Thursday, November 29, 2007

To Catch a Thief

I think I have a solution to the "I Can't Stand My Kid's Current Classroom Situation" ordeal.

Yesterday, I was in the classroom doing my usual 5.5 hours-to-life sentence, when there was a stealing incident. A kid stole another kid's watch. At three separate times during the morning, the teacher stopped class. The first time she asked the kids to search their pockets. No watch. The second time, she had them take off their sweatshirts and put them in their locker. The kid whose watch it was, began sobbing uncontrollably, saying this was a watch her mother had given her and I have heard that this kid's mother died a kind of violent death. (!!!) The third time the teacher - who halted everything because of crying kid whose entire table was now involved and no one was doing any work anyway - asked me to search their lockers. As I was digging around in the lockers and feeling very conspicuous and weird about it, the miniature perp was caught and the watch found in his jeans pocket. To top it off, after all of that drama and wasted class time, the thief was not punished. At all! No missed recess, no trip to the principal's office, nada.*

My heart goes out to the kid whose watch was stolen. That poor girl, weeping like that. I get sentimental stuff like that. I have a plant my father (NOT bio-dad!) has given me. When it doesn't look well, I panic that it might die, which would somehow be like my dad dying all over again. Which is stupid, I know, but there it is.

There's another first grade teacher whose classroom I'd like to visit. Each time I have walked by her classroom, I slow down a little to check it out. Every time, I saw quiet children, attentively listening or diligently working at their desks. Quietly. That teacher is in charge, in a non-nun, wrapping-the-knuckles-with-a-ruler kind of way. I like that!

Anyway, I see a meeting with a teacher and a principal in my future. If the kid was not punished, then that makes me furious. I don't want OC in a wishy-washy, free-for-all classroom with a kid or kids who are studying hard for their debut with fingerprinting ink and a mugshot photography session. I'm also mad about the wasted class time, not to mention that I don't feel that it was right to ask me to search lockers. Not that lockers shouldn't be searched (Oops! Can of worms!) but that I'm not sure I'm the one who should've done it. Too much time is wasted with a bs language curriculum, this was the last straw. What I'm wondering is, why do I feel nervous, as though I'm about to do something wrong or bad by asking for a different classroom? Now this teacher will be all "why don't you like my class?" and hate me. But, oh yeah, I forgot I'm not in junior high and it doesn't matter. We're all adults here! I can ask for another teacher and it won't be the end of the world.


Okay. In sixth grade I was moved to a different classroom because I had a friend I talked with too much. I loved this teacher, whose class I had to leave at my parent's request. I don't think the meetings they had about it were pretty, but I don't know because I wasn't there. All I know is that after I went to the other class, the teacher never liked me. I never got that. It wasn't my fault, except for the too much talking thing. So, that's in the back of my mind. I don't want this to be a bad experience. Every day already is, yikes! This is the solution to a problem. That is a good all around. Except, this current teacher will lose my volunteer hours and newly-acquired expert locker-searching skills.

(Whoa, what is up with all the hyphenation in this post? I just noticed.)

* At least, not that I know of as of the time I left school yesterday. I will confirm this before I begin my tirade, which I have written down in case I lose momentum. Go, me!


Loralee Choate said...

Um...Yah...Good luck with that.

Here is the thing. I don't know how it is in your school district, but I would be willing to bet my eye teeth that they will never, EVER change your kid to a different class.


I saw it time and time and time again. Becuase there are ratio's and stats and divisions and upheaval.

You could talk about MAJOR concerns till you are blue in the face and I highly doubt it will matter.

I have seen it so many times it makes me ill.

I really, REALLY hope that your district is different, but really, it seems like the last thing in the world administrations like to do is listen to parents.

I'm not jaded, or anything...

Jen said...

OC it's worth a shot. If the principal is reluctant to help you then present them with your documentation of the issues (date/time, description of event).

And if that doesn't help, then don't be afraid to go to the district office.

My best advice - I know it's an emotional subject. But try very, very hard to be cool and businesslike in your communication with the principal and any other staff. That is really the best way to get your point across, "I've gotten over the part of me that wants to scream at you, and now I am just mad and want you to do something about it."

Good luck, and lots of hugs!

Anonymous said...

I really hope you can switch her, for her sake and yours. I love you and miss you! JM