Every once in a while there comes a time in the lives of a middle school team where you just have to line the kids up and lay into them.
We call it a Come to Jesus Meeting.
You're hoping, obviously, that they'll see the light.
We had a Come to Jesus Meeting this morning. Basically, we've had it up to here with our kids. They are being absolutely awful. They can't go to the lockers without horseplay, without messing with each other, without hitting, punching, grabbing, you name it. They constantly want to "walk the circle" (which they are not supposed to do) so they can mess with and meet up with kids on other teams. (The original part of our building, which is where our team is housed, radiates off a core that holds guidance, some principal offices, and the library. The kids are supposed to follow a traffic pattern around the circle, but our kids have no reason to be walking around it in the first place.) We have a flock of girls who are constantly messing around with some of the sixth grade boys and frankly, I'm blue in the face from chasing them back to our area. We have kids who are rude, disruptive, disrespectful. We have kids who think the classroom is a playground and it takes ten minutes to calm them down so we can start class. In short We Have Had It Up To Here.
So as soon as they came back from related arts, we marched them to the theater and let them have it. The fact that we had all three administrators and the SRO in there really made them realize that, "oh crap, we're in trouble now." Most of them stared at their feet while we went over ONCE AGAIN the rules and informed them that this meeting was THEIR FINAL WARNING. They were informed that since we've spent the first semester counseling, warning, calling parents, and their behavior had not improved, we were handing out discipline referrals at the very next misstep. That was it, the gloves were off.
The fact that Mrs. Principal basically told the kids that she was backing us 100% and that they were going to work the referrals as fast as they could. They weren't going to get kicked back because when one of us does a referral, it's serious.
They silently walked back to class. The rest of the day we basically spent backing up our words. I wrote up four referrals today. That's a record. One was for a kid who I caught with gum on Wednesday, counseled, warned him I'd have to write him up if he did it again, and lo and behold, he's chewing like a cow in the middle of class. By the end of that period I had a handful of notes on my desk, most of which were "I'm sorry I've been so bad."
They should be.
Come to the light, children...come to the light.