Monday, November 19, 2007

Dear Homeroom

Last Thursday the kids went absolutely ape-sh*t. I've never seen anything like it. Somebody stole ChakaKahn's purse and hid it. A group of boys all told her to look in the closet where she found it. I told them to fess up, but nobody would.

"Then we'll all stay after school tomorrow if someone doesn't tell me in the next 10 seconds"
....

Ooops, the minute that sentence came out of my mouth, all hell broke loose. Kids screaming (not yelling or talking...I'm talking blood-curdling screaming), running around, throwing bookbags, knocking over chairs. I've never seen anything like it. Teachers passing by in the hallway rushed over to my room to observe the catastrophe, and Ms. Mathy-Math removed her waiting students from the hallway to another room. I was pissed. They would not calm down after 10 seconds or so, so I turned off the lights and SCREAMed at the top of my lungs for several seconds before they stopped yelling.

I told them they would all be lining up outside in the schoolyard at 8:45 (as opposed to 9:00) and they better not have anything to say about it, and that until their behavior improved in homeroom and in the classes, we will continue to do so. (humph!)

Welllllll....oops, I forgot I had a huge meeting the next morning at 8:00 so I figured I'd just blown my imposed consequences. Shoot!

They left and I vented my frustrations on the chalkboard.

Dear Homeroom,

Your behavior is unacceptable. You are constantly disrespecting Ms. Happy, me, and your fellow classmates. I have had enough. From now on, we will have silent homeroom every morning and every afternoon until 4:00. Do not talk to me. Do not talk to each other. If we cannot respect each other, we must not interact. If you have anything to say to me, you can write me a letter.

Sincerely, Señora


The next morning, Friday, I attended my meeting at 8:00 and when I came out at 8:50, I went to my room to discover all but three of the students sitting there in absolute stunned silence. Walking down the hall, I did not even realize that they were in there and I was actually startled when I found 29 bodies sitting there. I put down my things, completely ignored them, and walked downstairs to collect any stragglers (Thumbs and two others) who I also did not speak to. I walked back in (again to absolute silence), wrote the lunch on the board, and finished with a list of simple instructions on locker procedures for the morning. Not one word was spoken the entire eighteen minutes.

So, did I win? I'm not sure yet. We had "silent homeroom" all week long, suffering minor disruptions only from the two worst students (34 total kids in my homeroom). Monday is the first day that we will return to normal. I do know this. The past week they have been ready for class and dismissal on time every single day, which is much more than I can say about the previous six weeks of school.

1 comment:

jose said...

Wow, you're a problem. I love it.