bud - heartfelt apology.  Later that same class period, I overheard him talking to the ONE girl in my classroom asking her if she "liked it when he {unsure of who HE is but the thought is frightening} creamed into her bellybutton."

If you are unsure of what that means, I am NOT going to explain it, but you can imagine my general disgust.  Again, the remorse was in getting caught, not for what he said. I truly believe Knucklehead #1 is not smart enough to KNOW what he said, but he knew enough to beg me to not call his mother and share with her what he said.

Not that I could call his mother.  She does not speak English. 

So, this is just one student of my 17.  One on one, all of them are pretty decent kids.  Get them all together, and they are ALL like this one from today. 

I ask.. what's a person to DO with this?  Ideas? 


Mister T said...

Samantha, I'm with you all the way, BUT it could be worse . . . Prop 100 could fail and you could have 35 in your class next year.

Parents at your school do not care. I ran into similar issues last year. You can't save them all. They don't want to be saved.

We need to start a private/charter school where morals and values are more important and kids are held accountable for their choices. Public school ain't getting it done. No teeth to any consequences. Oh . . . and let your administrator call the parent. YOu need to teach.

Mister T said...

ALSO -- think about switching schools . . . no, the problems don't necessarily go away, but I found that the blessings were so much richer. Those that appreciate me at my Title I school . . . somewhere I can make a difference. Maybe not an answer for everyone, but the community that I give so much to needs to support me . . . not drag me down. I have a family that needs me.

Samantha said...

Paul - I did switch schools, and therein lies the problem! :-)

depstein38 said...

I know I neither have kids nor work with them, and therefore don't feel entirely qualified to comment, but when has that ever stopped me?

When I feel myself getting appalled by stuff like that, I think back to how I was when I was a pre-teen and teenager. While I do agree with you that the comments were disgusting, I think it's encouraging that the kids are great one on one. Didn't we all go through periods where we were just socially obnoxious? Adolescence is the time to experiment with different behaviors (among other things, probably), to figure out what works for you, and what doesn't.

As for what you should do, I think you do what you can to communicate the inappropriateness of the behavior, language, etc., and then you let it go. I think you never know which conversations resonate for these kids, and it's possible that years from now, your words will come back to him and be valued for the wisdom they contained.

Everyone grows up and eventually learns how to be an adult, don't they? (I ask the question hoping that the answer is yes....)

And finally, when I do have kids (or more likely, a kid), and I am tearing my hair out when he or she is a teenager (or a five-year-old -- whatever), I do hope you will remind me of these words so that I can fully appreciate the folly of same. :-)

Sarah said...

Oh man. How frustrating. I have absolutely no advice whatsoever -- aren't I awesome? -- but just wanted to say that I am here and listening to all the baloney you have to deal with as a teacher and hoping to hell that my kids are NOT like that when they get older but kinda sorta knowing that it's not out of the realm of possibilities...


Good luck!