Thursday, March 2, 2017

Calling his Mom


Two weeks prior, the last time I had covered this English class at the continuation high school, Jeremiah and I had a bit of a conflict. It's a long story which ends with him on a three-day suspension. So, while I wanted to be respectful of him, I also had to make sure he knew I was in charge.

The previous day, the class completed a first read of excerpts from "Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman. On this day, they were to look for textual evidence supporting attributes of the poet expressed in the poem. They were writing out their findings in a bubble map.

Jeremiah chose not to do his work. Also, he chose to sit in the front of the room. So, of course I stood over him and asked what he was getting done.

What he was doing was talking on his phone. Or playing his music too loud. Or accessing various apps on his phone (texting, Instagram, etc.). And he did not like being "singled out".

"Go sit over there," as he pointed to the chair behind the teacher's desk. "That's your seat..."

He did not agree that my job was actually to make sure he was getting something done. I was "picking on him" and he didn't like that one bit.

I walked the room. Then I returned to see he hadn't gotten any further on his assignment. And he wasn't having my nose in his business any longer.

"I'm going to call my mom..."

His phone was already out, so he pulled up his contacts and started the call.

"Oh, she'd better pick up..."

The phone rang and rang, but he got no answer. He hung up.

I'm not sure what he hoped to accomplish. Was his mom going to tell me that I should let her son sit in class and not do his schoolwork?

I managed not to break into laughter in front of the class. Barely. The student called his mom on me! *shakes head*

29 comments:

  1. Things sure are different now....I wouldn't want to have either one of my parents involved if I was out line in school. It would be lot worst when I got home.
    Although I'm not saying I was angle at school
    Coffee is on

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've got to wonder if he thought his mom would back him up. Which is a sad state of affairs.

      Delete
  2. At the high school where my boyfriend teaches, the students are not allowed to use their phones during class, and the teachers have the right to confiscate phones. I think a parent has to come to school to claim a confiscated phone. There are parents who come for a phone and complain that the teacher should not have taken the phone away from their precious child.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have similar rules. Although, more and more there are reasons (academic reasons) for the kiddos to use their phones in class (see yesterday's post). I decided not to pursue the confiscation angle this day as I would have been kicking half the kiddos out of class to accomplish it.

      Delete
  3. Umm… I have no words. None at all. Just … wow.

    You said this was high school, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Continuation high school, which is a different animal than a traditional high school. (Read: the "bad" kids get sent here.)

      Delete
  4. Sadly, there was a chance the parent would've taken his side because God forbid her precious child be in the wrong. (I have a couple friends who are teachers and that is one of their biggest complaints - parents won't admit their children are wrong or have issues.)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Couldn't you have taken his phone? What is even the purpose of school for these kinds of kids?? I just don't get it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I could have had his phone confiscated. I chose not to fight that battle on this day. The last time I dealt with Jeremiah... I wasn't in the mood to go nuclear again, and that's where it would have ended up.

      Delete
  6. What the heck would he have told her? LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, that's what I was curious to find out.

      Delete
  7. I would not have called my mom, as I most certainly would have been beaten to within an inch of my life the second I got home. And/or had a mug thrown at my head. Mumsy had really good aim with mugs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Usually the threat to call mom comes from the teacher, and it's generally good enough to get a kiddo to stop messing around.

      Delete
  8. OMG! He had the audacity to tell you where your seat was?! That little obnoxious arrogant.ooooohhhh that got me going. I would take his phone and probably whip it across the room and stomp on it. I would then get charged and fired so...I can say it and think it. The sad thing is his mom probably lets him do all these things. ...I sitting here and still can't get over what he said to you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you think that was bad, you should hear what he did that got him suspended.

      Delete
  9. I wonder if he really expected his mother to do something or if he was just trying to scare you with it. Either way, what a dumb idea. I can see why he's at the continuation school.

    ReplyDelete
  10. He didn't learn much from the previous 3 day suspension did he?

    betty

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Liz - gosh they don't make life easy for themselves or more importantly for others in the class ... I read your tales and get stressed - but you handle them well ... have a peaceful weekend!! Cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  12. Man! I wonder what she would have said if you could talk to her? You never know these days. Either "Leave my boy alone" or "Get your lazy behind to work" are equally possible.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh that is great, reported to the mom, how funny would that be?! What do kids today think? Its stupid. I have a grandson in the 10th grade and he don't care. He knows better then be disrespectful (I hope) but he just don't care about school. I think this "leave no child behind" is a joke.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of the ideals behind NCLB are a good idea, but in practice... I tend to view disrespect as something in the person--someone who disrespects me has no respect for himself. So, I rarely take it personally. I just feel sorry for them.

      Delete
  14. Unreal. This reminds me of an ad I heard on the radio about a phone app to track your kids' whereabouts. It makes me soooo glad I grew up in the eighties. Sure, I'd sometimes drive around town half the day trying to hook up with friends but I would have missed out on tons of secret meetups with my boyfriend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then it becomes a question of helicopter parenting. It seems to me like the parents who hover hover over the kiddos who don't need it. The kiddos who do need the monitoring have parents who don't pay attention.

      Delete
  15. Oh, Jeremiah. Will ever get a tongue-lashing from his mother?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know. If he called his mom on me, I rather think he figured she'd take his side.

      Delete
  16. Don't you sometimes feel like just ignoring them? Unfortunately as a teacher we can't do that. But forcing or coercing them to work is when trouble starts. We should definitely get paid more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Let sleeping dogs lie." I let that be my guiding principle more often than I should. Because, yeah, initiating that battle isn't worth the trouble more often than not.

      Delete
  17. I used to walk the painful kids into my office and cal their parents right then and there and I would tell the parents who I was and that their kid had something they needed to tell 'em. Only had to do that once or twice before word spread. Kids hated having to do the telling on themselves. Wish his mother had answered the phone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a sub I don't usually have that option. I don't often have access to parent phone numbers. But, it is an effective tool.

      Delete

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.