It has been a horribly long, difficult week. I had to be out 4 nights in a row, the weather was miserable most of the week, and the students in our group were really on a rampage. We have several students who have are disruptive, but we normally are able to reign them in. This week though, nothing we did worked. Our school's discipline system requires us to enter every misdeed into a database explaining what happened and how it was dealt with. I might write up one student a week. In the last 2 days, I have to enter at least 8 referrals. I had 2 students serve an after school detention on Wednesday for their shenanigans in the classroom on Tuesday. The 2 boys think that their primary purpose for being in class is to provide a show for the rest of us. Normally 70% of the rest of the class ignores them, 20% get distracted and react until I do the teacher glare, and the other 10% follow their lead. Tuesday however, was a different story, and I eventually had to send the ringleaders to the office. Then once everybody got calmed down and re-focused we had a visit from the Noxious Fumes. I have a student who has a problem with severe and quite odoriferous flatulence. Every so often he just lets it rip, and within a few seconds, the class is gagging and hysterically laughing. Of course it had to happen then!
On another somewhat humorous note, yesterday one of Tuesday's ringleaders shouts out in the middle of silent reading "NO, I don't want your gum!! Mrs. W, Jonny has gum!! Jonny has gum!!" (Gum is a prime forbidden object in our school). To make a long story short, Jonny was chewing gum. . He said yes, because he had gotten it from Tommy. So then Tommy produces a huge package of gum that he says he got from Jimmy. Jimmy says yes, he SOLD it to Tommy because Tommy was the highest bidder. Then the 3 of them started arguing about whether it was fair that they lost their gum because of each others' tattling. I sent all 3 to the office because it was taking too much to sort it all out. As soon as the 3 miscreants left, one young man came up to me sheepishly and told me he had gum in his pocket. He gives it to me. Another young man pipes up, "I have gum but it's for the bus ride home." I remark, "Gum isn't allowed on the buses." He starts to argue, but I cut him off, "My husband and I own the bus company, so I do know the rules!" He gives me his gum. Then the "Eagle Scout" student comes up. "Mrs. W., I think there's a stick of gum in my jacket left over from the weekend. I'll go get it." I had to laugh at this point. I ended up with a gum amnesty ---- I turned my back and told them all to put any gum they had in the trash and I wouldn't look. When that was done there was probably enough gum in the trash to open a store!
Today, the other Tuesday ringleader got into trouble at lunch, (not on my watch). I didn't know this had happened, so when he came to my class he asked if could use the phone to call his mother because he wanted to stay after school to work on the mounds of missing work he has. Since my teaching partner and I have been trying to get him to do this, I gave him permission. Imagine my dismay when he asks his mother to pick him up because he was sick of school!!!
And then there is the tension in the building among staff and between staff and the school board. Our contract was not passed by the voters, the board is bent on changing our calendar without adequate community input, and there are big changes looming in teaching assignments (mine among them.) Nobody is a happy camper. I'm sure that kids must pick up on atmosphere too!
Enough of this. It's Friday. I'm tired. TGIF