Monday, May 19, 2008

Just What Part of "No" Do You Not Understand?

We have had a student this year whose arrogance knows no bounds. He's big, loud, and announces to everyone who will listen that he's going to be President one day. Even his mother got after him during a parent teacher conference (when I mentioned that her little darling doesn't like to turn in homework or study for tests), and asked him "how are you going to be President if you can't pass seventh grade?" The fact that none of the teachers can stand him, and that all the kids hate him, hasn't quite registered with him. The fact that he is, at thirteen, a pompous ass could have some bearing on this.

Pompous Ass thinks he's perfect (I'm sure mom has fed into this delusion). The fact that he's loud, refuses to raise his hand and wait to be called upon, will argue with anyone (including adults), and can't shut up is just the tip of the iceberg. This kid is a permanent resident of Isolation Island in most of his classes. Every time he opens his mouth the kids roll their eyes at the ceiling and make faces.

The one thing he is good at, if you need a character that is somewhat of a pompous ass, is drama. He played a professor in the winter play with such a broad fake British accent that it kept the kids in stitches the entire day. He thought he was worthy of an Oscar. The kids thought he was trying to be funny and he couldn't understand why they didn't take him seriously.

He wanted to run for Student Council and handed off the recommendation form to all of his teachers. He has 35 discipline points and I asked him if he'd read the directions at the bottom that stated that he could have no more than 15. He told me that those were "just simple misunderstandings." Right. I looked and they were for rude and disruptive behavior. None of us recommended him. (My comment was along the line of "Run Away! You will regret the day you ever let this kid run for student council!" and I was told I was too nice.)

He wanted to run for President of Junior Civitan but was told, again, that he had too many discipline points, and besides, they'd had to evict him from the club in both sixth and seventh grades because of his behavior.

Oh yeah, he didn't tell kids he was running for President of Junior Civitan...he told he was going to be President of Junior Civitan. He forgot about this little thing called an election where he would have to convince his peers to vote for him.

So anyhow...last week he started asking those of us on the Team about when our academic awards party was going to be. Each team puts together a party for the team's best kids, and each team decides on what their parameters are going to be. A lot of the sixth grade teachers invite all the A students or all the A & B students. Seventh grade tends to recognize the A students. Our team has always been a bit more selective and has invited the top echelon of A students, along with a most improved student, and our two "Stars of the Year" which are kids who are good students, but also just good all around nice kids. This year I noticed I had six kids at 98% or above for their yearly average, so that was where my cut off point was. Many of the other teachers on the team had a similar cut off point.

Pompous Ass Boy first approached Mrs. Math and asked when the party was going to be. She told him he didn't need to worry about it as he hadn't made the cut off point and it was invitation only. He then proceeded to ask Mr. Social Studies, Mrs. English and Miss Reading the same thing. On Friday it was my turn. Like Mrs. Math I told him that it was invitation only and that as far as I knew, he didn't get an invitation.

Today I was the lucky teacher who got to hand out the invitations to the seventeen kids we're inviting. I made sure that the kids knew that it was a real honor to be invited, and that it was for our very best students. One of the kids who was sitting near Pompous Ass Boy got one and Pompous Ass Boy just about had his eyes bug out of his head.

But that wasn't the end of it.

He comes up to me a few minutes later and asks me about the party.

"What about it?" I ask. "It's invitation only and I didn't have an invitation for you."

"Are you sure there isn't some mistake?" he asks. "I mean, what's the criteria for the award party?"

"Well, for me, it was a yearly average of 98% or above, and you certainly didn't have that in science."

"Really?" he says. (Like he didn't know...hum, maybe those B's and C's did count for something, eh?)

"Yes, really," I answer.

"So I can't come?" he asks again.

"No, you can't. You did not get an invitation. Only students who got an invitation can come. Maybe next year if you listen more and work harder you may make the cut and get invited to your 8th grade team party."

I thought we were done. We weren't.

He blinked and then said...."So I really can't come?"

Okay, by this time I was about ready to reach over and shake him until his teeth rattled. This kid just does not get that he's the only one in the world (with the exception of his mother, perhaps) who thinks he's just perfect. He just does not get it.

"You are not, as usual, listening," I said. "You are not invited, therefore, you cannot come. You did not earn an invitation."

He finally turned around and walked to his seat and continued to work on his project with his teammates. However, I have the feeling we haven't heard the last of this.

Any bets on if he tries to sneak in to the party on Wednesday???


Mrs. T said...

Do you think his mom will call?
I almost think he may be subdued a bit.
Anxiously awaiting to see what happens!

The Bus Driver said...

I'm willing to place that bet!!! its a surefire easy win! you gotta admit, that kid will probably make a great car salesman one day.

Gregory Kong said...

[raises hand]

Dear teacher;

Any chance you could edit the 'who's' to 'whose' in the first sentence of your weblog post?

[/raises hand]

Mrs. Bluebird said...

Sure, no problem on fixing the grammatical error - that's what happens when you try to write a post in between fixing supper, packing lunches, and trying to get a hold of your plumber to come replace the leaking hot water heater. One day I'd just like to have enough time to do one thing well. Although, truth be told, I'm a whiz at balancing chemical equations - much better at that than grammar!

The Vegas Art Guy said...

Nice to know that I am not the only one who deals with a kid like that. Mine HAS to be the center of attention at all times. Boy is he in for a shock when he hits 9th grade and the teachers expect him to act like an adult...

I hope he tries to sneak in and that you call his parents when he does.

JJ and EJ said...

Yup, I'm going with bus driver... I'll take that bet as well!

Gregory Kong said...

Heh. I'll see your bet, and raise you that he and his mother will be there...

Do let us know what happens :)

Unknown said...

What a charmer...

You know, while I was reading this, I was picturing one of my students - particularly when you said, "he's loud, refuses to raise his hand and wait to be called upon, will argue with anyone (including adults), and can't shut up," that he lived on "Isolation Island," is convinced of his superiority and eventual political position, and that he's got a talent for drama but not for reading his audience.

Obviously I don't know this kid, and I know that when I'm describing students I often focus on one aspect of the situation. But your Snowflake sounds SO much like my Snowflake that I just had to leave a comment. You see, my Snowflake has Asperger's Syndrome, and these irritating personality traits are all symptoms of that disorder. Do you think there's a chance that your student might be undiagnosed? Or is he just a dork?

nbosch said...

I heard the other day, that we need to spend 5% of our time thinking about the problem and 95% thinking about the solution. How do kids get like this? How do they end up so needy?

Sarah said...

First, a big eyeroll at Mr. Smarty Pants up there. I'll stop with that.

So . . . did he try to crash the party?

I gave you an award - check out my blog!

Mrs. Bluebird said...

Mrs. Baker, I'm afraid my Snowflake is just a dork. I've had a number of Asperger's kids (seems like at least 2 or 3 a year these days) and believe me, he's not one of them. He's just a spoiled brat who's been taught that the rules don't apply to him and he's just about as perfect as they come.

FineArtPainting said...

As an ex-college teacher, and these days more as a 'teacher of life' to adults:

I can not help but having the overwhelming feeling that this boy needs unconditional love. From all of you. Genuine kindness.

Ha. Fancy that! You could try....