Thursday, October 22, 2009

Teaching a Lesson

Nothing seems to be going smoothly these days. Between the new house and school, I'm a little worn out.

I had to kick a girl out of class this morning for cursing me out. This is the same girl I bought the uniforms for a couple of months ago. It was all because I wouldn't let her out of class to go the attendance office. She was at school 30 minutes early and "forgot" to go. So I told her after she got a little work done, later in class I would let her go.

Apparently that was the wrong answer. Under her breath she muttered, "All ya'll teachers can go to hell..." But I let it go. What I don't do, is get in screaming matches or power struggles with students. I quietly asked her to get to work. She laid her head down on her desk. About 15 minutes later she said, "Can I go to the office now?" Again I told her I would let her go after she got some work done. The cursing commenced. Bold faced and loud. Then the tears came. (Hers, not mine.)

So I asked her to step outside for a minute. We had a short discussion about choices. You have the power. Everything is in your hands. You do the work, you get to go to the attendance office and take care of your business to help you not have to go to court for truancy. You don't do the work, I can't help you. You choose how to react. You curse me out in class, you'll have to go to the discipline office and for sure not get to take care of your truancy issues. PLUS you get a zero for the day in my class and you'll be behind. These are all choices you're making. I'm putting the power back in your hands. You can choose.

"If you write me up, no way am I doing my work."

Alrighty. Looks like you've made your choice. I'm disappointed, but I respect your choice.

And off to the discipline office she went. So it was a tough morning. We'll give 'er a good 'ol college try again next time I see her. Most kids, one time is enough.

And in other news, many, MANY thanks to my high school friend, Chris, who is sending me a new computer monitor to replace the one that was stolen out of my classroom last week. YOU are awesome, Chris. He had the capacity to do good, and he did it. My students and I thank you.


tomorrowsmemoriesphotography said...

eventually we learn, huh?

hang in there!!!

and yay for a chris friend in your life!


Kuenys said...

i thought second graders were tough. i could not do what you do!!!

Ashly said...

Yeah, Jackie. You would be in total shock here. It's about 25 worlds away from where we grew up. :)

It's tough, but you learn to adapt.