chickenscratch

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I have nobody to talk to and this is making me crazy.

 

Most of you know I teach 8th grade students, plus some 6th and 7th grade reading intervention classes.  I have gotten to the point where I can't stand to go to work.  I am tired of being cussed at and threatened.  I have called parents, written referrals, conferenced with my principal and some of the other teachers.  Nobody has any suggestions for how to handle this 8th grade class I have.  It is a class made up of two other smaller classes that are students with discipline problems or have trouble learning.  They are rude, disrespectful, curse and yell all the time and today I was threatened by a gang member because I wrote his name on the board for talking. He said "I'm going to hurt you."  I immediately called the principal down. My assistant took the child out of the room until the assistant principal arrived, but administration just talked to him. He told them he didn't mean it and he was sorry, so they sent him back into my room 10 minutes after I sent him out.  He continued to cause a disruption and he glared at me the entire time he was in there like he really was going to hurt me.  I held it together until I got off at 4:30, but I cried all the way home. I am SCARED to go to work lately.  We have so many gang problems and the bullying is going on like crazy, so I am hoping nobody brings a gun to school. We've already had 3 knives taken this year and some bullets. The gun was never found on the kid. 

I can't quit my job because we have bills to pay.  There aren't any other districts here hiring... most are laying off.   I don't know what to do.

 

THanks for listening. I just needed to get it out before I exploded.


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Seems like that would be a legitimate threat and the police should be notified.  I think I would tell the principal it was going to be my next step if the school doesn't handle the problem.  There should be ZERO tolerance for this.  I'm sorry it's happening to you and is not only destroying your day, but is taking away from the students who are there wanting to learn from you.


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Serendipity: The discovery of something wonderful quite by accident while looking for something quite different.

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I can not believe the difference in the way children act these days.  Children like that makes it hard for the teachers and other ones that want to learn. This is tough for you and I do not have anything to make it better.  I hope they take precautions to keep everyone safe.

Connie

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I can't believe your principal is allowing your well being to be compromised. Your safety should be his first concern and the police should be involved. If there are no consequences they will not stop and may become worse. My neice and her husband teach in Texas and  he was being threatened by a student. His superiors acted immediately, the kid was removed from school and did not return. School is a privilege. I will be praying for your safety and that your superiors will act promptly in this matter.

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((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))  OMG, that isn't a good feeling.  

Good advice, but how you feel is a big part of if you can go to work tomorrow and not be scared to have your classroom rules enforced. 

I wish I could give you a strong backbone, and put a twinkle in your eye, instead of fearing what may be out there.  

Is there such a thing as a teacher based support with your teachers association?  I don't know how things work in your area.  

I agree it should be a zero tolerance,  Can you write down your feelings and then go in and see your principal?  

((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

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Teresa, as a retired middle school secretary my suggestion to you is to document in detail every and  each problem in class and what you did to remedy it from going further.  Calling the office for assistance.  Have a tape recorder or video going in your classroom.  You certainly do not have the pick of the litter and I have seen people (good teachers) leave the profession over having classes like this.  Some years can be great, but it is tough having your full day filled with this type of child.  Day after day.  I might recommend that you even go above your principal if there is no support for you and go to the school district administrators if there is a pattern here.  You were threatened.  No question about it.  If you can tape days of this going on (and your students must know that the class is being taped), it may be to your benefit.  My DH is a retired high school vice principal and I was 30 years as a middle school secretary and I have seen and dealt with it all.  Sometimes it was my call when the administrators were gone from campus to a meeting.  I had to call for help and the superintendent came out to support me.  After school hours, when everyone was off campus in a meeting, I had to call the police for an out of control parent who was threatening me.  He as arrested.  I called our district for help and direction.  I received a letter of appreciation and an award for my actions.  Turns out he had murdered his wife and daughter the evening before.  He was armed when he came into the school to "check his daughter" out of school and return her books.

 

I could tell you more.  You have rights to be protected as your students do.

 

Document, document, document.  Date, times, student name, what was said and who else was in class that hears what this kid is saying.  Submit it to your principal and to the district office level.  It is definately harrassment towards you from the student.  If you are being threatened, call the police and file a report.  I know how scarry it is.

 

Marilyn


Marilyn

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Thanks all for listening and for your comments and suggestions.  I have previoulsy video taped this class and shown the principal.  She says they are just hard to handle because they aren't engaged because they don't understand the material.  She doesn't seem to understand that I can't do any exciting project based learning with them because they won't behave and quit bickering long enough.

 

I have already had a conference with this boy's mother.  She said he told her I just don't like him and I'm picking on him.  The principal says he is not giving any other teachers any trouble.  I am going to video tape again tomorrow andif he says anything else that is threatening I am going to file a report.  My stomach has been upset all night and my blood pressure is up. Is it worth my health to deal with this garbage?  I guess I don't have much choice.

 

I used to LOVE teaching.


8259635bf834a637a7febcce54170daf.png Sweet T's Custom Quilting Finley, TN  (731)-445-6411 sweet_t_quilting@yahoo.com

 

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I was a Special Education teacher for 22 years. The violence at schools has escalate and is very real and scary. I have a daughter that is a French teacher in Bellevue, NE. She is a very smart teacher in the way she handles students. She uses a lot of humor. (She also has rather elite students since students that struggle like yours do don't take French!).

After the latest school shootings, I made a point to discuss her safety with her. You need to think about and plan for the safety of yourself and your students, including your assistant in your plans. If a student seems violent towards you make sure to casually stay away from him, with furniture between you. If a gun is fired in your building, can you safely lock your door, clear the area in front of the door or windows in the line of fire? If someone comes through your door with a gun (assuming you have a little time to get ready) do you have something in your room that you could knock the barrel of a gun to the floor. My husband who likes to collect guns told me this one. The first thing to come in a door is the barrel, so you stand beside the door and knock the gun barrel down and then smack then in the head. I asked my daughter if she could keep a baseball bat in a closet in her room without getting in trouble. She told me no, but she did for some reason have a heavy sword (she inherited it from the former teacher) that she could use. Make some plans to help yourself be in control instead of just reacting to the horrible situation.

Also, get some other people involved. Instead of just letting it happen to you, be pushy and assert your right to a safe workplace. Vern and plan. Document the incidents and who you talked to about it. I only lasted 22 years in Special Ed instead of my planned 30 years because of all the crap teachers take these days! I have been in your situation and know exactly what you are feeling. Stay safe and keep your good and nice students safe.

Please, know that you have our support


Jennifer Bernard

My quilted jackets are on a competition journey around the country

gathering pretty ribbons (sometimes)!

Quilting with my Millennium and playing with my Quiltazoid!

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Oh, I forgot! This fall my daughter got the worst extra duty! Literally the front door (as she called it the shoot me first!!) duty. I was not and still am not amused. We had another discussion about how close to the doors she had to be and was there a hallway or door she could duck into if she felt threatened. My smart girl moved the table back beside a concrete pillar and told me that the school had full time security officers. They do not mess around with removing students from classes.


Jennifer Bernard

My quilted jackets are on a competition journey around the country

gathering pretty ribbons (sometimes)!

Quilting with my Millennium and playing with my Quiltazoid!

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When you document any behaviors or actions, be sure to also keep a paper copy, put in a sealed envelope and date and sign it across the seal.  Then no matter what happens to the copy in the computer, or another file of paper copy you have one that proves that your statements have never been changed or doctored.

 

Keep a copy at home as well as the copies in the file at school.


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So sorry Teresa.  Will be praying for God's protection for you.


Heidi Patterson

APQS Blissed Millennium with Quilt Path

APQS Sales Rep - Educator - Authorized Service Rep

Boise, Idaho

208-861-5018 (cell)

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Teresa, as a former teacher and Principal, I understand your fear and frustration. Does your school have an onsite Counselor?  Many times we forget that a School Counselor is also for the teachers.  Can a behavior plan be made for this student involving you, parents, Principal, and Counselor? In that way everything is officially documented and behavior goals are set. Lastly, can this student be moved to another class to change the classroom dynamics?

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If I were you, I think I would invest in a bullet proof vest.  It seems that so many times, school administrations do nothing until it is too late.  Maybe you should also have a can of pepper spray in your pocket, just in case.  Sorry you are having to put up with this type of behavior.  Would you have enough quilting business to fill your days if you weren't at school?  Hope you stay safe.


Debbie

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It is sad to me what kids can get away with in school and having the parent respond the way they did just shows the attitude you face.  I wouldn't care if my child only acted that way toward one teacher, it would be COMPLETELY unacceptable.  Sorry you have to go through the stress and especially with the news this week.  We as a nation need to set better learning environments for our children.  Letting this sort of thing go on even once is just unacceptable.

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I too am sorry that you have to face this situation everyday. If it were me, I would take a stand with the principle and let him know either that child is removed from the classroom or you won't be coming in...and I'd also let the school board know about it too.  It may not be the best career move for you but when you think about what could happen...it just seems like so much is out of control anymore...

 

I was a teller once and was a bank robbery victim and I have zero tolerance for anything that involves possible violence....


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I realize you have bills to pay and this is your chosen profession....but, is it worth your health? life?? 

Complacent attitudes about troubled kids from your peers is NOT acceptable in any form.  We constantly read about kids hurting other kids, teachers, family members.  Don't be one of them.  This is serious and needs to be treated as such.  I would not wait to file a police report about the threats.  I would not wait to contact the school board and file with them as well and document everything, keeping copies for yourself.  

It sounds like you have already followed protocol in contacting parent, principle, other teachers ... document all of that and the reactions and/or actions taken to remedy the problem. 

By all means protect yourself and don't rely on anyone or the 'system' to protect you. 

I don't want to scare you anymore than you already are, but there are many ways that this kid and 'hurt' you without doing so at school.  He/they can target your family, pets, personal items such as your car, house. Don't allow yourself to be a victim.  Take your fear and turn it into anger and action. 

Perhaps talking to an attorney.  Sometimes a letter from an attorney makes the school take another look at the problems you are dealing with.  To have them say that you are the only teacher having problems, insinuating that it could be your fault, is how they like to pass the buck so they don't have to deal with it.

The school you work for, has an obligation to provide you with a SAFE work environment.  Should  you have to leave because you are in fear, then they failed to provide a safe workable environment, and you have recourse through your attorney.

Having worked in law enforcement for over 10 years I have seen a lot of things that could have been stopped right from the start if the 'system' would have taken it seriously. 


Laura

my.doterra.com/naturespoweroils

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I'm sorry you are not being supported by your admin team.    I would document the heck out of everything.  That would include videotaping your class.  I would ask for admin team to sit in on your class, or if not - have them watch your videos and ask them for support on how to deal with the class management.    If admin doesn't support you, tell them you are going to call their superiors for support - go to the top.  And call the police and file a harassment complaint against the student at the same time.   

 

Do you have a community school liason officer?  (a police officer assigned to your school that the kids know?)

 

Do NOT do anything to provoke your students' power struggles with you (name on the board, calling individual names for behaviour issues). This is not the age, nor the dynamics to do this!There are other students in the class that despite their 'tough' behaviour, will probably be willing to learn.   

 

Have the assistant escort them out of the room to the office and have the admin team deal with them.   If the assistant won't do that, call the office and tell admin to come and get the student.   Do this every. single. time.   And if you get annoying and get a letter from admin - FINE!  At least they are taking notice that you are in over your head.  When it comes time to evaluate,  you will have documentation after documentation where you have not been supported to succeed.

 

I could go on about class management tricks and tips, as well as reading strategies in small groups - I taught inner city for 10 years, but we don't have the extreme violence that seems to be more common in the US.  If you want some ideas or just need to vent -  send me a message and I can give you some ideas, or just hugs.    My biggest advice is....don't worry so much about the curriculum content at this point,  you need to reign in your class and get them on board first. Small group activities for the ones that are 'on board'.   ((((HUGS))))


Andrea  http://www.urbanquiltworks.com

Motha Stitcha on an apqs millennium

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So sorry you are having this trouble.  As a former (30+ years) high school teacher, I know how it can be to have a disruptive student.  Here is what I would do in your situation:  (1)Get a camera and film what goes on in your room. (2)  Get your teacher hand book and memorize what it says about threats and disruptive students.  Then follow it to the letter.  (3) Write EVERYTHING down.  (4) When you send a student out write on the long form exactly what was said and include every curse word.  Require a principal's signature on it that they have read it.  Keep your copy.  (5) Meet with the Principal (have a counselor present) and tell him/her you insist on being backed.  Tell them that if the office will not respond properly to threats you will call the police - as that is against the law!  Also tell the Principal you will press charges on the offending student.  Then do it! (6) Ask to be on the agenda of the next school board meeting and take the video with you.  Take along all your long-forms and how each child was discharged by the office - let your Principal know ahead of time you are going to do this.  It is time his/her blood pressure goes up too (1) All the while you are doing this search in your area for a private school job.  There are tons of private school jobs here. (2) Also, consider going home and signing up as a home-school teacher.  The pay can be what you make it to be.   (3) Put an ad in your local paper that you will tutor  (4)  Get licensed to give tests.  (5) Go back to school in counseling (6) Apply at your local Sylvan Learning Center (7) Apply at a local Community College.  Luckily I never had but a handful of bad students over my years.  Part of it was what I taught and the kids liked it.  At the end of my career (last 10 years or so) the kids would correct one another and I never had to do it.  I was tough and meant what I said and stood my ground.  But I also used a great deal of humor.  The kids responded very well for the most part. Today schools are a bit like a jail without a warden or weapon.  My heart goes out to you.  An added note here:  Be careful what you say to a counselor.....they like to gossip too.  They also like to buddy up to the Principal and let him/her in on your private meetings.  They are not your doctor nor your lawyer so just be careful.


Just Sew Simple Sylvia Blissett APQS Freedom '09 "Stitch" Circle Lord 2010 “"Until one has loved an animal, Part of their soul remains unawakened.”

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Most if not all states have a hostile workplace law. File a complaint in writing with the principal, and head district administrator stating that this is a hostile work environment and if not dealt with you will file a grievance with your union, if you have one, as well as the state labor board, give them 2 weeks to remedy the situation. Next threat notify the office and call the police and file a report. Then contact the labor relations board and a lawyer for legal advice. There is no discipline with kids a time out or a scolding is all that is done these days. When I was in school teachers had a paddle, and you knew the consequences before you did the act and if you got caught you knew what you would get. The punishment at school was nothing compared to the rath when I got home. This is not abuse it is discipline. My kids knew that if the school called me before theytoldme what they did the punishment was twice as bad. My daughter still follows this with my grandkids. There just doesn't seem to be any discipline, it oh I will talk to Johnny or my kid is perfect. I'm sorry I have yet to meet a perfect child. As a former 4H leader I seen it regularly. You could tell off the bat who you were going to have a problem with. You have my sympathies, teachers are our kids future, they are poorly paid and not respected as they should be. If you fell unsafe you should immediately call for help, if the office won't send help, keep your cell nearby and call 911. The police storming the school will get someone's attention. I forgot to mention, but most schools now have a school resource officer, our are policemen and women. Discuss it with them. If not call your local police department and ask to have a discussion with the Chief of Police.

Good luck. You have my prayers and thoughts as well as my wishes to all teachers everywhere. You are our kids future, and with some of what I have seen in these kids, heaven help us.

Shirley

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It is such a shame that the students today have no respect for their teachers...........Not all students, but way too many.  I blame the parents for not teaching their kids better at home instead of shoving them off on the schools to be their babysitter, someone to teach them manners, respect, etc.   Kids today KNOW that a teacher, Principal cannot touch them or they will get sued and the parents don't back up the teachers' punishments.   Kids and adults alike have no respect for themselves or others any more.   Very sad society we are living in now.   SCARY, too.   I knew as a kid and my kids knew it as well..........if we got in trouble at school, we were in even bigger trouble at home !   haha  No so today............."my kid did nothing wrong !!!
 


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APQS Millenium and Quiltazoid

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I am so sorry you are going through this and feeling helpless. I taught for 33 years but at the elementary level. I also had principals who would bring disruptive kids back immediately. Do you have a teachers union. You might want to get them involved. Even if there was another adult who could sit in your classroom when this group was there so you have another set of eyes and ears. But the most important thing is to document everything. You principal is useless. I bet she never taught at the middle school level and doesn't have a clue. It doesn't matter if this kid only does it in your room or the whole school. It is an issue that needs to be dealt with. Maybe the police needs to be involve.

I will be praying for you. You may have to make a very hard decision whether you want to stay in teaching or use your skills in the private sector. I really don't know if it is ever going to get better.

Hang in there.


Charlotte

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Teresa,

 

I agree 100% with everyone else. You have recieved great advice!

 

The student "glaring" at you after he "pretended to apologize to you" is acting passive aggressive. This is not anything to brush off. This kid has some serious issues.

 

From what I can see, your principal is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Your rights as a teacher (and a human being) are being violated. You were threatened. That is ZERO tolerance. ZERO!  Don't bother with the principal. The principal is in denial. You must to go above and beyond the principal.

 

You must immediately contact and report to the superintendent of your school district. I would do this in person and inform the supt you are following up with a written letter to document everything you mentioned in the face to face meeting, including the actions and behaviors of the principal including the excuses made by the irresponsible mother.

 

Do you belong to a union or are you represented by a teacher's organization? You need to discuss this wth the union rep, too. Also back all of these meetings up in writing with a letter.

 

Also pay a visit to the Chief of Police in your town and inform that you have been threatened and you are afraid to go to work.

 

I would (at the very least) meet with a lawyer to raise the awareness to everyone (principal, superintendent) that you are not messing around and you will not tolerate this abuse or excuse any longer. Stay brave. Stay strong. Stand firm. Stand firm. Zero tolerance. Period.


"Of all the things a woman's hands have made---The quilt so lightly thrown across her bed---The quilt that keeps her loved ones warm---Is woven of her love and dreams and thread." excerpt from The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt by Carrie A. Hall
 

:rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes: 

Shana in North Pole, Alaska ---- The Farthest North APQS Sales Rep  
 Always quilting with her faithful friend, Mademoiselle Madeleine Millennium, Bliss-fully skating gracefully...and having lots of fun with IntelliQuilter

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