I know when I look back at the posts from this year, they will have an overlying theme: Negativity. I'm really not a negative person, but this has been the most trying year I have ever had.
I have some of the most wonderful students, sweet, kind, eager to learn, helpful, etc... I can't say enough good things about them. They are being totally overtaken by about 8 other kids who totally suck the life out of our class everyday.
I can't send them to the restroom by themselves anymore because several were playing in the bathroom and one, in particular would run up and down the hallway when I sent him, even if I sent him with an escort. I had to take all of the crayons from their desks because several boys were breaking them into small pieces and throwing them on the floor and someone colored inside one of our brand new desks. I didn't catch the culprits so everyone had to pay.
Last week, a girl is bawling her head off because someone had written a hate note to her. When I was looking for evidence to find the culprit ( they had written the note with a red marker) I found some very disgusting things written in a little notebook. So I went through the desks and took pretty much everything out of them. Next year, I'm going with tables.
Several of the eight are just mean spirited, they call names (of course, I never catch them), My principal and I were discussing it the other day and I guess one way to sum it up is they are very reactive to everything that happens to them. They can turn on a dime with their emotions. One of my sweeties said a boy took her pencil. I could see he had 3 pencils on his desk so I told him to give it back to her, he looked at me and threw it in the trashcan. That's just a sample of what I'm talking about. I can even count how many times I have heard "I HATE this class!", "I HATE you!", "I don't like you." or "I want to go to another school!"
The worst thing that has happened wasn't from a student, but from a parent. Her son was the one that threw the chair across the room. They are just certain that his behavior is learned from things he has seen in my classroom. All I can say is he is the only one who has thrown a chair, stood on top of a tall trashcan that he turned upside down, ran away from the principal, turned a desk upside down and stood on it, etc... Anyway, she decided she would come to my class for the day to observe. My principal and I thought she was coming to observe her son, that's not what happened.
She sat with a notebook and wrote down times and events that happened through out the day. There was not one positive thing one her 3 page typed report that she gave me. She also didn't see any negative behavior from her son ( the minute she left the cafeteria, he started doing jumping jacks). It was ridiculous! This is the type of stuff she was writing. 9:05 - Girl says she can't see board, teacher ignores her. 10:05 - Teacher gets poked with a pencil gets visibly upset and leaves the room. 11:20 -Girl tells teacher that another girl called a boy a name, teacher tells her to stop tattling.
First, the girl that said she couldn't see has been sitting in the same spot for weeks and has never had a problem. Second, I had sharpened the pencils with the World's Quietest Pencil Sharpener, it sharpens the pencils VERY sharp. The lead went into my leg 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Yes, I was visibly upset, it was throbbing like crazy. I went to the office to put some antibiotic cream on it. I couldn't do it in the classroom because it was my upper thigh. Lastly, do you let a third party tattle? I told the mom that if something needs to be reported, it needs to come from the person it happened to. I also told her that we have talked about the difference between tattling and reporting. She said she has never heard of that and she would like to sit in the lesson sometime.
Mom said that I should let him take a timeout with the principal when he is having problems. So one day, he just seemed out of it, he wasn't doing any work, so I asked him if he needed a time out, he said yes, took one and then came back and worked. When I told mom about it, she said she didn't want him taking a time out if he wasn't upset! Another day, he asked for a time out, he didn't seem upset, so I said no, then he proceeded to crawl all over the floor, emptied his desk, and continued to escalate in the cafeteria crawling under the tables, saying "Nanny, nanny, boo, boo " to the principal when she told him to get up. So the next time he asked for a time out, I gave it to him and he came back to class and refused to go to his center and get to work. He kept saying he didn't know how to to it even after I showed him what to do and offered to help him. He was walking around the room bothering kids, throwing the brooms on the floor, etc...
Mom says her son is getting upset because some of the kids are getting away with things. She told me that she doesn't want him to get away with things. Does she really mean that? He had one of his biggest blow ups because I told him to sit at his desk and read, because he wasn't following directions. He won't make in in my class an hour if she seriously wants me to address every time he is not doing the right thing. I guess she would like me to sit and take note of every action of every student all day long. How much teaching would I get in? NONE
I haven't posted because this situation has drained all of my energy. I have tried to please this mom and tried to do the right thing for her son, but there doesn't seem to be a right thing.
There are some positive things going on in my room. I have a lot for budding writers. When they write, they are writing interesting things, not I like, I like, ... One of my little writers has totally shocked me and the principal. At the beginning of the year all I ever heard from him was I hate school. He could have cared less about learning, he has done a 180. I had several kids who were not passing our Treasures unit tests and they have now started to pass them. Yes!
Enjoy your weekend! And 5 more weeks!!!