All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Monday, 18 July 2005

The One With The M&M's

I was prepared for the worst.

Today, I was put down to teach three out of four lessons - in fact, virtually the same lesson to all the three Year 7 classes.

Imagine the situation. This is the last week of term and the kids are in no mood to learn. They want to mess around, surf the net, play games. Am I mad, trying to teach them Excel spreadsheets?

I made a deal with them. "You do the work and once you've finished and I'm satisfied that you've done your best, I will let you go onto the internet." The kids in all three classes bought into it and as a result, four days before the end of the school year, I had kids producing work, some of it quite good.

I would like to say that today was without faults, but, let's not forget that I'm a teacher and perfect work-days don't ever happen (or maybe they do and I haven't experienced them).

I was talking to one class, standing at the front of the room, using the interactive whiteboard when an M&M was flung across the class, narrowly missing me and hitting the board. Fortunately, neither I nor the board were damaged. But I was furious (and I'm sure the board wasn't too happy either, but I didn't get it's opinion).

I singled out the kid, sitting at the back and asked him what was going on (I actually felt like burying his crappy little head into the wall, but that's not what we are supposed to do, however strong the urge) and he had the nerve to answer:
"I thought you were hungry".

The boy's luck must have been on his side because there was another teacher in the room, who took him out as I glared like never before. After he came back in (which I don't think should have happened), I got the other kids onto a task and told him that if he ever threw something, anything at me again, I would refuse to teach him - full stop. Whether or not that meant anything to him doesn't matter because the very fact that I told him this, is something that I would never tell a kid on principle. I will teach any kid, however challenging butI draw the line at having things thrown at me.

At the end of the lesson, I wrote an incident report and told the other teachers what I had said to him. They all agreed with my course of action. He was put on detention but couldn't turn up as he was on another detention.

I saw him at the end of the day and in a calm manner, tried to find out why he had felt the need to throw something at me. He told me that he wasn't aiming to hit me, only the board. Suffice to say, I wasn't impressed. This, coming from a 12 year old kid. If he keeps this behaviour up, he'll be out on his arse in a few years time.

I know that teachers have had worse things thrown at them, but this being the first time, I was a little shaken by the incident. Suffice to say that this kid will not be lobbing anything my way again, not if he wants to remain in school on a permanent basis.

Aside from that, it was a relatively good day. I doubt I'll come out smiling tomorrow - it's one day nearer to the holidays!


Larrythelamb said...

On ur way in tomorrow, poip in and u can borrow my .22 magnum.

When you get into class, call him to stand up at the back of the class and face the wall, then when he has his back turned, SHOOT THE FUCKER...........

Problem case solved and closed.

The Teacher said...

Best that you decided not to go into teaching eh Larry?

athena said...

I won't ask "WHY is the kid such a creep?" Or inquire as to whether or not his home life is tragic, or if he has been the victim of some horrible life experiences.

I too, have been at the receiving end of enough abuse to know that there are people out there who are put on this Earth for the sole purpose of teaching the rest of us patience! Or at least how to practice our Lamaze breathing....One deep breath in - let out in small puffs....One deep breath in - let out in small puffs...

If you continue this exercise until you have Zen Mastery...there will inevitably be some other creep even worse...)

The Teacher said...

The worrying this is that this kid is in Year 7. If he doesn't buckle down, he won't make it far in the school (...which may not be a bad thing)