Monday, December 12, 2005

How to make a great day go bad

The energy was up today, as I used Jeopardy to review for the test and had a lengthy discussion of the Tookie Williams case with my Intro students. I was looking forward to a nice practice with a great group of basketball players, when this occurred on the way to the gym.

-As teacher is heading to the gym, two students are on a planter box spitting on the sidewalk.
-Teacher walks by and says, "Hi fellas". One student stares the teacher down and spits on the sidewalk behind him.
-Teacher walks up and says, "Hey guys, could you spit in the planter? That way the sidewalk doesn't get all nasty".
-Student spits on the ground in front of the teacher.

At this point, I'm sure that many of you can imagine the various things that should happen to this little brat. Take under consideration that I have no idea who this kid is and I've never seen him before.

-Teacher asks student to come to the office with him. For the next five minutes, student goes back and forth about coming to the office. Student then walks off campus and leaves in the end.

Funny how society is asking us to educate their kids, yet I could really do nothing to prevent him from leaving. Get to close a student, like guiding them to the office, and they do the whole "Don't fucking touch me!" routine and threaten all sorts of bullshit. So this student gets away with his behavior, for now. Fortunately, he passed a campus supervisor on the way out and I got his name.

This begs the question that many teachers, especially new ones, ask more and more these days. Does every student have a "right" to an education? How far to we go to try and teach children that have no want to be taught? I think you might be surprised at the answers that many students give these days, especially the older ones. Most agree that students that don't want to be taught should be put to work somehow to benefit society. Most also concur that those students should not be in an institution where learning is supposed to take place.

So today I taught 150 kids about Government and 11 kids about basketball. Unfortunately, the most serious lesson will not be learned by the student that needs it the most.
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