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Monday, June 30, 2008

Good Morning to You Too...

Kiddo to Me (from halfway down the hall): WHAT'S UP HOT LADY?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Can you keep your hand out of my pants please?" ~Ryan G.

"Would You Bite Me if You Could?"

And the answer to that question was: "No because you're way too dirty."

So things have been beyond crazy at work. The closer it gets to summer, the nuttier the days become. The kids are getting cabin fever and turning into rabid badgers with a considerable amount of gastrointestinal disturbance.

That leaves me with only one thing to say:

Kiddo: Miss Kate, I'm sorry.
Me: For what?
Kiddo: (long pause) Africa.

Friday, June 20, 2008

"Hey Jason...Monkeys."

The last week or so has been simply a nightmare. It's been nonstop garbage in the classroom which netted me some fantastic bruises and what I'm sure will be permanent tooth imprints on my forearms. The tension between the kids in my classroom has mounted, reaching ridiculous heights to the point where they regularly throw around racial epithets and threaten to kick each other's asses. They're constantly yelling things like, "Do you want a piece of me motherfucker?" It's also getting a class (pardon the unintentional pun) now that a few of them have discovered the joys of making sexual comments. These kids know things at the age of 13 that I didn't learn until I was...well I learned it all from them.

In that vein, one of the students decided it would be a great idea to drop his pants in the middle of the classroom. I was thankful that he was wearing regular shorts underneath until he turned his back to me and dropped those as well. Suddenly his skinny little naked butt was shuffling around the classroom. I say shuffling because his trousers were still around his ankles while he made sure everyone got a good clear shot of his rear end. Then my cop boy ran up to me and yelled, "He pulled down his pants! I'm gonna do it too! I got a big white ass!" Then smacked his ass for emphasis and ran away. At which point, the remaining boy in the class chimed in and said, "I really do have a half white, half black ass. I checked."

Of course, racial epithets are only effective when used appropriately. When a small child comes up to you in all your preppy white person glory and calls you a "nigger"...well it loses a little bit of its sting as you try to decide whether or not to laugh, or whether or not to explain exactly why it is that "nigger" is not appropriate (but "honkey" or "cracker" would have worked much better). It's even more difficult to control your laughter when a student points to a piece of paper and says, "See this? It's a white bitch. That's what you are." The connection made between the white of the paper and the white of my assistant's skin was fantastic, however inappropriate it may have been. And finally, the capper- "What the fuck is wrong with you? You white trash grrr?"

Today after taking the kids to the mall we were at a loss as to how to keep them occupied for that final, torturous hour when they all lose their little tiny minds no matter how hard we try. Salvation came in an unlikely form when I suggested to the little girl who chewed my arms into beef jerky that she be the teacher and get some work for the staff to do since we had five adults in the room and no one had a clue what to do (it was Friday afternoon. You can't expect much.). We all sat down quietly while she passed out coloring pages and crayons but we immediately started giving each other the, eye- daring one another to do something crazy. So the crayons started flying. We began teasing each other, pinching, slapping, throwing things on the floor. Ryan #1 wound up in a restraint five seconds into playing our little game and our little girl, with the help of one of the boys, dragged Ryan to "time out", or rather the corner near the door to the classroom. Then Ryan #2 began bolting out the door every time the little girl's back was turned which is exactly what she does to us! Ryan #1 ate a crayon. Jen pitched a hissy fit and left the room. I flipped a chair and rolled around on the floor. Ryan #1 hit Ryan #2 with a flip flop. And I cried when I didn't get a sticker. Our little girl took me to time out and while I was rolling around on the floor, imitating her time out shenanigans, she reached down...and took my shoes away from me! Then she slammed the door shut and told me I wasn't ready to talk! Finally I sat against the back wall after yelling and punching the padded walls. I had a teddybear with me and I made it wave at the closed circuit safety camera in the TO room since I knew she was watching the monitor in the hall. She finally let me out and I never did get my sticker...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Quote of the Day

"It didn't have dots...and he punched me in the face." ~Ryan B.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Half Day...Felt Like a Full One

Days like today certainly challenge my feelings about my profession. I came in half way through the day because I had a morning meeting and I returned to absolute chaos. Kids in time out, kids causing mayhem, kids ripping the classroom apart. The casualties at the end of the day wound up being a container of markers, the woodwork, and my cell phone. Yes, my cell phone. Apparently when you spike a cell phone on the tile floor it doesn't like it. In fact it explodes into a million tiny pieces. Who knew?

I called Vinnie today just to vent. He understands what I'm going through because we faced a lot of the same challenges at the Dark Side. Only then, we did it with an average class size of 12 instead of 4, and it took us months to build a full staff of reliable teaching assistants. Most days were an uphill battle there too and we did it with fewer resources, uphill, in the snow. This shouldn't really be this much of a challenge and yet it is.

Is it my team? Is it me? Is it simply an impossible group of kids? Is it all three? My frustration tolerance is now non-existant and I can't figure out how to rell it back in before I wind up ripping someone's head off for something as simple as not remembering to make copies!

Thursday, June 5, 2008


I learned something very valuable today. A large group of children who can barely sit still for more than 30 seconds on a normal day, are not going to sit still for two hours in the rain and cold at a BASEBALL GAME! At least at a hockey game, the only fights you'll witness are out on the ice. Not in the stands where a little girl in a purple down coat is beating the hell out of me while my teeth are chattering. Game on.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

In Omnia Paratus

Today proved a test to my personal slogan of "In omnia paratus"- ready for anything. We moved the kids into our new classroom today which has been a cause for great anxiety over the last few weeks while we awaited moving day. However, moving day was also accompanied by some classroom rearranging in which we essentially ended up with four hornets trapped in a jar.

The day started with me running around like a crazy person, preparing for a meeting that never even materialized thanks to the utter stupidity perpetrated by a school system that shall remain nameless. For the second time in two weeks I had to put aside my ability to problem solve with a difficult student because some idiot with a college degree couldn't be bothered to show up.

First to explode was the one I predicted would go first. I said the word "math" and apparently he got that mixed up with the word "kill". By the time it was all said and done, he had pitched a fit, spiked a container of yogurt, gotten naked, and essentially destroyed my pretty new classroom. Not to mention the bruises and bleeding my staff collected throughout multiple tantrums on the floor.

The second to go was the new addition to our classroom who got great enjoyment in joining the first kid in getting nekked and tearing the place to bits. Thankfully my little policeman wanna be was out of the room all day or else the place would have been trashed AND I would have had the theme to "COPS" stuck in my head.

It all culminated with me sitting in a time out room blubbering like a 2 year old. Why? Because I had poop thrown at me. Lots of squishy, icky poop. Then I got yelled at for trying to run away from a child who was trying to choke me senseless.

So...the quote from today? "Kiss my half black ass and my half white ass."