Caroline in the Delta

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Feb 24 2011

Consistent and Fair, the golden rule of teaching.

So I’m in my classroom,  sitting on my huge teacher’s desk and using my Smartboard as a monitor. It’s pretty entertaining. I’m relaxed, because yesterday I came home from school, slept for three hours, planned for three hours, then slept for six more. Funny how that seems like I slept for eternity, but really it was basically a normal amount of sleep broken up in a strange way.

Today is Thursday, but Friday for me because tomorrow I’m driving to Hot Springs for Professional Development. When I planned to go to this trip, I honestly looked at it as a break from my kids. A reason to have a four day week. Now that I’m back into teaching (and a lot happier than I was when I found the opportunity)… I won’t say I regret registering, but I wish I could be with my kids tomorrow.

I’m leaving for the weekend with a bad taste in my mouth. We have a system of discipline in my school called the blue book. Fifth and sixth grade teachers use it. When students break rules, we write down what happened int he blue book. The number of warnings determines the punishment. It’s a pretty black and white system, and although in the beginning of the year I thought it was a joke, I now realize that even students with 11 and 12 warnings still really hate getting written up.

Today I had a student call another student a “rapist” and wrote it up. I hate the language my students have started to get away with in my class. They think they can cuss outside my door, when they’re staring at the floor, or under their breath. There have been a few times where I could not identify who was doing it, so I didn’t do anything about it. Lately I’m better at preventing and pinpointing it. So something like rapist is not going under my radar.

However, before that broke out, other students were saying something about “roaches” over and over. My school is not new nor that clean. We get bugs. It happens. I assumed that’s what the ruckus was about.

So my Name Caller comes back to my room at the end of the day and starts crying. He’s been suspended for the second time this year. I look at the blue book. This is his sixth warning. I wrote him up this morning. Good, right? Discipline is important.

BUT I have another TWO students that I wrote up yesterday– one for throwing things, one for constant outbursts and overall obnoxious behavior in class. Learning was much more interrupted with these two students. I wrote them up and sent referrals yesterday. It was their 9th and 11th referrals. Those students were in my class today. BOTH OF THEM.

How it’s fair that I have to explain to a student that “sixth warning means suspension, sorry” when some students are getting away with ELEVEN makes me want to cry, too. I even walked to the principal with him in an attempt to reduce the punishment to in school suspension, but it was a moot point.


In other school news, my custodial staff makes my day. I asked for a new teacher’s desk two days ago (mine is HUGE and BROKE), and today I got one! Yay! I also am moving into a new classroom in a new building supposedly by spring break. Pumped to have built-in shelves and A HALLWAY that is not outdoors!

One Response

  1. Man, that’s rough on that kid. The workplace is the same. Consistency seems rare. I’m glad you noticed the inconsistency and tried to do something about it.

    Yay for built-in bookshelves! I know that was incongruent, but I get excited. :)

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