Fridays are one of those difficult days for me to settle in one of my classes. They come to me from lunch for three periods of instruction. They all have significant reading delays and impairments, and although I know they like me as a person, they really hate the daily grind of trying to do something they find so difficult to do. The fact that my classroom is not equipped with any reading material nearly at their level compounds the frustration.
Now that the EL% exam is behind us, I've been expanding the activities to more of a high interest/low frustration level. But Fridays have always been a difficult day. They've already been stuck in another teacher's room for three periods, and come lunch time, these kids are cooked (and crazy). So in anticipation of this, I chose an activity that was moderately fun and relaxed.
The problems started when not one student showed up for the class on time. And I'm not talking about 2 or 3 minutes. I'm talking 10-12 minutes. This was a surprise, because the day before I called a parent during our class to inform them that their dear son miraculously appeared at my door 25 minutes after the bell. They were all listening intently, and they know how I feel about the tardy thingy.
Once they do trickle in, I get a bunch of sad ass excuses until one of them spills the beans to tell me that they were on another floor to watch a fight. Charming. As I start to settle them in, one of the boys (who I've had a hell of a time with this year, I must say) strolls in, takes his cell phone out, and plops his ass on top of a desk. Grrrr. I tell this misguided youngster to get his ass off the desk (I used the word "rear"), stash the phone, and to zip his mouth. His response? "I ain't botherin' nobody! Leave me the f*uck alone!"
It's Friday. I'm tired. I'm freaking exhausted. I'm at my boiling point. So I step into the hallway, spot a teacher on "hall patrol", and tell him to get this kid out of my room. I've been down this road with said child before. He will not listen. He will not come around. He has started the battle, and as we both know from experience, the battle will be ugly and prolonged. I just want to get my kids on their way with their project, and I know that I will be unable to do so if struggling with this kid. (BTW. Kid has some serious ODD. Parent never picks up the phone. Administration is at a loss as to what to do with him, as is every other teacher.)
Hall patrol guy tells the kid to put away the phone and grab his stuff. This goes on for quite some time. Kid will not comply. Hall patrol guy starts getting pissed, throws up his hands, and leaves. Great, I think. That helped. After a few more minutes of battling with the kid, I once again find hall patrol guy. "You know, ummmmmm, I still have a problem here? Could you please give me a hand? I do have a whole class of kids to teach?"
Hall patrol guy returns to my classroom and starts with the kid again. The kid has no intention of going anywhere. Hall patrol guy leaves again. Great, I think. But this time, hall patrol guy comes back. With a key! "Take your class to room 432. This child doesn't want to leave? Then you leave." I'm all stunned and crap. I've got a ton of project materials. I'm really not in a position to leave my room. "So you want me to leave the room? And leave the kid here? And march all the students to another room? Seriously?" Hall patrol guy confirms my astonished understanding of the arrangement.
The class is looking at me. The kid is looking at me. And all I want to do is get this class started. "Uh. Okay. Kids, grab your stuff. Everything. Guess were going on a field trip. Line up in the hallway."
The kid sat in my room, alone (but supervised by hall patrol guy), for three periods.
So much for student removal. More like teacher and class removal.
Ugh. Could this school be more screwed up?