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May 18, 2016 / sharoncopy

A Bad Day

This is the first time that a Music teacher opportunity went badly. Apparently this particular 6th grade class is a pain to deal with. From the very start, it was mutiny – 6-8 people consistently disrupting and refusing to participate. Once I kicked a couple of guys out and we actually got down to the business of listening to music (ironically, one of them was “If You’re Out There” by John Legend)¬†and singing along with it, the kids who did sing along were heckled by the ones who didn’t. Then the office sent back the kid who was the biggest disruption (what good does THAT do?)

Fortunately, the next two classes went a lot better, and I’m sure it helped that by the time I had heard the songs a few times I was able to sing along also.

Then came the afternoon. I’m pretty sure that the kids wrote a letter to their teacher and all signed it, explaining how mean I was. Imagine that I refused to let them continuously wander around the classroom and kept insisting that they work on their three assignments. Unfortunately, the teacher made these assignments due on Friday and next Tuesday so the kids stated outright that they did not intend to spend much time on them today. Yet – we had an hour and a half to fill up. I did not allow them to sit on the carpet to read – because I couldn’t see all of them when they did so. How do I explain to them, when they confront me with “Why are you treating us like Kindergartners?” – how do I explain that 1 – they get the treatment they earned, and 2 – the Kindergartners don’t dare act that silly, rebellious, lazy and disrespectful. I did try the first part – the second comment would have just been gasoline on the flame.

So – as their teacher wished, I insisted on quiet. As was necessary to keep them from messing around, I made them stay in their seats. And some of them actually did some work.

I’ve canceled my next three times in the sixth grade classrooms at that elementary school.
It’s likely enough that other opportunities will arise (e.g. I had my choice of five places yesterday afternoon).

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