Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Ahh.. the mysteries of life...

As you might know, (if you've been reading the blog for it's entire 3 weeks of existance) that I'm an art teacher. I teach middle school art. Do I hear any 'sighs' of sympathy? Do I hear rustling of paper to get a petition together to get me an immmediate pay raise? Offers of monetary donations for a plane ticket for winter break?

Well, here's what happened today... you will either laugh or cry. Or maybe send your child's teacher a thank you note- especially the art teachers- please. :D

This one particular boy is often a little tardy to my afternoon class. Let's just say that our buildings are all close enough together that there isn't a reason to be tardy. However, this 7th grade boy.. is often 'tardy.' So, today when I asked him why he was tardy he said.. (Ok, I'd suggest that you go and get a snack, grab a pillow, something to drink.. ok, all comfy now?)

He said, that he was late because he was OUTSIDE talking to a teacher. Ok, now.. this sure seems like a 'valid' reason doesn't it? However, this particular student always has an excuse, or it's someone else's fault.. (about anything) and if he was talking to a teacher.. (which was possible- but, he's been in my class since August 28 and I've learned not to take what he says at face value) AND if he was talking to a teacher- why didn't the teacher send the child with a note to give to the next teacher to 'explain why the student was late?' Or even send an email? Like all the other teachers do for any other child who was late arriving to art class?

First of all, I need to let you know that this is a child that will deny doing things AS HE IS DOING THEM. For some reason, he thinks that if he does this.. it didn't happen. Maybe he thinks he can suspend time? He is disrespectful, talks all the time, doesn't listen to instructions and then when you try to help him.. he says, "I DID that already." *Which he clearly did not do-- because I do have eyes to see with and I can tell if 'something has or hasn't been done.'

So, I said, "What was the teacher's name that you were talking to?" He said, "I don't know." I said, "What does this teacher teach?" He said, "I don't know." I then, (sensing a LIE) asked him what they were talking about. He couldn't remember. Then, I asked him if this 'mystery teacher' was a male or a female teacher? His response? "He couldn't remember." My oh my.. should I have sent him to the nurse? I mean after all- this had only happened just minutes before. Man, that must have been some conservation.. to make him have 'name, teacher sex, and conservtion amnessia.'

So, then when I told him that I just didn't understand how he was OUTSIDE talking to a teacher and that he couldn't remember who the teacher was, what they taught, what the teacher's name was or what they talked about- much less if it was a male or a female teacher!

THEN, he back-peddled and said that he NEVER said that he was OUTSIDE talking to another teacher. The other kids even started laughing at this-- because even though there are several other 'behavior challenges' that are in the same class.. they know that this student has been caught 'in a lie'... that is so ridiclous that even they have to admit that this 'lie' isn't working for him.

Well, he finally remembers that it was his MATH TEACHER and that he wasn't outside 'when he was talking to her' at all. I wrote that particular teacher an email- to ask if this had happened. I had not heard back from the teacher before the day was over.

So, my question is.. DO YOU THINK HE WAS LYING? I mean does it sound possible that all the various verisions of the 'tardy excuse' weren't true?

I just think that 'personal accountablity' is so important. When I would teach on the elementary level as a classroom teacher- I would always tell my students that two things were very true and that they would help them in life to remember them:

1. That all we have that belongs forever to us.. that can't be taken away... is
our own character. Our character defines us,
it's how we treat others, how we treat ourselves, it's our word, our honesty,
and it is up to us-as to what we decide our character is going to be.

2. I also always told them- if you do not want to stand up and say, "YES, I DID IT."
then.. that is your clue to NOT DO WHATEVER IT IS THAT YOU DON'T want to admit
to doing.

Clearly, this boy did not learn this .. didn't want to learn it.. wasn't re-enforced at home.. or something..

UPDATE: I got an email from the 'teacher' that the student said 'kept him late' and that was why he was tardy-- and she did not talk to him after class ended and had NOTHING to do with it.

WHEN I asked him about it today- he actually 'dared' to say that he had not said it was his math teacher he had been talking to that had made him tardy. I told him- that he had said this and the whole point was that HE HAD BEEN CAUGHT IN AT least 6 different excuses.. as to why he was tardy and NONE OF THEM WERE THE TRUTH! sigh.. sigh.. sigh..

I love teaching school- but, sometimes.. sometimes.. I dream of being on a beach knitting, reading, making shell necklaces, and sipping on fruity drinks with umbrellas in them. And, let's not forget the hunky towel boy (uh, man) who not only brings fluffy clean towels, drinks, but.. also gives foot massages and paints your toenails.

Ok, here's a photo.. can't have a blog posting without a photo can I?

This is a photo from when I lived in Italy 2 years ago- it's a stray kitty-- (she was about to have some kitties) and I was walking to work one morning and I just happened to have my camera and I snapped this adorable photo.

Have you ever wondered what ITALIAN KITTIES EAT?

Why spaghetti, of course!


Helen said...

I would guess, from a position of total ignorance, that he has real problems at home and has developed this as a technique for dealing with them. Does he have a lot of big brothers? And if the other children laugh at him for it, that can't help. I have no idea what I would do about it. What do the other teachers do?

My mother was a teacher, and I still have one of the letters she was sent by a grateful parent. It does happen :)

iwouldratherbeknitting said...

No, they weren't laughing as in 'making fun' of him.. but, laughing at the absurb lies that he was telling. He has just never made to be accountable-- (I'm sure that many teachers have tried-- but, he's a player and clearly the DENY-ing works so well for him- and I would expect that it works well at home or he wouldn't do it.)

I'm keeping track of his behaviors-- keeping records. :D

I've had many successes over the years-- and they do make teaching worthwhile- the others just 'drain the life-blood' from you though. I love teaching-- but, it is mostly a thankless job... you only hear things when someone doesn't like what you are doing-- it's rare to hear or receive appreciation.

I know that some do appreciate what we do- but, it just never makes it to the teachers or the principals. sigh..

The sad thing is-- the student isn't being the best person that he can be- but, that's up to him.

iwouldratherbeknitting said...

that is absurd.. not absurb(sorry, late at night causes.. letter reversals!) :D

Mandi (a.k.a MissMandiGirl) said...

Well, It's possible he was talking to a teacher before he did whatever he was doing that actually caused him to be late? LOL! I'm very thankful for Teachers and always try to show my Daughters teachers that we appreciate them. You are very brave and patient women for sure.

Patrizia said...

He sounds like just a 'naughty boy' that wants/needs to get away with everything.

I'm sure it stems from the parents and there must be a good explanation as to why he does this. I'm guessing that he lies to his parents a lot or he will get punished or heaven forbid, beaten or something.

So the poor thing carries this load on his shoulders to school out of sheer habit. He could do with a good talking to about how he should trust people more. Can you imagine what will happen when he gets out into the 'real world'? I feel sorry for him.

hehe...when I lived with my parents (we are Italian) I had a cat and mum always used to feed it pasta mixed with milk... I thought it was gross, but the cat adored it! ;)