090424: Day 142
Ms. L took a dozen kids on a school trip to Washington, D. C. I would kill myself if I did that. Anyway, despite the fact that only twelve kids were going, I pretty well planned on attendance being shite. The kids get it into their heads that everyone is going to be gone so there’s no reason for any of them to come either. So we took a day to write hate poems based on this one. Easy, peasy.
I overheard GA telling another one of his classmates that he was “holding it in” while he was working on his hate poem. Truth be told, he was doing an OK job of holding it in, too. By “it” I mean the excessive swearing and sexual vulgarities. He had good reason to make an effort. One of the many phone calls I made yesterday was to GA’s sister—that poor woman. Turns out Ms. Po had already talked to her before I phoned because GA threatened to bring Ms. Po’s mom into class and make her suck his dick in the back of the room. Sister is planning on taking out a PINS petition on him. Long process short: if a judge finds GA to be “in need of supervision,” he can put him in a foster group home or assign him a probation officer. Guess GA does have some fear in him.
Regarding Ms. Po’s shot across the administration’s bow: we have a sexual harassment action plan. AP P, AP L and AP A are going to bring the offending students’ parents into the school to have a sit-down with their kid and the world’s scariest police officer regarding the harassment. I’m thrilled with the idea of bringing the parents in. Anytime you make parents come into the school they know it has to be serious.
090423: Day 141
Boy howdy did I make some phone calls today. I called home for DD, because he’s shouting out “pussy” and “tossed salad” (not the kind with greens and dressing) all the time and blaming it on his “Tourette’s.” For the record, DD has no such ailment. I called home for FR because he sucks at least as hard as DD does. I called home for KCh because he was a little bitch in class about answering a question I already knew he had answered correctly on his worksheet. I also called home for EB, who often does nothing in class, but today was awesome! I told his sister who passed it along to his mom (who only speaks Spanish) that EB did very well on the quiz we had, volunteered some great answers and even smiled a little. That phone call was fun. Makes me smile just remembering it.
In related news, Ms. Po sent a mighty email to the Principal, AP L, AP A and the deans’ office about the persistent sexual harassment that goes on in our classrooms. She called out the lot of them: SC, GA, FR, LF, and DD. Among the best stories she told on them was DD standing in her doorway with his pants around his ankles saying goodbye to her over and over until she looked up to see he had his pants down. It looks like we may see some actual administrative action on these issues.
Oh and I cried again: during second period.
090422: Day 140
Stopped teaching again in fifth period. I can’t handle the homophobia anymore. If I have to hear “faggot” fifty times a class period for the rest of this year I do not know how I will finish. It’s hard to explain the toll the hate language is taking on my spirit. During the last ten minutes of fifth period, after I’d totally given up on the motherfuckers, TE was standing next to me. Some background: TE has a tendency to be a little gassy. Anyway, I was sitting there in my misery when TE lets out a deep, gurgly belch. He then says, “Ewwww, Ms. G! Gross!” TE is 15 years old.
I had to throw GA out in fourth period. He was doing marginally better, but his entire demeanor is class-stopping. He was so angry about removed that he threw his paper to the floor and spat on it. Then he spat on the late log. I didn’t tell fifth period about the spit. Ha ha, assholes!
And I cried again. This time during my lunch.
At one point, I threw my overhead marker down in disgust. It was at lest two feet away from any student. Later in that period, I was writing notes on the overhead with said marker and saw something fly dangerously close to my face and heard a loud popping noise (almost like a glass bottle breaking) as it slammed onto the floor beneath the Smart Board. It was a marker. After much discussion and some help from a dean, NR told me and the dean that it was WR who threw the marker. Another student, CM, also came very close to being hit and was upset.
As WR was being escorted from the room, he said to NR, “You gonna get shot.” NR isn’t scared, per se, but she was definitely upset by this comment. She said she was going to 144 to file her own report of this incident, and I hope she did.
I have attempted to call home a couple times over the past month about WaR’s attitude, language and academic progress, but we do not have a working phone number.
Dean T, whom I don’t know from Adam, came in to help with the situation. Not surprisingly, I wasn’t so into teaching after being (again) physically threatened in my own classroom. Ms. L was also in the hallway and told me that Dean T was talking smack about my classroom management skills behind my back and in front of SS. Fucking getting it from all sides here. The dean problem was one I could handle, though. I hunted Dean T down and asked him to kindly not speak about my teaching in front of my kids. He was quite apologetic and there was also some miscommunication involved.
After talking it out with Dean T, I went down to 144 to return WR’s hat to him. He was quite adamant that he did not throw the marker. But he wasn’t in trouble for the marker—no one really cares about anyone threatening me—so much as he was in trouble for threatening to shoot NR. We ended up having a really nice conversation. WR explained his anger management problems (he is so not alone with that problem) and how the only thing that helps is listening to his music. I suggested that if he felt like he was going to explode in the future I would be OK with his slipping his headphones on and listening to his music. He said the signal would be him raising his hand. He was starting to smile by the time I left. I think he had to talk to police after that, though, which was probably less fun. I myself returned to my classroom to teach another period. Didn’t even have a chance to cry until eighth period.
The nastiest part of the whole marker-incident was certainly JM. I’m pretty certain JM was the actual pitcher in the room today. He went so far as to suggest I was to blame for having a marker whipped at my face because I threw my overhead marker at the floor. Then he did that thing he does when he presumes to know what I’m thinking. “You scared, Ms. G? You scared?” And he says it with such glee he clearly enjoys seeing people scared. Which does scare me at least a little. If a kid ever takes a swing at a teacher this year, it’s gonna be JM.
090420: Day 138
The Poetry Slam unit began today. I love this unit, naturally. We read and analyze poems–love!—and at the end the kids have to deliver a dramatic interpretation of a poem of their choice. I started the unit off with my own dramatic interpretation of “This Be The Verse,” by Phillip Larkin, which drops the F-bomb. Nothing like a rhyming poem that blames the misery of the world on parents to hook kids into poetry.
Like any other day, things were fine until fourth period. Both GA and LF loudly announced to the class (or to the universe at large, it’s hard to tell), “I have to take a shit.” I spoke to both of them after class about it. I suggested to GA that a better strategy would have been simply to ask for use of the bathroom pass. GA replied, “Are you crazy? Who shits in school?” I shot back, “Are you crazy? Who talks about their pooping loudly in the middle of class?” And LF? Well, he’s another sack of crazy. The kind of crazy that suffers from echolalia. Or faked echolalia anyway.
Remember last week when I was skeptical that any students would ever be suspended again? BR is suspended! JC is suspended! JC’s suspension is particularly gratifying because it was me who he threatened to “slap the shit out of.”