Christie (luvtbs) wrote in schoolishell,

Damned if you do.....

The school I'm at this year has a no cursing policy. If a child blatantly curses or makes an obsene gesture it is reason for an automatic referral. Since the beginning of school, I have had five instances where students have purposefully cursed. Therefore, as per the rules I have written them up. Today, I get called into the principal's office because I've had too many referrals in the first few days.

Now granted, I am trying a different kind of instruction than the traditional sit in rows and listen to the teacher. I have placed my students in TEAMs based on a cooperative/discovery learning format which is the model the local math initiative which is an acceptable curriculum guide. Now, my first block students are struggling with the concept and I have already reached out to my mentor from the local initiative to get some ideas about how to sell the kids on the idea. 2nd and 4th have not had any problems and are doing a pretty good job of staying on task and working toward various goals.

So, what is the principal's argument. She claims I've moved them into teams too quickly allowing them free time to simply talk without enough work to keep them busy. Because of course, we all know that when kids are given assignments they are so busy jumping to do them they don't have time to think about cursing. Therefore, we should blame the teacher for giving them time to formulate a curse in their mind because it's not stuffed with new information.

Seriously though, please read about the referrals I've written and offer up any suggestions you have about how I could have prevented those curses from occuring.

1. I had stepped out into the hall to conference with a student about her attitude. When I came back in two ladies in one team were a bit loud. I walked over to verbally get them back on task. As I approached, the other obviously hadn't realized I'd come back into the room when she looked at her teammate and said "Shit, you a lie." I wrote her up immediately because of her ability to get an attitude.

2. During a class discussion over the Problem of the Week, a student has his hand to his nose and interupts me by stating he needs the nurse because he has a nose bleed. Now, I've been teaching long enough to know a ploy when I see one. I easily simply asked him to take his hand away from his nose. When he did and there was no nose bleed to cover himself he stated, "You took too long, damn." His write up was not sent immediately because I was not interupting instruction for his comment. I sent him to the office with his later in class and he didn't even take it so I had to rewrite one.

3. I was passing out text books when a student brought his back up and asked if he could trade it for a nicer one. I told him that I didn't have enough books to answer requests and that each student ended up with whichever book I handed them. Another student piped up that everyone and their mama was getting the same book. Before I could address the other student about the inappropriateness of jumping into our conversation, the one with the request looked at him and said, "My mama ain't got no damn book." Because this child seems to have the ability to be violent, I waited until later to discuss it with him and explain that he'd broken the rule. He understood and the student that provoked him was given detention for instigating a classroom disruption.

4. We were in the middle of notes on probability. After writing a statement on the board, I turned around to see a student flipping another off. The reasoning unclear because I didn't see or hear anything that would have perpetuated the incident. Again, I did not interupt instruction to send the referral, I discussed it with her at a later time.

5. A student was tardy and when I went to let him in he told me he wasn't coming to class and started to walk away. I simply stated he didn't want a referral for skipping class. As he came in he showed out by protesting not getting to roam by using the phrase, "Man, god damn." I directed him to go have a seat and reminded him about getting a detention for his second tardy. Instead of getting to work, he spent time ranting to his team about not doing my stupid detention, et cetera. I took time to do his referral and remove him immediately from the room to keep his attitude from spreading to the others.
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