Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hey, Teacher, leave us kids alone...

This is just not a Pink Floyd reference. Aptly, The Wall fits this student teaching thing, because if all parents knew what goes on behind that wall...

I really do not know if irony is the best word that applies here. However, consider just the facts:

  1. I cannot read music
  2. I cannot write music
  3. I cannot play an instrument
  4. I cannot sing (certainly not with style or grace)

Yet, I seem to be in danger of becoming a semi-permanent sub in Music. This strikes me as bizarre, but the music teacher is not there, it seems, anymore. I think. I have not had any grown-up in a position of authority tell me for sure. Therefore, tomorrow I expect a computer generated phone call at 06:00 from Kelly Educational. Oh, yesterday the call said for a math teacher, but I was asked to do music. Today it was social studies, but I ended up in you know where. Therefore, I am ready to launch the assault again tomorrow.

I do like the floating aides, and the administration has backed me up. The first eighth grade class was so rowdy that I asked one student to go to the office for me. A couple of minute’s later assistant principal whom I refer to as J came in to restore order. You have to know that J was a former Marine, a serious jarhead. Well, he fit the profile of a Marine drill sergeant, the kind like Jack Webb in the movie The DI. Order was restored, IMMEDIATELY. The assistant principal even used the time-honored Marine term knucklehead in his well-versed tirade. Bravo, a great performance!

One question, one comment for the blogging public out there:

  1. Why do many kids become issues in seventh grade? I notice some of the sixth graders who look like they just may become seventh grade jerks. Yeah, I know that puberty plays some role, but why the very sudden change by many (but certainly not all) into obnoxiosity?
  2. In my opinion, I think the behavior issues you see with teens and older adolescents began two generations ago, when society seemed to encourage more individualistic behavior, you know, don't worry about authority. The results are obviously glaring. I really cannot care about societal issues any more as to why kids (repeat: many but not all) act up and tend to ignore authority.

When I was in grades 6-7-8 I went to St. Christopher School in East Hartford. You never ever challenged authority. You were not to speak unless you were addressed by the teacher. When your class was changing classes, you were in a straight line. Little things you do not see any more. At St Christopher, you never ever wanted to be sent to the principal, Father Murphy. He was extremely gruff, but with a real heart of gold. I would guess that he would put it into words something akin to this: "You know the rules, what's the problem?” ...I do not ask for perfection, just a modicum of respect. A little bit...


AndreAnna said...

We live in a litigious world where if you look at a kid funny, he'll sue you. So, there's no reason to listen to you. What can you do about it? You can't punish, discipline, someone else's kids. And we all know they sure aren't doing it at home.

Joan said...

What amazes me is the fact that parents seem to challenge the authority of teachers in front of their children. I have heard more than one parent go on and on about how bad their kid's teacher was right in front of the child. Is it any wonder these students of today have no respect for the teachers in their classroom?!?!?When we were growing up, my parents never ever spoke ill of any of my teachers...and, believe me, I had a few "winners." Instead, my folks would speak directly and privately with the school principal to express their displeasure with our educational experience.

Lynn said...

When 6th grade was still in elementary school, 6th graders were for the most part still sweet, and kids didn't really 'hit their stride' and act up until 8th grade (which was the middle grade in Junior high). Now that 6th grade starts middle school, these kids 'hit their stride' in 7th grade, and many lack the 'maturity' to be able to reel themselves in and behave. Plus, as Joan said so many parents 'dis' their kids teachers in front of their kids... So much for progress.

Odat said...

They've got to learn it somewhere...maybe at home????
It's just the "the world owes me" attitude that has permeated the youth of today....I have no answers as to how to rectify this but I do give you so much credit for doing what you're doing!

Linda said...

If parents don't respect teachers at all, how can we expect students to do so?

I keep thinking that maybe I'm just falling into old fogeyism or something but it seems to me that rudeness levels have gone up everywhere - in stores, at jobs, in schools and it seems like people simply tolerate it or turn a blind eye. When did we become so rude and why is it allowed? Kids, of course, see this and figure that if everyone else can act that way then certainly they can, too.

What is the Bible says "as you reap, so shall you sow"? Apparently society is not sowing properly.

Patti said...

I'll be an old fogey right along with you then, Linda. There is a lot of rude stuff out there.
It's true that we are not sowing properly. But we can only do our small part, with our kids or other children we know.

the moose buyer said...

Hey Ralph, according to Julie Andrews and Maria Von Trappe, all you have to know about music is:

doe a deer...... I am sure you know the rest of the song!!

Obviously the school board feels the same way.

The Curmudgeon said...

My wife -- who teaches middle school Spanish -- 6th, 7th & 8th grades -- and Spanish 'enrichment' from PK through 5 during the year -- says it's hormones.

Pure and simple.

She likes her sixth graders this year -- they're 'young.' The current 8th grade, however, started in 6th grade....