These two classes each have seven students in them. Some of those students overlap. So really, it's going to be death by twelve 15 year olds. The first class is a reading class; these sophomores read, at best, at the 6th grade level. Not all of them are that advanced. The other class is a supervised study hall, since these students can't be trusted (in every case) to do their work on their own (some just need the extra help on homework).
The study hall is in a classroom that's attached to a very small computer lab. These computers will play a huge role in my demise. Because children CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT THE INTERNET. The minute they see a computer, they drool. All other though processes cease, only to be replaced with Myspace, Facebook, eBay, and inappropriate rap videos (seriously, how many booties shakin' in a single convertable before it's deemed too over-the-top?). The kids know they're supposed to PROVE to me that they need the computers before they can work on them. The sneaky bastards try everything in their power, however, to make up reasons to be on one.
The best part about the whole thing is that they think I'm stupid. Hello, it's Windows. I can see when you have the browser open, and conveniently enough, the minimized window even TELLS ME WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING AT. Feigning surprise when I bust your ass for being on You Tube only makes me angrier. And at this point, I'm the friggin' Hulk.
First hour is a whole 'nother story. This is the reading class... who will do whatever they can to get out of reading. The cirriculum suppliments in-class activities with a computer reading program, so with ten minutes left in class, we march down the hallway to the affore mentiond lab.
You can imagine what happens next.
It got to the point that I threatened to stop taking them. TEN MINUTES of a reading program... you'd have thought I was waterboarding them. They fought to be online: "I needs to check muh grade" (Newsflash: you're failing everything), "I needs to check muh emails" (WHY is everything plural??), "Dis one right heah don' be werkin'" (if I had a nickel for every misuse of the language that I heard in a day, Sallie Mae would have been paid off by week 2 of this job). The simple fact of the matter is, they don't care. They can't see past the immediate need/want. I don't think they can even tell the difference between needs and wants; everything is a NEED. They NEED to no be working. They NEED to talk obnoxiously during class. They NEED my foot up their ass...
So yesterday, the computer program wasn't working on all the computers. I gave them fair warning that we may not be going to the lab today. Today rolls around and surprise surprise, no one was paying attention to me when I made the announcement, so it was a venerable mutiny when I said we may stay in the classroom and read. One girl in particular, we'll call her Monica, took special exception to this:
"Giiiiiirrl (yes, she calls me 'girl'), you need to no be changin' stuff up in heah. Dis ain't yo class to me changin stuff in. We be goin' to the lab ebery (yes, ebery) day, and if they computers not be workin' , you need to be fixin' it and not punishin' us by makin' us stay in the classroom and be readin' when we supposedto be in the lab. I ain't readin'. This is bogus. YOU bogus."
Oh, how this made me feel all warm and squishy inside. The ironic thing is, this is the same girl who, not two weeks ago, told me that I needed to "be the teacher and not be the sub anymore".
What was my response, you may ask? Well, I had one of those seconds where a shit-ton of thoughts come running at you at once. Is she going to hit me? Could I take her? Aim for the thumbs... If I stand here and argue, she's just going to get louder. She may storm out. Would that be such a bad thing? No, but she can't be in the hallways while other people are in the classroom. I knew I should have given them all detentions on the first day to establish my alpha role...
I decided to take the ath of least resistance and ignored the hell out of her. She went on her little tirade and I told the rest of the class to open their books and we started reading. And guess what? Monica volunteered to read first. And she was SILENT the rest of the class period, and once we were in the computer lab, EVERYONE did what they were supposed to.
********I don't understand this mindset. They're obviously not good readers, or else they wouldn't be in this class. But the theme for the majority of my students, even the ones outside of these two classes, is "what the fuck ever, dude". Forget consequences of their actions; these kids don't even stop to consider their actions. They have no idea when they're being disrespectful, or disruptive, or mean, and they really don't give a shit. They don't care if it's towards me or another classmate. As long as their immediate NEED is satiated then what the fuck ever, dude.