Thursday, December 14, 2006

Kids These Days

So the holiday vacation begins at the high school! Today the students in my classes took their exam, but you wouldn't have guessed that happened if you just walked by. They were running around, screaming, aruging, laughing--especially if I expected them to take a test.

The room next to mine is cursed. If anyone asked me to move all my stuff over there, I would quit instead. My first year here, I would hear yelling, screaming, even loud, knocking sounds, coordinated laughter--even sounding like construction was occurring--bizarre-- because another first-year-teacher was attempting to get them to do anything. Now, a veteran teacher who has been teaching past his retirement for several years is in the room with the same noise. I can't believe the noise from that room can be so chaotic, and so similar in different, consecutive schoolyears.

My students were o.k., but slightly crazy stuff seems to happen all the time. Of course they continued to act crazy for about the first 25 minutes of class. Some of the students insist on calling me "A Money," by my first name, dude, dogg, etc. I mostly ignore it, insist that they call me by my "government name," that they are "too little" to call me by my first name. Some of them have slowly cursed enough and managed to saying stuff like, "Mr. A********, I can't find my shit" or "What are those motherfuckers thinking?" The second one--you might expect--would sound extreme, or violent, but it was innocent enough--the student mumbled and obscured his words in hip-hop jive. I managed not to hear that.

Some of the teachers around here have them scared, and I'm thinking about doing that next year. One middle-aged lesbian teacher has them scared to breathe. I could get something going, but I just let most things happen, because their resistance can make them act extremely immature--a macho student will cry when his lie is exposed--boys and girls will hit each other and scream and laugh--kids will purposely do things to mess everything up. I'm blogging because I always think if I were to find someone at a random meeting, they would never believe what goes on in school. Ten years ago, when I was in high school, I never saw anything such as this. I remember thinking, "Kids these days" on my very first day of teaching at school. The students act so bad! 3 of 4 high-school students, in my opinion, leave the school day with a negative experience--their first teacher of the day asked them to wake up and they sassed her, their second teacher has them scared to death they don't get anything, my class is third and they slept through it, and they ran around in the veteran teacher's classroom for most of the last block scheduled, 90 minute class. On most days, they do not do any homework. Many students never do anything at home, and still pass all of their classes. The first time I assigned homework one student out of the 32 in my classroom had it the next day. The rest of them laughed.