There are certain things that make me uncomfortable. So, yesterday, when Nate came into 7th period, went over to the teacher's desk, and took a dry erase marker, I was alert. No one is supposed to go near the teacher's area, especially when my stuff is there.
Nate began drawing on the white board. I told him to stop. He ignored me. He finished his drawing.
The first thing I did was to erase the drawing. Nate seemed to think that I was dissing him. I needed the board to do math examples (as I was instructed to do in the lesson plan).
One of the other students asked Nate why he bothered to show up to school. Nate said that if he didn't, he'd have to go back to court. My thought was, "Oh great, he's one of those." It was going to be a long period.
Nate wouldn't sit still. Doing work was out of the question. He cracked jokes that weren't funny. At least, I hope they were just jokes. I don't think he actually had done meth before coming to class (although, I did include that in my note, just in case).
Instead of feeding his need for attention, I focused on the other students. There were a couple other minor dramas going on. Nate settled a little.
Amazingly, many of the students in class completed their work. I was assured that Nate was acting as Nate always acted. They were used to his antics, and had learned to tune him out (or rather, they were entertained by him).
Near the end of the period, Nate started taking books out of the bookshelf. It looked like he was going to straighten them. I had a funny feeling about this. The bell was due to ring any minute, and I could just picture Nate walking away from the books without putting them back.
I commented on this to Nate. Mistake. Nate put the books back worse than they had been on the shelf in the first place, leaving four books unshelved. He was "punishing" me.
I was back at the continuation high school today in a class three doors down from this math teacher. He assured me that Nate was doing nothing out of the ordinary yesterday. (He has written him up numerous times to no effect.)
Today also happened to be picture day. I happened to be in the picture room when Nate's turn was up. He tried to do something weird or disgusting when his picture was snapped. The photographer caught it in time. Apparently, this sort of thing happens to him a lot.
I wonder about students like Nate. I wonder what's going to happen to them in the future. Do they wake up and make something of themselves? I hope so.