Friday, June 5, 2009

Under Siege

I knew I was in for it the minute I walked in the room.  There was something in the air.  The desks were arranged nicely, the room was neat, but the front of the room was too barren.  This was the classroom of a teacher under siege.

It was a very long day.  The class was 7th grade math--four periods of pre-algebra and one period of algebra.  7th graders in algebra tend to be the brighter of the bunch, but this group barely held it together.  I had no idea a class that was ostensibly doing its work could get that loud.

I thought the rest of the day was pretty bad, but I couldn't even get 6th period to quiet long enough so that I could introduce myself and explain the assignment (review questions for a benchmark exam that they're taking next week).  Usually I can stare the talkers down until they are shamed into silence by the rest of the class.  Not this group.

There was this one boy seated at a table at the front of the room.  Never a good sign.  I told him several times to get out a book and get to work.  He rocked in his chair.  He threw things across the room (accusing classmates of the act). He play acted kicking another kid when he was down.

That was it for me.  I went looking for a referral form.  I could not find one.  I was writing something out on notebook paper just so I'd have something to send with the boy when he decided that then would be a good time to turn on the TV in the classroom.  Someone "helpfully" turned out the lights, and the students prepared to watch a soap opera.

That was when the security person walked in.

She just poked her head in to check up.  Clearly the class was so loud that she felt the need to check in.  Perfect timing!  I told her that the boy had to go.  And she took him with her.  Hooray!

Somehow word got back to the middle school principal that the class was out of control, so he drove by in one of those golf carts.  The class had mostly settled by then (what a difference kicking one distraction out makes!), but the other boy who was on my radar called out, "Hi, Mr. K."  And Mr. K. pulled him out, too!  Oh, happy day.

Of course, it would have been happier if this had all happened earlier in the period.  As it was, by the time the two boys had been removed, we only had ten minutes left.  I was so relieved to hear the final bell.

I understand why the teacher was out.  She was obviously taking a mental health day.  Although, I don't know how much of her mental health still remains after dealing with those people all day.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I appreciate your comments.

I respond to comments via email, unless your profile email is not enabled. Then, I'll reply in the comment thread. Eventually. Probably.