These past two weeks have been completely exhausting and my patience is about ten points below zero, I pretty much just just plan to tell my students that tomorrow and let them play computer games. Teacher fail. 

I tried to pin down exactly what was taxing my brain and soul:

.yes this week the behavior is a little crazy before spring break. nothing new.
.yes I had a super busy weekend. nothing new.
.yes I have had six day work weeks for the past few weeks. nothing new.

It all boiled down to one student.
  (For the sake of the story lets call him Bob.)

I had Bob last semester and he actually ruined an entire period with his behavior. I felt so bad for some of the boys in the room, they actually wanted to be in Robotics but I couldn't trust Bob enough to even be able to pull out the legos so we did worksheets all semester long.

I documented Bob's behavior, asked the grade level team to have a student intervention, filled out appropriate forms and learned quickly after getting chewed out by Bob's mom to stop calling home. Bob was regularly sent out of another period to my room for the entire period, we would have positive conversations but then he entered his assigned period and turned into the devil himself. This is not a SPED or LEP kid, this is a student who knows right from wrong and chooses wrong.

Fast forward to this semester he was back on my roster but this time basketball season was on my side. Everyday he showed up on time, completed work, accepted redirection and was polite. 

So f*cking polite that I was actually:

Basketball season ended three weeks ago and the devil has returned. The behavior started slowly and erupted Monday afternoon. A situation escalated to the point where Bob used his body to try and push me out of the doorway. I told Bob do not push me and he responded I don't care, teachers don't have rights and pushed me againTuesday and Thursday Bob returned with similar disruptive cursing behavior. It was also brought to my attention that Bob has been saying 'nasty and dirty' things about me to other students...I told the student telling me to stop talking because I really didn't want to know.

I submitted a referral to his assistant principal and this Tuesday he received a 'slap on the wrist' one day of ISS for being rude to an adult.

Frankly I am insulted.

I never put in referrals unless its truancy, I handle every issue in the classroom but the one time I needed an admin intervention and actually used the words student makes me feel unsafe I get nothing.

Here is where I am torn:

.I love a challenge and writing a student relationship off as unsolvable is just not in my mindset. I teach at a title one inner city school so I know the types of students that come through and know how to handle or get along with most of the student population. I don't like to feel like I am giving up.


.I have over 1/3rd of the classroom both LEP and SPED. The class is too full for CTE standards. And frankly its not fair for the students to lose me everyday to Bob's behavior. They deserve a better learning experience and he has no right to take that away.

I figure I have three options:

.give Bob the upteenth chance and meet with him in another period away from class to try and change behavior. Been done so many times last semester.

.demand Bob be taken off the roster, even if it means going around his assistant principal, my pda's appraisal.

.send Bob to a buddy teacher for the next thirteen weeks of school and hope and pray I never have him again. Something that happens at my school.

I am not exhausted or inpatient with my students or teaching but I am exhausted by one student and frankly I feel like that isn't fair to my students as a whole. To me this goes beyond just letting a student fail, something I am okay with doing, this is protecting the safety of myself, supplies and the learning environment for my students. 

BUT if I make a 'stink' about this issue then do I become that teacher that can't work with students or is unwilling to give students second chances.

The what to do in this situation has been weighing so heavily on my mind over the past two weeks that I have been a cranky angry teacher and girlfriend. So my question to fellow teachers, knowing the bureaucracies of teaching and administration, what would you do?

Cause at this point...I am just torn.

- The Babbling Box!

P.S. This post was all over the place, I blame the copious amounts of wine I need to relax at night. Judge away.


  1. Isn't it amazing how one student can totally put a wrinkle in your hour/day/year? I nominated you for a Sunshine Blogger Award today! Your honest and straight-forward style is so refreshing and I look forward to reading your posts when you update! Check out my blog for more details. :)
    Loose Shoelaces

  2. Here's where Bob is wrong....teachers DO have rights. You have the right to ask for a removal if you feel you or the other students are unsafe. I would approach Admin again and explain the situation. I'm not a union member, but if Admin didn't take care of it...I would be speaking to the union rep at my school to remind me of my rights as a teacher. Letting one student go is not failing or admitting defeat. Sometimes it's just in everyones' best interests to part ways. Maybe another teacher would be able to implement a strategy that you might not have already thought of and to better fit this student's needs. Hey...unless this child has the same last name and address as you...there is no reason for you to be torn. It's truly not fair to you or the other students that are eager to learn! My thoughts...
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  3. Alison and I must share a brain. Her response was exactly what was spinning around in my brain as I read your post. I have a Bob this year. At the beginning of the year, he took defiance to a whole new level and then started throwing things: books, pencils, desks, etc. He was smart enough, however, to not throw anything in the direction of another human being. He cursed, complained, argued, and caused so much disruption that I was unable to get through a lesson without having to address his behavior. I documented EVERYTHING. The final straw came when he hit me. That crossed a line that I couldn't ignore. With admin's help, I had a meeting with his parent to outline a behavior plan that included a modified day and a restriction on unstructured time like recess and lunch. Bob now leaves at 11:45 each day. I had to revamp my schedule so he had access to all core class work, but it's worth it. I have 33 other students to teach and he was making it nearly impossible to do so. Most days he is able to hold it together for the shortened day. When he can't, it's an immediate trip to the office. To have one child steal the learning of others because of his behavior is simply unacceptable. His right to a free and public education shouldn't trump the rights of your other students or your right to a safe workplace. As hard as this is for us to admit, there really are a few we have to 'let go'. Bob is one of them.

  4. The minute he put his hands on you to push you, you had every right to file charges of assault against him. DO IT! If you do not file a police report (and don't give me the "he's just a kid" crap), every other student will think it is just fine and dandy to get physical with a teacher. Remember, Bob's demons are Bob's; not yours.