Monday, October 09, 2006

Emptying the Desk

Ah…another relaxing three-day weekend. Any yet I can’t keep my mind off the classroom. I spent two hours after class on Friday cleaning out my desk. No, not just neatening it up and getting it tidy, but emptying it out. Why? Because I have a student who knows he can get to me and shake me up by throwing all my belongings in the trash.

This student, let’s call him Mark, is 17 and in 9th grade. On top of that my assistant principal is spouting noise that he should be moved into 8th grade if we end up hiring another teacher. So he’s angry. Very angry. And jealous of my students who can get through a lesson and have more reading skills than he has. So Mark disrupts my class so the students can’t learn. And he’s been pretty successful so far; starting with singing at the top of his lungs crude rap lyrics with plenty of expletives…which I can ignore. But when he starts calling gang curses at my other students and tagging all their belongings the students look to me for maintaining order. And then Mark moves to my desk, throwing all my stuff in the garbage. This has happened a few times, the last time I tried calling security and Mark pulled to phone out of the wall and threw that away.

So I am taking all the stuff out of my desk, eliminating the way in which the students can get me to become upset. I am looking forward to giving him a cool eye next time he seats himself at my desk so smugly expecting to rile me up by throwing my belongings in the trash. I also feel smug, myself. Very “how do you like me now?” as I attack his misbehavior with a nonplussed stare.

The sad part is that even though I think I can get a handle on him acting up, I can’t force him to do his work…especially if he’s not up to the grade level. Why kind of system sticks me with an 8th grader and expects me to pass him to the 9th grade? Even my paras can’t get any work out of him, and it’s frustrating for me…but not nearly as it must frustrate the boy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh man! That sucks!

But it sounds like you're handling it right.

See you tomorrow for "class". UGH!!

Monday, October 09, 2006 4:09:00 PM  

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