[Teaching Stories] So Very Many Things

Although a short week (for me), this week held very many things to think about, deal with, look up, figure out, wonder about, come to terms with, understand, or fix.  Here is a list of things off of the top of my head.  Each of these things is directly related to one or more of the 22 students in my classes.

  • How do you convince a kid that finding the Greatest Common Multiple of two numbers is actually important?
  • What do you do for an 8th grader that is reading at the first grade level and on their way to high school?
  • What do you do for kids that are almost certainly involved in child prostitution?
  • How do you provide educational support for your students who are currently in juvenile detention?
  • What do you do for a student who reports having been pregnant recently?
  • How can you get enough therapy for children with emotional disturbance?
  • When does Oppositional Defiant Disorder become Conduct Disorder and does it matter?
  • What is the teacher’s role for children who’s parents do not provide doctor prescribed medication?
  • When do “yo mama” and “Viagra” jokes become sexual harassment?
  • How do you talk a kid into coming to school if their guardians won’t make them?
  • How important is it to uphold the “no gum chewing” rule?
  • What do you say to a little girl who has been taken from her home the night before (for accusations of sexual abuse)?
  • How do you tell a kid that his shoes smell so awful you can smell him coming down the hall?  Especially if, when you let the parent know that it was an issue, she was certain is wasn’t the shoes but the fact that he is incontinent?
  • How hard do you push the little girl who has been crying all morning?
  • What do you do when your dog pees on the disgusting couch you have in your classroom?
  • How do you get rid of a disgusting couch from your classroom?
  • How do you balance the role of teacher and the role of proxy disciplinarian? proxy parent?  proxy counselor?
  • At what point to stand your ground and make people do their own job–even if you know it will mean kids get less than they deserve?
  • What should you do with the information that your students are STILL behind on the state standards?
  • How do you get a parent signature you are required by law to have from a parent that won’t respond to your calls or emails?  
  • How do you react when you find out from everyone else that your school might be relocated?
  • Should you let kids come in to your room during your planning time if that is what they consider a privilege? Or should you get your work done?
  • What do you do when another staff-person undermines you in front of your class?  Do you show the kids how to be gracious, or how to be strong?
  • Where do you draw the line when a student has been hit or beat up 9 times in 5 months by 7 different students?  
  • What do you do when a child may have just faked a seizure in order to get out of detention?
  • How long do you ignore the student who has clearly called you a bad name or five and has just buried the detention form in the dirt–in front of you?
  • How do you respond when your male students say “oh good, the girls are gone, let’s have a fart war!”
So there you have it.  As always, advice is welcome, smart-ass comments are expected.

3 thoughts on “[Teaching Stories] So Very Many Things

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