I had to physically separate 2 boys who were on the verge of a fight in my class yesterday! I was surprisingly calm.. I guess because this wasn't the first fight to almost happen in my class (2nd) I am a pro at handling these situations. YEAH RIGHT. I got a sure of adrenalin and my mind took over my actions. On the one hand I love these kids. They are poor, and lack all or most of the advantages I had as a kid - parental involvement, security at home, a safe neighborhood, etc. I try to put myself in their shoes. So far, I can only imagine what they are going through.
The education system thus far has also failed them. They are 8th graders who read at a 5th grade level. They have been allowed to do things like, keep their notebooks in class because "they aren't responsible enough to take them home and remember to bring them back. That was shocking and scary. If they aren't required to do better than that they won't. I told them to take the notebooks so they can learn to responsible. The notebooks in class is an insult to the kids for one thing. Secondly it enables lack of responsibility. I won't do that. They are going to high school next year and then out into the world. My boss doesn't keep my work materials in his office because I can't be trusted to remember them. In fact, I would lose my job if this were the case.
I am angry. The world tells these kids they "can't do or be" certain things. I refuse to participate in that.
If I can offer a message to the universe...let these kids learn from their mean and crazy history teacher that they can be responsible and do more than they have been told they can do!