Saturday, May 14, 2011

Girl Drama

I hate middle school girl drama.

I realize that as a female I was once myself a middle school girl, and although my memories of that era are long ago and quite foggy (probably by choice, middle school is a miserable time), I'm sure I had my share of drama as well.  That doesn't mean I have to like it.  Especially when it's causing so many issues in our classrooms this week.

Remember how good they were for field day?  Well it was a one-time thing, I'm afraid.  Since then we've had fights pop up all over the place, good kids doing the most outrageously stupid things (shooting straightened staples out of click pencils comes to mind), and just general mayhem.

And of course we've had the girl drama.

You gotta like boys.  They get annoyed at someone, they'll duke it out, then shake hands and be best buds afterwards.  It's forgotten.  They move on.  Girls on the other hand will stir the pot over and over and over and over, making threats, telling tales, dragging in other girls and pretty soon you have a team in an uproar.  And Mrs. Eagle's team in an uproar because we're getting "cross-team pollination" between our girls.  Apparently the trash talking starts in their elective classes, where the teams are merged together, then spills over.

It's enough to make me want to pull my hair out.

It got particularly bad on Friday.  Mrs. Social Studies and I had a number of girls request to talk to a guidance counselor about "issues" they were having with other girls.  Unfortunately, guidance was buried in end of the year crap, we were one counselor short, and they had to deal with fall out of actual fights. As far as guidance and the admins were concerned (they'd been mediating all sorts of girl drama that day among other things), if they couldn't get along, and caused trouble, it was a big time write up and it wouldn't be pretty.  So, the girls didn't get called in, and Mrs. Social Studies and I decided to take things in our own hands.  We actually ended up moving kids between our classrooms to separate some of the girls, but felt we needed to take more action.

We yanked a few out in the hallway for some candid discussion, took names, got different sides of the stories, and realized that we had Had It Up To Here with the disruption and the drama.  This is your typical girl drama story:

"Well Girl A is mad at me because she said I stole her boyfriend, but I didn't, he's just a creep, and she told Girl B and Girl B told Girl C and now Girl C and Girl D along with Girl A and Girl B are threatening to jump me and I can't go in your class because Girl A and Girl D are there."

That's just the tip of the iceberg.  Seriously.

By the way, Mrs. Social Studies and I have rooms that are next to each other and have doors that are separated by a mere 14".  When we take kids out in the hall for a chat, and close the doors, it's amazing how well behaved the kids in the rooms are (we can see them through the glass).  Why?  They're desperately trying to hear the conversation.  Cracks me up every time.

So, we called Mr. Math, who has an inclusion teacher during sixth period, and asked if he'd watch our rooms while we went around to the other team classrooms and basically laid it on the line.  We have six days of school left and by golly, they weren't going to make it a living hell for the teachers and other students.  Two of our team classes had subs (who were probably a bit surprised to see the two of us at the door, asking for a minute with the kids), but they seemed really happy to turn the room over to us for a few minutes.  The girls were warned (and so were the boys, we told them the same deal held for them although they've been a lot better behaved than the girls - however, Monday is another day) and as far as everyone is concerned, that was a final warning.

Let's hope it works.  But I'm not placing any bets on it.


Miss Sub said...

as a sub, I'm always happy to let staff come in and give kids the what-for! : )

Diane and Chad said...

I am a new follower...retired teacher with a teacher son, hoping to give a few helpful hints...hope you'll visit!