Thursday, March 23, 2006

It's Personal

Somehow, I have managed to tame most of the means. I'm not saying they have grown souls that love, but we've reached a sense of survival. Soon, I think our little society will even thrive. After we get rid of the head mean. Bulletproof, the assistant principal has promised to transfer her out when the quarter ends tomorrow. When I see Bulletproof in the halls, I remind him that head mean has a name that rhymes with "Go away".

So that is what I will call her.

Go away is out of control. She's made it personal. She's made remarks about my sex life and indicated that the only reason I could possibly request that her classmate put her cell phone away during class is that I "ain't got no life". Today's referral went to Bulletproof with the request that he put her before a firing squad before removing her from my class. If she remains in my class (which she will not), I will follow the process to file harassment charges.

This is not a post where you tell me what I did wrong, I've mulled that over for nine weeks. This is a post where you commiserate. Got it? Commiserate.


The Queen said...

In my baby sister's first year of teaching a popular senior student of hers stood up in the middle of her lesson and invited her as his date to an upcoming school dance. She laughed, declined, told him to sit down and not interrupt again.

So far so good, right? He refused to sit down, asked her "why not? Do you think you're too old for me?" continued in this line of questioning.

She's 24 yrs-old at the time of this incident, looks maybe 20, is three months into her first year as a high-school Spanish teacher--he was eating her alive in front of a rapt audience.

Mortified, she told him to stop talking and sit down or she'd send him to the principal's office. He kept talking, more about how she needed to "loosen up" and so she sent him to the principal's office.

Sure that his own poop had no odor, he left.

She had him suspended for a week for harrassment.

The next day more than a dozen kids came to school in t-shirts with his name on them. Kids held signs saying "Free [kid]!"

And she had to endure a hellishly long meeting with the kid and his parents.

In the end though--she won. The kid was transferred out of her class, the principal's support was genuine, and most of the kids who had actually been in the class agreed that what had probably started out as a silly joke had gone quickly totally inappropriate. She got control of her class.

But it was awful while it was happening.

I know your job. You put far more into it than anyone pays you for. You have a right to draw the line and say "not in my classroom."

Tonight, same sister called and said that she has a student of mixed race who has used the "n" word twice this week. Being the pale-face she is, she's mortified and panic stricken. And she knows he knows he's got her number. She freezes every time he goes there. I told her to practice saying the word herself (at home) until most of the power drained out of it and it became just another "bad" word like any other bad word. And then she should go back to him tomorrow and pull him aside and tell him that he may not use that word in her classroom. She should use the word herself when telling him, not "that word" but the actual word--and it should be in the hallway so she can point out that when they both walk through the door, the word will stay behind and not go with them. And she should let him know that if he can't do that, then he can't stay in the room. Then, it's up to him. He triggers the consequence or he doesn't.

Sticks and stone may break my bones but words can break my heart. Draw the line, girl. All the other kids need you too much to let one kid get you down.

educat said...

Queen, you have earned the title. You are the Queen.

After twelve years, it's easier to draw the line, but sometimes they still get to me. Maybe as I have more and more success, it hits me harder to get a kid like this.

Anyhow, yes. Line drawn. Go away she shall.

Jim Jannotti said...

As my Father used to say, "She's outta business!"

You are a gentle soul, I'm sure. But I'm also sure you could bite the lid off a soda can if you needed to. You wouldn't enjoy it but you could. Go Away has underestimated you and that's a shame, for her. (And I hope for his sake that Bulletproof hasn't made the same mistake!)

I'm all for respect and understanding. Such nice words. But tenacity is another lovely word, I don't even know you and I know you've got it.

I'm praying for you.

hornblower said...

Count me in as a commiserator.

What I think is amazing is that you day in, day out you work with pupils who apparently have absolutely no respect for you. That can't be easy.

Inheritor of Heaven said...

After looking up commiserate (doesn't come up alot in math texts)...I do. At least you weren't called a "d*ckhead" like I was many years ago.

(If necessary, break glass and * insert 9th letter of the alphabet here)

educat said...

Oh, Inheritor, I am sure I have been called something equally offensive but gender appropriate.

But, Hornblower, I have to point out that it isn't every day and it isn't every child. Far from it. If it was, I wouldn't have a blog on the internet, I'd have an obituary. Even Go Away and I only go at it a few days out of the week.

But it's still too much.

Scott Jones said...

can't wait for the update on this story and that of Queen's sister.

Anonymous said...

See - this is why I could never be a teacher. I don't have the patience to deal with something like this in a level headed manner like you have.

I don't see any wrong done on your part - I see all the wrong on hers. Basically, she needs a life, otherwise she wouldn't need to ridicule others'.

(And I'm all for firing squads against girls like that - can I tell them to "Fire!" please?)