After I implemented my "restructuring" of grades on Monday and handed out pseudo planners to each one of my students, the week became the best I've had to date. For the first time since school started I feel as though I'm in control of what happens in my classroom (within reason), and it's not some other unmanageable, intangible force whipping my backside. Feels good.
I also started to dole out detentions. Ha. Take that you little fuckers. The way I see it, I'm at work until AT LEAST 4:30-5 pm each day; what's it to me if I have a few morons join me? Works out pretty well actually. Three of them have an appointment with me Monday after school. The best part: calling home to let the parentals know that their sweet little darlings screwed up. Don't get me wrong, I don't enjoy having to make the bad phone call home - but, it's a nice vindication when I get a parent who actually supports me. These days when a teacher calls home it's a crap shoot as to the reaction they're going to get from Mama or Papa Bear.
Would you believe that some of these parents want to know why I/we have not "worked" more with their child to "help" them have better attitudes. And the best one: My child has ADHD and we really don't want to put him on meds so we're trying out other alternatives.
Guess what. Your kid can't shut his mouth and he/she is screwing around. Alternatives aren't working. ADHD or not, YOU and HE will need to figure something out because I'm not going to keep moving your sweet little boy into different seats at the expense of other students. The REAL WORLD is not going to make those kind of concessions. Better he learn that now rather than getting his ass kicked after he leaves the safe haven of high school.
Harsh? Yes. I'm fine with that.
So many parents are taught labels by doctors and who knows whom else and then they baby their kids never requiring them to actually work hard to overcome whatever issue is the problem. I'm ALWAYS willing to work with a student who is putting forth an effort to try, putting forth an effort to be a better student both on paper and in his or her own behavior. What I will not stand for is the kid who knows he's got the "label" and works the system to his benefit.
That's when I call bullshit.
On the flip side, I love calling a parent whose response to their child's detention is: I am standing at the window right now with the phone in my hand waiting for him to get home; he's going to get his ass beat and then we're going to have a conversation about how this school is for kids who want to learn and if he doesn't want to learn, then I'm pulling him out.
I'm not advocating ass beatings, what I like is her stance. Either he gets his shit together or he doesn't get the privilege of attending this school. That mom, rocks.
Aside from a few little buggers, everyone else is doing okay. Attitudes are pretty good, grades are a mixed bag. Things seem to be settling down a little and we make our way into October. Interims (what they call progress reports out here) will be out in a couple of weeks. Lots of ass beatings will probably be taking place along the East Coast.
What I'm discovering is that out students still carry that "city kid" mentality where they believe that no teacher is expecting much out of them. What they fail to realize and will soon understand is that we're not a typical city school. Our expectations and standards are a lot higher than what they're used to. Because of that we know there's going to be an adjustment period, and my guess is they're going to have to adjust pretty damn quickly when they see their grades for the first time. I've spoken to my colleagues and there are many, many Ds and Fs across the board.
Wake up time kiddies. It's a shiny new morning and you're not in Kansas anymore. Either click those heels and leave, or hop on the yellow brick road to a brighter future. It's your choice.