I survived my first FIASCO.

Standard

I have a student in my class who is… how do I even put this gently? A COMPLETE TERROR. He is downright awful every single day. Every. Single. Day. I honestly can’t count the number of “good days” I’ve had with this kid since the beginning of the school year. I have written him up about five (5!!!) times this year (Let me remind you, it’s only November!!) and that’s only for the absolutely horrendous things he does. There are times that I just don’t have the energy to even write out the referral, even though he has deserved it.

So let’s take a stroll down memory lane to the third day of school. Yes, the THIRD day of school, the day that I first contacted this student’s mother. She seemed very optimistic and overall the phone call went well. We thought we had found a way to get through to her son and hopefully get the year going on a better foot. Fast forward a few months to mid-October. I can’t even write all of the awful things this child has said to me for lack of time and, and to be completely honest, energy. I say “child” even though he is a teenager because of the way he acts on a daily basis. I caught him cheating on his iPad, so I sent him to the office with it. He accused me of deleting a project and called his mother, so naturally she wanted to speak with me about it. I called her back and cleared it up and took that time to inform her of some of the other issues I’d been having. She let me know that she would definitely take care of it and that she wanted to set up a parent/teacher conference with me about it. I agreed and said to let me know when she was available.

Did I ever see her? Of course not.

Last week, my Principal told me to write down all of the terrible things he says or does. After three days, I had two full pages of insults, hateful comments, and off the wall things he had been doing and saying. I took my Principal’s advice and called the mother again. She was so angry with her son that she called his father on three-way and told me to tell him what all had been said and done. I barely got past the first word and the two of them were yelling at each other! “Umm… ma’am? sir?” …no response. “Hello?” …still no response. More yelling on their end and more awkward silence on mine. I was so confused because I really couldn’t understand what they were saying, but I knew it wasn’t good. I found that part of the situation extremely funny and so did my coworkers and administrators. I thought everything had been taken care of, but boy was I wrong.

Fast forward another two days, to yesterday. I received a message to call his mother, so I did. I had no clue what to expect, but I thought maybe she was checking on his progress since our last conversation. Nope, wrong again.

She proceeded to yell at me over the phone for twenty minutes about how I am mean to her son and I pick on him. She told me that he wouldn’t lie about it (he obviously did) and she questioned some of my teaching methods. She called me childish and rude and a number of other names, and she basically decided that I’m a liar and her son can do absolutely no wrong. I actually got upset about it and shed a few tears (damn!) but I definitely didn’t let her know that. After talking to my Principal about it, he told me to stop calling/taking calls from her and that he would handle it from here. Now the student isn’t allowed in my classroom, but instead has to work by himself in the library.

I keep remembering something that the mother said yesterday, and actually every time we have talked. Each time we had a conversation, she said that she felt like it was time to take her child to a different school district. Naturally, when I heard this, I thought “HALLELUJAH!!!” but as soon as I walked in today, I saw him. Damn my luck. Although I guess it is pretty amazing that I don’t have to deal with him anymore.

I may have ended up with a few emotional bumps and bruises, but I survived my first confrontation (fiasco) with a parent! It wasn’t fun, but MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Advertisements

Gray Hairs?!?!

Standard

Wow… I’m 100% speechless. Well, obviously not, because I’m about to write a blog post, but you get the picture. 

After lunch, as I made my daily trip to the ladies’ room, I was washing my hands when I noticed something glimmering in the mirror. I looked up, ABSOLUTELY HORRIFIED, to find not one but two GRAY HAIRS staring right at me. My long, dark brown hair that everyone is envious of, is being invaded by nasty silver ones!!! I am only 24 years old, have only been teaching for two months, and already have these awful things creeping into my life?!?! *faints* TELL ME THIS IS NOT REAL LIFE. 

 

The worst part is that I can pinpoint exactly where those ugly gray hairs are coming from: 5th period. The class sandwiched between my lunch break and my conference period (THANK YOU BABY JESUS – because I need serious mental health time to prepare for them, and again to recover). This is a class of only four students, but trust me, these are the four most annoying, frustrating, needy, make-you-pull-out-your-(gray)-hair, kids. “They’re just kids,” some of my coworkers say… Well you’ll think otherwise when they get to your class. They really drive me absolutely insane.  

 

So now I have gray hairs. I’m appalled. Thankfully I’m already engaged, so I don’t have to worry about finding myself a man SINCE I’M OBVIOUSLY AN OLD SENILE WOMAN. Guess it’s off to Walmart for hair dye this evening… and it’s only October… 

Homecoming

Standard

Experiencing Homecoming week as a teacher is far more entertaining than it was as a student.

As a first year teacher, I wasn’t really sure what to expect – but wow. This is a little ridiculous. Having gone to a private Catholic high school myself, I thought I’d seen all the glitz and glam that a Homecoming week could bring – but boy was I wrong. These country kids aren’t as glitzy by any means, but they definitely do it BIG. They wear their mums to school on Friday and just about every student has one, even if they don’t have a date! They make their own! They wear these huge things pinned to their clothes or wrapped around their arms ALL DAY. Then later tonight, they will wear them to the football game and after that, to the “dance.” I say “dance” with quotations because honestly it’s just some teachers playing music from an iPod in the commons, snacks and sodas, and friends hanging out after the game.

The game. Our team is currently 0-4 this season and as hard as the cheerleaders try, the pep rallies don’t even get them hyped up. I’m a huge football fan, so this really bums me out. I would love to be teaching the kids on a state-winning team, but unfortunately I don’t think that will be the case this year. It is nice to see the guys on the team still trying and not giving up. I hear the odds of a win tonight are actually pretty good… or, at least slightly possible. We’re “rebuilding,” as we tell people. This is only our team’s second losing season in about 10 years, only to be outdone by last year’s terrible record. “We’re working on it,” I tell my students who feel discouraged. They begin to doubt our team, but for the sake of the players in my classes, I try to keep the spirits up. I know what it’s like to lose – I’m an Aggie AND a Dallas Cowboys fan… TRUST ME. I know what it’s like to love a losing team.

In every class period, at least one student says, “It’s Friday AND Homecoming… can we have a free day?!” I continually reply with, “It’s Friday AND Homecoming… nope.” I am finally starting to get a feel for the way these kids work. I am teaching a remedial Reading class for my kids who just can’t pass the wicked tests that the state of Texas throws at them. I am a huge supporter of everything Texas – except for this test. The tests are difficult as it is, but the English test is a true nightmare. I don’t know how these kids are expected to succeed at this when most adults would have trouble passing it. Needless to say, most of my students are very angry about being in my class because A.) it’s a class devoted to reading – which they hate, and B.) this class replaced an elective class like Agriculture or Theatre. There are days that I think, “what the hell am I doing here?” But then there are days that I just can’t believe I’ve been blessed by these amazing students. I have freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and one wild 20 year old senior. I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

So yes, I will be at the Homecoming game tonight. Instead of wearing a nice dress or a mum, I’ll be wearing my Raider Blue spirit shirt and screaming at the top of my lungs for this team of kind, goofy, incredibly fun students that mean the world to me. After the game, I will make my way over to the dance to make sure they aren’t acting like fools – at least not too much. And yes, I will probably have a really hard time holding myself back from dancing alongside them.  I’m sure they’ll laugh at my foot-tapping and almost-dancing. But in the grand scheme of things, that’s alright with me. These kids spend their days locked in classrooms, studying things that they mostly hate. They deserve a night of fun, and if that means laughing at their awkward Reading teacher, then so be it.

Happy Homecoming, y’all.