“Some Kids Are Just A-holes” Monday December 5, 2016

img-thingI have one student who definitely needs to up his meds. He can usually keep it together in the morning, but in the afternoon he can’t function like a regular person. Which makes it even more frustrating to have him in my class because everyone knows he’s capable of working. It would be better if he couldn’t work at all, then he would easily be moved to a BD classroom.

Anyway, it all started with a stupid pencil. I asked Tyrese to get started on his social studies worksheet and he didn’t have a pencil. So he got up and took a pencil off of a girl’s desk. One of my sweeter girls, actually. She got upset (naturally) and said that Tyrese took her pencil. Tyrese said that there are plenty of other pencils. The girl argued that she had brought that particular pencil from home and was given to her by her grandmother.

Tyrese again said, “So what? There are plenty of other pencils.” and that’s when I stepped in and said, “You’re right, Tyrese. There are other pencils. Can you please give Michelle her pencil back and take another one.”

Tyrese: “Why can’t she get another pencil?”

Me: “Because that pencil belongs to her.”

Tyrese: “So what? She can share, can’t she.”

That’s when I took the pencil out of Tyrese hand and gave it back to Michelle. And that’s when Tyrese walked away. And he didn’t come back to his seat the rest of the afternoon. He began by taking one of our winter decorations off of the wall and walking it around the room. I reminded everyone to “ignore distractions” and continue working. They continued to ignore him until he was physically hitting people in the head with the decoration.

That’s when I redirected him again and took away his points for not keeping his hands to himself and not being in his area. He continued to wander around the classroom and eventually made it to the doorway.

Let me just say that he’s trying to get attention. He wants to argue and fight and occupy my time. But I have 24 other students in my classroom. If it’s between giving my attention to one student versus 24 students, I’m going to give my attention to the other 24. I can’t force Tyrese to work without sacrificing the quality of the education to the other students.

Eventually he walked out. I sent a student to the office to let them know that Tyrese is unaccompanied in the hallway and I got on with my lesson. And you know what? The rest of the lesson was fun, so I shut the door and locked Tyrese out. Our classroom starting laughing and jumping up and down and Tyrese started knocking on the door to be let in. And I didn’t open the door.

When Principal Belstead finally came I handed her Tyrese’s work that he didn’t finish and told her this is what he has to do. Let me say, my principal looked pissed. And to make it worse she was being super sweet to Tyrese, saying, “Oh, okay, Tyrese, let’s take a little break and then I’ll help you finish your work.” Fuck that! He ends up getting exactly what he wanted: one-on-one attention and his work made easier. He’s not being held to our standards, we’re lowering ourselves to his standards.

I wrote Tyrese a detention for leaving the classroom, which is really a punishment for me because I’ll have to give up my lunch to keep him in.

All-in-all, a really shitty Monday.



4 thoughts on ““Some Kids Are Just A-holes” Monday December 5, 2016

  1. Ummm… you don’t know me from Adam, as a matter of fact, your post just came through my feed and as a former teacher I felt compelled to read. You totally don’t have to post this, I definitely understand. I won’t say much, because as I scrolled through your other posts, I have come to the conclusion that you may be in the wrong profession. Some of your regular reflections of kids are really rough. I get it. They are challenging. They can push you to the limits. The grading is overwhelming and the expectations are unreal. However, there is a grace to do this job. You have been blessed with the gift of impacting the lives of our future. One may take that lightly, but it is a huge responsibility.

    Tyrese sounds like a major handful. A hot mess!!!! I know the type. But it is so important to love the unloveable even more. If you feel this way about Tyrese, so does his mama, daddy, friends, other teachers etc… He lives a life of perpetual rejection. What if you take a different approach with him. See him as an innocent victim of whatever hell life has dealt him. Yet he is a CHILD. His brain is not even fully developed yet. He doesn’t have the problem solving mechanisms that you or other folks have. So what if instead of referring to him as an “A-hole” you saw him as a sick child that needs a little TLC. Some of the greatest people of our time, were problem children. Had issues, Grew up without the necessary tools to be a successful young adult. But there were people who believed in them. That saw there shortcomings and instead of looking down on them, they challenged and inspired them to be better. Ignoring them. Putting them on blast is surely not the answer. I am by no means excusing his behavior, but there has got to be a better way to combat his ignorance other than locking him out of the classroom.

    It sounds like your mentor teacher, principal and others are trying to help you to see the positive. To look on the bright side. I am the most positive person you ever want to meet, and I am sure you are a great gal. And I TOTALLY get the CRAZY struggle of the first year of teaching. But I can only tell it to you straight. You have to change your perspective. You have to see your knowledge, wisdom, understanding and experience as a tool to help bring people up, not a way to note all their flaws or the horrors this profession can bring.

    Your students, your colleagues and everyone else is only responding to the energy you are putting out. I am doing the same thing. I am not judging you, but read back some of your posts. Take time to examine your heart. Do it everyday. It shows in all you say and do. But remember you have a great responsibility. They don’t care about social studies until they know you care about them. They have no idea how important an education is. You do. So convey that to them through your deep desire for them to be better.

    You can delete this message forever. I totally get it. Blogs are an open forum for us to exchange. Ask yourself, would you want your daughter in your class?????? Just something to think about. Blessings to you throughout the rest of your teaching journey… For what it’s worth, I believe in you…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Perhaps the title of this post sent the impression that my heart doesn’t ache for that boy. It does. And in class, I treat him with respect and allow him the opportunity to do his very best. I was this blog to vent and to express my feelings. I feel he’s an asshole. And I don’t regret locking him out of the classroom. In fact, I feel like I AM that teacher who will turn him around because all of the other teachers are taking your “loving” approach. He needs tough love.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sounds like your approach is working… 😕😕 Perhaps the experts that are attempting to help you are all wrong… I pray no one ever refers to your child as an a$%@hole. And I pray for every child that steps foot into your classroom… and your children, and your future husband, and your colleagues who don’t have your wisdom. May they never feel your method of “tough love” being locked out, called names, ignored, rejected. May you continue to grow. Blessings to you regardless. I promise not to bother you any further…


      • Go ahead and pray for my classroom. And if my kid is acting like an asshole, then go ahead and call my kid an asshole. Tell me that I haven’t been a good parent because I don’t set boundaries and don’t discipline him. Then maybe he won’t grow up to be an asshole. And you know something? Tyrese’s mom APPROVES of my methods b/c she can’t control him at home. And the first grade teachers last year say he’s BETTER behaved this year, if you can believe it.

        Kids are assholes sometimes. I would NEVER call a kid an asshole to his face, but that doesn’t mean he’s not an asshole.


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s