Tuesday, March 28, 2006

all i can do is joke.

i really don't even know what to say to/about this, so i'm just going to tell you what happened...no commentary from the teacher's desk...okay, minimal commentary from the teacher's desk...what you would've heard/seen had you been a fly on the wall:

me: for those of you who weren't here yesterday, we're working on an in-class writing prompt. i want to know what you think women's role in society is.

i begin taking attendance, and my students chat. one had just gotten back from a trip and was talking about it. i've learned to give them a few minutes at the beginning, and they work for the rest of the hour. angry kid didn't like that.

angry kid: shut up!! no one even batted an eyelash. shut-UP!!

me: angry kid, i don't want to hear you yell "shut-up" again. it's disrespectful. at this point students were working on their assignment, brainstorming in small groups. i really didn't want to end their discussion because it was actually really interesting, so i suggested, angry kid, why don't you go to the library to work. no one else's discussion will disturb you there.

angry kid: no, i'm going to stay here.

i continue to take attendance.

angry kid: i'm going to the hallway to work. at this point no one was even talking, but he left...and on his way out, he apparently handed football star a piece of paper.

a few minutes later, i hear laughing and whispering. when i ask what is going on, football star (who is also my student aide during another hour) hands me a sheet of paper and tells me he thinks it's a threat, but he's not sure.
angry kid has written on the sheet of paper, "go forth and apply a shaving implement to your wrists."
a. we just finished reading shakespeare, so i believe that's where the poetic language comes from.
b. yes, he actually instructed another student to go slash his wrists.
c. football star has been in too many tackles and didn't get what it said.
i wanted to laugh and was totally disturbed at the same time.
this kid is angry. we've had several run-in's in the past, and he's had issues since he was young. i don't put up with his disrespect, and that's a problem for him.
he has this game he likes to play where he does a "silent protest." he sets his head down on the desk like he's sleeping, but he isn't. he's passive-aggressively pissing me off.
and everyone says, "that's just 'angry kid'". well, that's unacceptable behavior.
any suggestions on what to do with this boy? i don't want to do anything confrontational because, quite frankly, he scares me.


shortone said...

I wish I had some insightful words of wisdom...all I know to say, as usual, is hang in there. The hardest ones to reach are the most memorable stories you'll be telling your grandkids one day! :-)

Anonymous said...

You should probably show the threat note to a guidance councellor or principal or something, just in case this blows up in someone's face someday...

M said...

despite being angry is angryboy someone you can talk to individually and/or have a good relationship with? You could take him aside and try to find out why he's so angry and if it seems to be a good reason (ie: he's not just being an obnoxious twerp) then you could have a strategies plan where only you and he know about the actions he takes to avoid getting too angry (ie: he can take a 5 mintue break or something) - in return he has to stop being a freak in the classroom and pay attention when you need him to. Or even like a behaviour management plan where avoiding acting out on his anger results in some sort of reward...??

Not sure if this would work. High school kids are a whoooole different barrel of fish it seems.