Sometimes, you just can't win.

Today started off fine. My second hour class, who had been part of the problem of the previous day, actually did their work. My LD/ADHD students did their work, other students kept doing what they had been doing, and the world was a beautiful place.

Of course, by the end of the hour the student who had her mom called the previous day decided to throw a fit and get all pissy about whether you have to do multiplication or division first in math (hint: you do them in order from left to right, unless you are a pigheaded 12-year-old). By the end of the hour, however, we were able to at least get her to finish her worksheet.

Third hour is where the escalation started. I shouldn't have done it, but I wanted to start the day off right. I talked to one of the three students who had had trouble the previous day, told him I wanted him to have a good day today, that tomorrow was past, etc. I then went to talk to the girl I made cry and her quite boisterous table-mate. I told her table-mate that I wanted to have a good day today, that I know she was rude yesterday....and that's where I lost her.

I made a rookie mistake by referring to the previous day's crapitude. I should have just let it go, I should have said that today was going to be a great day, and left it at that. But no, like a jackass of epic proportions, I decided to call attention to the fact that she was an insolent little cur yesterday (perhaps "prickly little pineapple" would have been a been a better use of nomenclature). She then went into a crazy rant about how she was going to apologize (she really wasn't) and act like an adult today (ditto), but I should have just let it go. Instead, I kept pushing until I couldn't push any further. The boundaries broke, and I lost her. I had to spend the rest of the hour attempting to keep her quiet.

It didn't help that the principal scheduled a tornado drill at 10:15, which is 20 minutes into class, and that lunch is at 10:40, so we had a completely disjointed class period. Between the drill and refocusing on our work following it, we didn't get much done before lunch.

After lunch, my insolent little cur didn't return. Other students told me that she had been taken out of lunch and was in the office. I wasn't entirely sure whether it was because of behavior or because of counseling matters (after this student's mother had a stroke, she had apparently taken her out of school for a full year so that the student could take care of her). Either way, the prickly little pineapple made it back to class with about fifteen minutes to spare. I told her I was glad to see her (in a weak attempt to build up a rapport that had been thoroughly trashed with the whole "rude" debacle from earlier). She said she was doing fine, and I told her that we had started to work on order of operations, and that she could copy down the notes in her notebook. She seemed amenable to this, then asked me if she could ask me a question. I said sure.

"Which food do you like more, tacos or sausages?"

Given that I have been 13 years old before, and given that I still watch the same type of movies 13 year olds watch, I was fully aware of the innuendo.

"That's inappropriate. Please sit down."

"What!? What's your problem? I'm not being inappropriate!"

"Just sit down. It's inappropriate. Get to work."

"You're the one who's inappropriate!"

And then the gates of hell decided to open, and demons decided to fly on brimstone wings, and students decided to talk loudly for no damn reason. While it hadn't been a great class period so far, it also hadn't been that bad. Even with the tornado drill, we were still able to do a bit of work, and the students seemed to understand Order of Operations.

What's funny about being a 13 year old is that you assume that everyone else is naive, when it is you, in fact, who is naive. My mom once told me a story about how she told her parents--whom she had never heard utter a swear word in her entire life--that "her generation" had a new word for sexual intercourse. The word started with an F and ended with what I assume should have been a mouth being washed out with soap.

Of course, I'm no better, since at the age of 12 I assumed that golf had been invented about 5 or 6 years before I started playing it, since I had never heard of it before then.

There is bliss in not knowing how unbelievably little you know.


Andrea said...

this reminds me of Nabokov minus the nymphet; thats pretty solid prose for a blog.