Saturday, February 13, 2010

From Bad To Worse

My nightmare class has been shrinking in size, which is good. Many of the trouble makers are gone, which is also good. What is not good is that there is now room for more kids to be added to this class and what I am getting is not necessarily an improvement.

Wilbur is the latest new admit. As soon as he walked in, I smelled trouble. He didn't want to sit where I asked him to sit. I was giving an exam and I asked him to try it so I could see what he knew. He said he knew nothing, which scared me as he was coming from another section of the same class. He took his paper and crumbled it up. He disrupted all period and was generally disrespectful.

The phone number he gave me had a Maryland area code. When I tried it, I got no response. Mr. AP did manage to get his mom on some other number and she is supposed to show up on Monday after the vacation. He doesn't think she will show. He sent me an e-mail saying "I spoke to the guidance counselor, bad news. We'll talk Monday." I wrote back asking if I should hand in my retirement papers now. (I just got the answer to that and thankfully, it was not yet with a big LOL!)

What bothers me the most about this class is that there is a handful of kids who want to learn and who could learn under different circumstances. If I was in charge of programming I would separate these kids into two groups, one who wants to learn and one that doesn't. I wouldn't even mind the crazy group, as long as they were all crazy and no one who wanted to learn would be kept from learning. Years ago,when I taught special education, we had classes for emotionally handicapped kids. These classes were difficult, but all the kids were similar in behavior and the class was teachable. Today, they are all mixed and no one is learning, at least not in my room.


Schoolgal said...

That's exactly what happened on one season of THE WIRE. They took out the kids who didn't want to learn and put them in a special group to try to get through to them. When they returned to the regular class, they found they had a hard time trying to disrupt the education of those who did want to learn.

It is really unfair to have to ask teachers and students to work under such conditions. No one outside of teaching understands how one kid can it impossible to teach. I remember my friend meeting with a parent of such a child. The parent told her to give her child more attention. Without missing a beat my friend said, "What about the other 25 students in my class? They deserve my attention too, but your son makes that impossible."

Ricochet said...

You are so funny. I didn't see you in my room this week and yet you are describing my new student and his actions to a tee!! You forgot to mention when he told me/you/us "you are picking on me and just want me to fail" after I spent three days trying to get him to pick up a pencil.

Yep. Singled you out, buddy, as my token failure. I fail you and I can pass everyone else.

(Am I the only person who remembers and has always loved Mad Magazine's snappy answers to stupid questions?)

Kim Hughey said...

I too, got a new student like this this week. This is really weird! Mine is coming to me from another school. He's not really causing too many troubles yet, but he is truly a troubled child. He wads up his papers in frustration, he tries to sit where he wants to sit, his attitude is terrible, but so far he has been respectful of me. I think it is just school in general that has him so angry. I'm sure there is a very bad story in his life and he seems quite resentful about being in a new school.

veteranteacher said...

I feel your pain. I'm in the group of teachers who get 50 students in our classes (think art music and Phys. Ed.) We get everyone, and NO PARAS ever. My last late entry to class was a 6'3" boy who weighs about 250lbs and he sat in class rocking back and forth saying "This class is wack, this class is wack" over and over; the spirit finally moved him to walk out of class to roam the building. I wonder why kids who are this disturbed are considered able to do the work in my subject? Trust me, this kid is scary and this 24 year on the job teacher tries her best but ...the other students and I are now under seige! I'd ask for help but I know better; nothing will be done.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

These are the kinds of kids I teach every day! Correction: the kinds of kids I TRY to teach. When they sit there and fold paper airplanes for an hour or throw their papers on the floor, they might be learning indirectly about aerodynamics, but they sure aren't learning how to comprehend the story that we, uh, I just read.

Chaz said...

I used to teach inclsion classes with a sp ed teacher who didn't even know Earth Science. Some of those students had behavioral issues and were very disruptive. I used the other teacher to discipline the disruptive students and try to work with them in the back of the room. However, the result was less than satisfying and I told my AP no more inclusion classes for me.

mathman42 said...

This is insane; every school is like this or just us unfortunates who read this blog. It's probably good my school is closing.