Tuesday, September 30, 2008

did i say i would race something?

What I really meant was kick some irresponsible teenage ass.

Nothing about this day screamed "crazy" when I got to school this morning - no full moon, no impending holiday, not the end of the week, no hormonal imbalances. Yet I had students all day behaving as if they'd never set foot in a classroom before - strolling in late with food, throwing pens, talking only precisely when I started to speak, brushing hair, making phone calls. SERIOUSLY?

Then, at the staff meeting, my principal shared a letter from neighbors of the school who essentially concluded that our students ought to be housed somewhere far away from general society. Granted, some of our kids have foul reprehensible personalities issues and yes, they have been known to act like jackasses. Certainly those individuals will occasionally escape our eagle eyes and/or jurisdiction (we have an open campus at lunchtime because our building has no cafeteria facility). And really, some people will choose to be cretins no matter what the circumstance; as desperately as we try to teach them sense, we are destined to fail. Nature/nurture. Most significantly, however, there are other idiots not associated with our school who hang out and do stupid things in the area throughout the day.

But we sincerely want to be decent neighbors - a crew of kids goes up to the nearby burger joint each Friday to clean up around the place; a group from one of my classes collected garbage & recycling at the park last spring - and will bring this letter to our kids tomorrow. We will remind them that civilized human beings pick up after themselves and do not shout obscenities in public (which I personally will follow up by muttering "DUH"), and we will strongly point out that if our reputation becomes overwhelmingly negative, the building we hope for will not happen.

My mantra for tomorrow:
Be the change that you want to see in the world.

Thank you, Gandhi. Wondering if he said it through clenched teeth sometimes?

If you kick their asses, you will only hurt your foot.

14 comments:

KD @ A Bit Squirrelly said...

Before I say anything I have so much respect for the work you do in yout community. It takes special people to teach, let alone teach in alternative programs.

As far as your little jackasses--er--students go, a swift kick in the arse may not be a bad way to go, just make sure you are wearing steel-toed boots.

katydidnot said...

yes, he totally said it through clenched teeth sometimes, and he also often followed it with "duh". especially when saying it to teenagers, god love them.

texasholly said...

I totally trust your instincts on this one!

Ms. Wink's World o'School said...

I am so glad I checked your blog today. I was hoping for just this post, but I also got an added bonus. I didn't realize they were all complete lunatics every moment of the entire school day, I thought I just sucked.

My theory - We NEED rain. Seriously. We are Washington people. Sun = summer, as in: running free, spouting profanity, chatting with friends, complaining about how hot it is, planning social events, eating snacks...

We are trying to make Sun = work as in: learning, thinking, writing, revising, considering alternate viewpoints in a civil manner, and generally rising to the occasion to EARN credits and thus, a living some day.

Remember, that which doesn't kill us allows our students to live to see another day.

Love you & so glad you are willing to put your reflections in writing for me to check in on so I realize even if I'm crazy, I'm not crazy and alone. Drinks soon?

Monica

JCK said...

I never knew Ghandi talked about kicking asses...

I bow to you Teacher. I could never do what you do. And I bet you are damn good.

MelADramatic Mommy said...

Look out jackasses, here she comes! Get some!

i am very mary said...

Ghandi I am not. I'd probably be there swearing at them to stop swearing. duh.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

"If you kick their asses, you will only hurt your foot."

Confucius?

phd in yogurtry said...

Gandhi's other piece of advice: Go and let yourselves be beat savagely by the sticks of those in authority. Let them beat you but do not fight back. Smile and say, "Thank you sir, may I have another?"

Lisa Milton said...

I think Ghandi developed TMJ. It happens to the most enlightened of us, it seems.

Please be well.

(I don't know if a movie will work for me tonight because Greg is working out of town, and long hours this week...

Are you gone this weekend?)

Jenny said...

Yes! Excellent mantra choice. That is the best that you can do, be an example and keep raising the bar for those kids. You may be the only positive person in their lives, and when they are grown they may only remember you as a glimmer. In the future whenthey have jobs and choices it will be enough to remember that someone "back then" cared. I applaud you. And keep some ibuprophin close by, it helps with the tmj. ; )

scargosun said...

That last line was hilarious.

I am sorry that you had this happen today. I lived behind a Deveroux (sp) campus growing up and I remember the neighbors making a fuss about new buildings and possibly more kids coming in. It was sad to me. The whole thing about being housed far from general society is just horrible.

Shana said...

You are such an excellent advocate for your students. And the fact that you're willing to kick them in the ass when their asses needs kicking, instead of rolling your eyes and saying "lost cause" only proves it more.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Let's hope it works. Just don't grind your molars down.

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