Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Of Course, It's Monday!

'monday' photo (c) 2011, Sean MacEntee - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/A typical high school Monday--a little bit of everything and conferences to boot!

The morning went well. Kids worked pretty hard on their commercials. Almost all of my alternative school kids showed up. And someone put apple bars in the lounge.

Life was good.

Until after lunch.

Two groups were working in the hall and in the reading/writing center outside of my room.  Something that goes on most every day. I was in the classroom when I heard a crash/clank.  I went into the hall...

"What?" Surly voice, surly look, defensive posture.  This was not good.

I give my best teacher stare, "What is going on?"

"He called me a c&*^%*%$er," the surly one replies (rather calmly, I might add).

"He laughed at our story," an angry young man on crutches answers, "And then he kicked my crutches!

Dealing with 16-year-old boys for quite a few years, I am not surprised by the language, but I am angry about the crutch kicking!

"I'll see you both at 2:15."

That should end it. Meeting with Mrs. Day after school normally ends a confrontation.


The jawing and posturing continue. I don't catch it all because they are mumbling under their breath. All I know is this is escalating at a rate I don't like.

I snap my fingers and point. "With me!" I command, with no room for refusal.

I march them to the office, a place where I hate to dump my problems, but this situation quickly became out of control and I needed to diffuse the situation.

On the bright side, a parent thanked me at conferences last night and said they see a real difference in their child. More confidence, more self-esteem, more enthusiasm for school. And they credit my speech class for a lot of that.

See, Mondays aren't all bad!


  1. Ah, the ups and downs of school life! Lucky for you, it ended on that positive note! We all still need a pat on the back to know we are making a difference.

    Best news? It's now Tuesday!

  2. High school . . . if only it could be all pep rally and happy days. (sigh) At least there was the high note to end the day! You are fighting the good fight, hang in there!

  3. Oh wow, you are so brave! I have to say that would take the wind out of me to have that happen. I'm glad you can find the good in the day, and know that the scene played out not quite the way you wished, but ended where you took it! Good for you for knowing what's best.

  4. You are the one who makes the choice what to take with you from a day. I am glad that you shared both the negative and the positive with your readers.

  5. I had a Tuesday that began with the first office referral of the year. I feel your pain. The ups never prepare us for the downs, and there is not enough sleep in the world to give us energy enough to equal that of the adolescents with which we work! You made the right choice for everyone involved, but it never feels right enough. I am so happy a parent noticed and articulated that your hard work is paying off in all the best, most meaningful ways!

  6. It was interesting to read about a high school "hallway incident" and about the thinking and choices you made in dealing with it. Some people have commented on the fact that being a teacher is more stressful than a surgeon in a war situation, examples like yours are evidence.