Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Give Them Enough Rope...

It's actually been a somewhat pleasant week this week. Despite the postponement of Field Day (to a date to be determined...soon...I hope). Despite having two subs on the team for most of the week. Despite the fact that we're almost at the last day of school.


Well, we've given these kids enough rope to hang themselves apparently.

The two subs we had on Monday had a rough day. A really rough day. It wasn't all that smooth for the rest of us. So, when The Enforcer started getting word that chaos was rearing its ugly head right across the hall (I love that his office is in the middle of our team area), he decreed that any kid removed from a class for bad behavior, for a sub or a regular teacher, was going to be sent to ISS for not one, but two days.

That took care of quite a few before lunch on Monday.

We're not exactly sure what brought that on (and we aren't complaining) but perhaps it had to do with the fact that he told one of our girls to get into her classroom instead of hanging out in the hallway and she, in his words "Got braindead and started mouthing off and cursing at me!" We aren't quite sure what got into her (definitely not typical behavior but she's running with a bad crowd and may have wanted to impress them), but she's out of our hair for a week.

There were twenty kids in ISS today. Two were sixth graders. Two were eighth graders. Sixteen were seventh graders. Eight of them were mine.

And then there's the case of Pathological Liar Boy who couldn't do the right thing if it was tied up in wrapping paper and a bow and left on his doorstep. Even his mother, who swore that he was an angel and that everyone - everyone! - was lying has finally figured out that he's not exactly Abe Lincoln when it comes to honesty. The other kids don't like him and don't trust him and wish he'd just shut the hell up (he would talk to a wall, and has, when placed facing one.)

Anyhow, my students sit at tables with about two to four kids per table. This can cause problems when it comes to taking tests because they can all see each other's work. To solve this, I give the kids file folders to put up and make privacy screens so they can work and hopefully keep their eyes on their own work. The problem is that over the course of the year this group has managed to totally destroy my folder collection by writing and drawing some of the most vulgar and obscene content you've ever seen, along with pictures of cars, cartoon characters, and the occasional dog or two. And of course, I can never catch who's doing it, so it keeps happening despite being told to Not Write On the Folders. However, when a kid is presented with a folder that has already been written on, the phrase Do Not Write on the Folders goes out the window.

These folders, obviously, would not do for the Very Big Deal Government Mandated Tests last month so I bought new folders and our Aide (bless her) laminated them (80 of them!) for me. The hope was with the nice plastic coating it would be a tad difficult to write on them. My homeroom was ecstatic over these folders as they were nice, new, and shiny and we went through four whole days of testing without a single mark on them.

So yesterday, when they had their tests, I put out the shiny new folders and all the classes ohhhed and ahhhed and I explained why there were new folders. (You should have seen the blushing when I commented on the vulgar content written on the folders in the past.) I explained how they all deserved to take tests in a calm environment without disturbing comments, graffiti, and things cluttering up their work area. Consequently, they were Not To Write or Draw on the Folders.

So what did Pathological Liar Boy do? Waited until I was out doing hall duty after his class, grabbed two folders, whipped out a Sharpie and scribbled all over them, then ran off to his next class, stopping by a few of his friends to brag and giggle about how he scribbled all over Mrs. Bluebird's new folders.

And his friends promptly dimed him out to me, wrote up witness statements, showed me the folders, and within ten minutes I was walking over to The Enforcer's office with the folders, the statements and the referral. Mrs. Social Studies watched my room while I explained the situation to the Enforcer. He was not happy.

Within 15 minutes, Pathological Liar Boy was in the Enforcer's office. Five minutes later the Guidance Goddess was typing up his suspension paperwork and he was out for three days, and will be (supposedly) returning to ISS when he gets back and will stay there until the last day of school. With 220 discipline points, it's about time. Nothing like being told specifically not to do something and then to go and do it.

I might add that The Enforcer brought back the scribbled on folders and they were on my desk this morning when my homeroom kids came in. They spotted those folders and just went nuts. They were incensed that someone would ruin their nice new folders. Funny what they take pride in, isn't it?

As for me, and the rest of the team, we're enjoying a few days of peace while we can.


Magical Mystical Teacher said...

What a relief to be rid of at least one irritating burr under your saddle--and for the rest of the year at that. Double relief!

Darren said...

We've been told we won't have an in-school suspension next year,the result of budget cuts. Since I don't see students' getting at-home suspension, I guess we'll just get to keep the darlings in class.