I’m teaching at a new school…but I’m experiencing the same problems. The same apathetic attitudes, unruly teens with no direction (Read: Lord of the Flies), and poor access to educational supplies exist at this school. Just minutes ago, I was verbally attacked by one student for saying that I heard music being played in an area of the room that she happened to be sitting in. I was not directly speaking to that student, however, she responds with, “She don’t hear no music from over here.”
Folks, this is one of my pet peeves, I do not need a pissy-ass teenager telling me what I do or do not hear! I have the hearing of a dog! Unfortunately, I hear most of everything my students say (the “private” things they say to one another especially). Again, addressing the GENERAL vicinity from which the noise came from, I said, “I am aware of what I hear. I do not need someone else telling me what I did or did not hear so, turn it off!” So the Bad Seed responds with, “Just cuz you come in here with a bad attitude everyday don’t mean nothing. I’m sick of all you stupid ass teachers.” My collaborative teacher tells Bad Seed, “That’s enough. Step outside.” Bad Seed replies, “No. I don’t need to go outside.” “Yes you do,” I responded. “I’m straight,” she replies. “No,” I said, “You need to go.”
Now she’s all puffed up and even more pissy (if that’s possible). “I don’t give a shit.” I laugh and say, “Neither do I because the more you say the more you incriminate yourself. I’ve a write-up with your name on.” “Fine,” she responds, “I don’t give a fuck about you. Make sure you put that on the write-up.” …This from an eighteen-year-old girl who is in my 11th Grade Literature class (with sixteen-year-olds) who throws shoes at her peers and curses her teachers out. I am the one with the bad attitude? HA!
Her parents are afraid of her temper. They allow her to do whatever she wants…her father once said to me, “Sometimes she has a bad temper, but you just have to wait it out and let her come around.” What a cop out! She was never disciplined! In my eyes, that’s child abuse…she has no real-world skills! If she goes off on a boss the same way she just did to me, she would lose her job! I would never hire her. She’s a ticking time bomb. She is not used to being held accountable for following rules…that’s the REAL reason why she thinks I “have a bad attitude.” I don’t have a bad attitude, I just expect DISCIPLINED students, and if they are unfamiliar with what DISCIPLINE looks like…I “gently” remind them. While I respect ALL of my students as individuals, I will not allow them to over-step their boundaries without calling it to their attention. I believe that one of the dire issues, widely affecting education and achievement gaps, is the lack of discipline among young adults. All I have to say is that discipline STARTS AT HOME!