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.