Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I'm not in a very good mood tonight. We were off for MLK Day and as a result the kids were out of control today. I've had enough of sassy kids. I'm tired of obnoxious kids. I've had my fill.

I didn't have a chance to make any phone calls home tonight. I wanted to. I'll pay for that tomorrow.

My earache is back. I wish it would go away.

I was able to go running tonight. The running helped to alleviate some of the black cloud that's been lingering after my day. Writing this blog is helping to drain the rest of my frustration. Teaching isn't easy. It takes a special person to be a teacher. I'm not feeling so special tonight.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Bad Kids! Help!

I just finished calling a few parents about behavior problems today. I called Sam's house and spoke to his father (all names have been changed to protect the innocent).

Teach: "Hi, Sam's father? This is Sam's teacher."
Dad: "Oh, hello."
T: "I wanted to give you a call about Sam's behavior today in class."
D: "What did he do?"
T: "Well, he was disruptive, disrespectful, talkative, and angry. He wouldn't listen to me or to other teachers after lunch. He refused to get out his books. He didn't turn in any homework today and gave me attitude about it."
D: "SAM! Get your ass up! Shut off the damn Playstation, boy! What did you say he did? Talked back?"
T: "Yes sir."
D: "MOM, your son is in trouble! Get your ass in here! I got this, Mr. He won't be giving you any more worries." Click.

It's hard not to laugh as all hell breaks loose during your call to a problem kid's house. Of course I don't. It's Nagasaki and Hiroshima on Sam's ass over at his house. Or so it would seem. I hope they aren't too hard on him. I don't want the kid to get a beating. That's the common response to a call from the teacher. Not a spanking. A beating. That isn't going to change his behavior. It's very hard to reach a kid like "Sam" who's angry, distant, and has low skills. It's even harder if he associates you with a beat down from Dad. He also has a whole bunch of stuff that's happened to him that would knock a full-grown adult for a loop. I can understand why he's such a problem in my class. I'm sure he's a problem everywhere. That's not the point. How do I reach this kid? That's the point. What to do???? Help me No Child Left Behind!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Banging my head in 2008.

Today was good and bad. A lot of kids came ready to learn. About 5 came ready to screw around. I'm making phone calls to parents. I'm ready to teach. I'm so tired of being a disciplinarian. So much of my inner-city teaching experience is spent dealing with discipline issues. It's one of the most cited answers that teachers give when asked "Why did you leave the exciting and profitable world of teaching?" I'm not leaving any time soon. It's a hell of a lot easier teaching after a few years in. I'm sure next year will be even easier. Still, it is exhausting. It's like banging your head against the wall. The same kids never seem to get it.

A bright note, Chinese New Year is coming. MLK day is coming. Christmas is coming. Avon is calling.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Here's to the new year 2008. I wish everyone a happy new year and send good tidings your way. Can you feel them? That tingling that you thought was carpal tunnel syndrome. That's me baby. A little Rookie Schoolteacher coming at you.

Anyhow, I must work tomorrow. The teaching must happen. I wish there were a few more days of vacation time. To be honest, I have no interest in going in tomorrow. My students will be very hard to rein in. We will have to start as if it's the first day of school. Perhaps things will be OK? I will look on the bright side. Tomorrow is a new year. It's 2008. Everything is good. Everything is bright and new and the only way is up. Positive. Positive. I will be positive and my kids will be positive.

Well, I must pack my bag for tomorrow. I wish I had more corrected papers to put in. Teacher guilt. I did need a vacation, too. The papers will get corrected. Plus, there's a whole bunch of new stuff to correct coming in with my students. They all had projects to do over the break.