River Deep, Mountain High

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Apr 18 2012

“We Need To Get It Together”

Today involved some disturbing developments I can’t really write about; summary: a persistent trouble-maker who is a threat to the school community had to be handled by the authorities and, on the other hand, one of my mentees landed in trouble- again. It’s really sad when a kid is trying to do well and either makes a tiny mistake or boneheaded, impulsive decision and allows their track record to speak for itself. I had bought a snickers bar for my mentee as part of our on-going behavioral plan, but now the outlook isn’t so good. I don’t want to over step the administration, but I’ll probably call him tomorrow to hear his side of the issue.

Relatedly, we continued with our rotation test prep schedule this morning, and my homeroom acted up bad enough to have the security office called on them. I was both upset and disappointed, since they had been praised as the best behaved class the weak before. As my students were quick to point out, the additional distraction of certain kids from suspensions changes the dynamic greatly. Nonetheless, I gave them a brief, stern lecture  on how “innocent” bystanders become instigators when they laugh at and encourage troublemakers to clown around.

One intriguing dynamic I’ve seen is that my more ambitious, mature students bring up my degree a fair amount when a classmate acts up badly or directs their disrespect towards me. During our open discussion today, one of my boys, who is a work in progress, declared: “man, if I went to Harvard, I wouldn’t come down here!”

Rather than going into the topics I discussed here in my last post, I decided to meet the kids at their level by showing them the following:

"Who Run The World?"

I was very impressed by the insightful responses my students had as they analyzed this picture.

Girl: “man, his pants are so low!”

Boy: “This kids round here are phony thuggin’”

Boy #2: “they’d pee their pants if they went to New York or Chicago!”

Girl #2: “the white folk are laughing at us because they have more money than us!”

Boy #3: “but we try to act like we have the power”

Boy #4: “We need to get it together!”

Yes, young man, we certainly do.

2 Responses

  1. els

    My kids have been a “hot mess”, as they would say, this week. It’s getting ridiculous.

  2. Thanks in advance and good luck, tonybonthemic.teachforus.org ! :)

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Remove Barriers, Raise the Bar

Mississippi Delta
Middle School

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