Thursday, May 10, 2007

Keeping the Lid On

With the summer vacation being within sight, my students have fallen apart. Slam apart.

Yesterday, some of the girls started sniping at each other; you know, the pre-adolescent I like you today, I hate you tomorrow picking on each other. Today, one of them slapped another. She slapped her back. I didn't see this unfold. The slapper and the slappee didn't tell me this happened. I found out about this from another child. Over and over, all year long, I have told them that they need to tell me when something is going on. Don't hide stuff from me; I am your best advocate. Over and over again. Instead, I get this. Sniping and slapping.

Some of the boys are doing the same thing. In a different way, of course. They have something smart to say to each other and they think those puffed up chests and those smart-assed comments are cute. Next year, that crap is going to get you slammed into a locker. If someone doesn't slam you in a locker.

I also have Ghandi in the crowd. This kid tries to right the wrongs of our classroom society. Another teacher disciplined one of my students and the Mahatma became indignant that some egregious wrong had been committed. "Look, Mahatma," I told him, "I am not going to undermine the authority of another teacher. I understand your concern, but I wasn't involved. I don't know what happened. I don't know whether the British should leave India or not." (Okay, maybe not all of this conversation took place, but gracious, that is what it felt like.) And by golly, the disciplined young man and the Mahatma had tears.

So, this afternoon, I called parents. Six or seven of them. I lost count. I told them that their children were causing problems; they couldn't control themselves. I also told them that I hadn't singled their child out because I was calling lots of parents, but I needed their help keeping things under control. I even called the Mahatma's because I wanted them to know that he was perhaps getting involved in things that he shouldn't be involved in.

Tomorrow, I am going to the principal. I believe I am writing up the slappers. I want them to know how serious I am. They cannot wreak havoc within spitting distance of the end of the year.

And I asked Mahatma this afternoon, how you want to spend the last two weeks together? In lockdown or having a good time, making memories for middle school?


Anonymous dew said...

I bet anything the slappers didn't tell you because they were ashamed of their behavior. Even though they may trust you, they still want your good opinion.

My students are going nuts, too. Swearing, the nicest kids getting snippy, etc.

5/10/2007 8:45 PM  
Blogger Mister Teacher said...

Mine are too!! Not that my homeroom was ever great to begin with this year, but ever since the TAKS test, they have been atrocious! And even several of my REALLY good kids are beginning to enter that downward spiral...

5/12/2007 2:37 PM  

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