Thursday, April 19, 2007

And So It Spirals

I'm not sure what happened today, but I know it involved rocks, windows, the suspension room (where they were supposed to be during my lunch break), and their names being announced over the loud speaker.
They were out of my room for the next hour with my para, my AP, security, and the parent coordinator. Parents were called, voices were raised, many tears were shed. It's what should happen in situations where kids are out of line. Get what happened next.
My para left. The kids started to get out of control. (Still in the hallway, mind you.) The rest of the parents didn't show up. So they bring them in my room. Never mind the fact that I'm teaching. Never mind that kids are engaged. Never mind that I have no clue what is going on with the angry, out of control kids you're bringing in to my calm room. Never mind that you have no respect for me as a professional or a person. "Sit down at your seat and do your work." they said.
"THEY CAN'T DO THE WORK BECAUSE THEY WEREN'T HERE FOR THE LESSON" I wanted to scream! I gave my AP a do not even bring them in here and leave them like that look and she got the message - she stayed. Malik flipped out on the rug while Yahkemp flipped out at the table, mostly at my AP. Her presence instigated anger but I needed a witness. They would go off on anybody for anything. If she was leaving she needed to take them, and she wouldn't do that, so she needed to stay.
My AP and Malik went back and forth across the room. Don't engage, don't engage, it's not worth it, you've been having such good days I said, almost as a mantra as I rubbed Malik's back. He circled the rug like a lion in a cage. I circled with him, ready to stop him from running. He didn't. Instead he cried. Tears of anger...frustration...tears from being caged by emotions and so much that he can't control.
I don't know how to leave but I can't stay.
Stories from earlier in the week include fights and objects being thrown and students threatening suicide - they can't take the fear and constant threats and bullying...a student stormed another teacher's classroom and demanding that she not press charges for a PSP he stole proclaiming "I'm from the streets, you don't know who you're messin' with."
We called the social worker - she removed the student and brought him back to my room.
I'm so attached to them.
I don't know how to leave and it's not healthy.


Cavetoad said...

You're still there? Well I know you are but you should move on. I'm in a position where due to budget cuts I have to move on so perhaps it's easy advice to give. Just remember for the few bright lights you have in your current place you can count on having at least those many and perhaps many more. If you're going to survive another year you need to be somewhere more supportive. Don't tough it out because you think it'll be easier on you later.

X said...

I wish I could wave a wand and spirit you and the kids into a supportive environment.

Miss B said...

I agree with cavetoad.

As someone who's about to join the ranks of first year teachers, I will not accept a position in a district that does not have a good support system for its teachers - beginning OR veteran.

I know they're your kids and you want to do the best you can for them, to help the succeed...blood, sweat, and tears, believe me, I understand. I'm the exact same way.

But not at the expense of my mental/physical health or well being.

Miss G said...

Trust me, it's hard to tell whether or not there are good support systems in place before you take a position.
I knew my kids were going to be rough.
My principal talks a good game. He promised professional development, data driven instruction, focus on partnerships with parents...yada yada...all of the things I wanted.
School was out when I interviewed so I couldn't talk to teachers. I should have.
NYC is a huge district. I know other teachers in the same district having a COMPLETELY different experience. Talk to teachers at the school before you take a job there if you can - it's the only way to know what you're getting in to, and even then, you may not be getting good advice.