Saturday, December 6, 2008
"I want to come to work, teach my subject and enjoy my job! I don't want to come to school to babysit turds!"
This is an exact quote from myself when I was disciplining 3 students at the end of the day, in my home base, on Friday afternoon. "Disciplining" might be the adult term I would use to describe what I was attempting to do. I actually feel like I was ripping them a new one.
One of the students had not one, but TWO cell phones confiscated from him during class throughout the day. This was actually the 2nd student in two days in which I had taken multiple phones from. I had a similar discussion with him the day before, so you can believe my frustration when I had to go through this whole scenario again with him. I accused him of not listening, of having a hearing problem and of purposefully disrespecting me. The other children in home base were surprised, and couldn't look away when I was yelling. Because I never yell. I don't have to. I feel that I can get just as much, if not more, accomplished without raising my voice THAT high. I take the whole "I am so disappointed in you" approach because it worked on me when my parents would say it.
But the truth is, it doesn't work on some kids.
For some kids, you have to use their language and you have to get in their face. Maybe it's because that is or isn't the tactic their parents use. Maybe their brains can't wrap themselves around the words "deceitful" or "immature".
So after the "disciplining" was over, I digested the encounter. I looked back at how I disciplined these kids in front of their classmates, which is something I don't typically do because I feel that the kids deserve a certain level of respect and privacy when dealing with these matters. But, lecturing them, pointing my finger in their faces and using an octave that startled these boys might have prevented other students from making the same type of stupid decisions because none of them have truly seen me freak out. And I used the word "turd" instead of "dumb shit" because that was the word that was going through my mind, because it did adequately describe their behavior. But using the word turd was probably better than using the alternative because I like to think it demonstrated restraint on my part and it displayed my own maturity level (because I might have cussed at student when I was 24) and it revealed my level of expertise with middle school kids. So I like to think of this episode much like attaining a new level on Super Mario Brothers. But, I also used a synonym for poo, and that's nothing to really write home about.