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Friday, April 09, 2010

A Slice of My Life and I'm Pissed Off That It Is.

The bell rings signaling the start of the start of the last period of the day. About 10 upperclassmen come literally screaming, shouting, and running down the stairwell. There's about 9 kids in my little hallway alone, walking very slowly towards their classes (maybe) and 6 more girls in the restroom, talking and looking in the mirror. I tell them it's time to get to class, then move on to run my errand. I come past again and they're still there. I tell them to get moving and they look at me like I'm something that's best scraped off the sole of one's shoe and they continue their conversation. I tell them to get moving now because chances are, their last class of the day isn't held in the girl's restroom. They look at each other with looks like "who is this weirdo?" and ignore me some more. Two more upperclassmen, a boy and a girl walk into our hallway, the girl is wearing sun shades and my colleague tells her to take them off. She and her companion and split up to go into the respective student restrooms. I try again: "Um. You're supposed to be in class right now, the rule is no one is allowed to leave their classes at this time."
The response? "No one's allowed to leave their classes this time NOTHIN'." she says as she struts into the restroom.

I walk over to the grade level office to call security to flush these bastards out and a kid who has been sent there storms in, goes into the staff only area to take a chair and slams it around before setting it down to where he hoped to sit. I let the more than capable secretary handle that one.

This is what the world looks like when, no matter what you do as a teacher, you're impotent as long as the administrators continue to do nothing when you report to them the behaviors you're seeing.

It's embarrassing when you have to share with a parent or someone from central office that a student of yours has skipped class more times than Imelda Marcos has said "Go on, another pair won't do any harm" and when they ask what consequence the kid has received you have to say "Er. None."

We have to have standards. It's getting so low that they're actually making a distinction between a student being found naked and ABOUT to have sex and a student actually caught HAVING sex on school grounds. I'm sorry. Neither is acceptable, and as soon as you say one is not quite so bad as the other, you're saying one is more permissable than the other. They are children. They need firm guidance, higher expectations, and enough respect that we believe them capable of far more than this. What they don't need is some administrators thinking the only problem is that teachers are failing to "build relationships" with the students and that our sole purpose is to "get them". Fluffy hugs are fine, but the moment you think these kids incapable of better behavior than this, then this is all you're going to get.

3 comments:

calencoriel said...

It's going to be okay TL...advisory bells will fix all of this.

Bdubba said...

Some of the scary part is that there is always worse. I heard a story today of some one who was subbing after finishing their bachelor's degree to "try teaching out". (You know, it is an extremely glamorous profession and all...) She was in a large public high school near D.C. She was subbing for a Drivers Ed teacher in a rather secluded part of the large school building since there was the attached driving "lab" and coned parking lot area. During the last class of the day she had asked a couple of girls to focus on the assigned task and remain quiet. She had to ask them a few more times but took no action against them. After school ended she finished her written report for the classroom teacher. As she leaves to go check out at the main office those 2 young ladies and another friend were waiting outside the classroom and beat her up really badly. She said she could not fight back being the 23 year old adult and was scared for her life. When she finally made it to the office, swollen and covered in blood, the prinicpal only took her "official" statement. He did not call the police for a report or make plan for any other action against the students. She said at that time she just wanted to leave as she was very shaken up (and was still visibily disturbed by this today - 10+ years later). Needless to say she did not follow through with becoming a teacher. This story truly haunts me. If people only knew.....

TeacherLady said...

Calencoriel, I bet they will... Sigh...

Bdubba, that is horrendous. My mother-in-law, who is an incredibly sweet woman, had her knee smashed in by a student, but somehow she continued to want to be a teacher. Not at THAT school, per se, but still...