Kevin has been a problem child at my school since day one. Profanity is at the bottom of the list of concerns regarding Kevin. He frequently disrupts the learning process, uses stereotypes, has anger issues, talks about getting high 24/7 and quite frankly, exhibits behavior which would lead one to assume he does not want to be in school. For a majority of teachers, he's a royal pain in the ass, although we may not admit it. There are teachers that care about his small successes - personally, I haven't seen any in my classroom (but that's just my class). But since when is it acceptable to only show success with teachers that you can "connect" with? That sounds like a spoiled brat to me.
Honestly, at first I didn't know where I stood with him. But now I do. I can see through the daily bullshit and I'm sick of it.
"Mista, Imma be good today and take notes and shit."Two minutes later, Kevin is disrupting the class and preventing others from learning. It's quite clear his math skills are so low that he'd rather be anywhere else (including the Dean's room) than my classroom. He also has trust issues: I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm out to "get" him, even though I've gone out of my way to make sure he knows I'm on his side. I want him to pass and I want him to graduate.
When he's not being disruptive or taking 20 minute bathroom breaks, it's all an act. When I call on him to catch him while he's disrupting the class, I get this gem:
"Yeah, um, then you find the uh, perimeter to get the area. Length times width times height."Using keywords and phrases I use in the lesson and then vomiting back to me in a completely wrong manner. Bullshit 101. Actually, not really: bullshitting would at least make some sense. This is the old trouble maker strategy of using-words-I-hear-the-teacher-use-while-I-fuck-around-to-make-it-seem-like-I-know-what-I'm-talking-about.When I correct him:
"Yeah, that's what I said. Man, I'm so fuckin' good at math!"This is usually followed by some obscene comment to distract the other students from realizing Kevin has no idea what he's talking about. The past two days, Kevin has disrupted my class a little more than usual. After asking to use the bathroom about nine times as soon as the period started (he always asks, comes back nearly a half hour later, and then just messes around), he left the classroom without permission (swearing at me under his breath - which is fine, really). What pisses me off though, is his "whatever" attitude towards education (hurting everyone else's as well). I'm seriously done with sacrificing everyone else's attention span to be considerate. Not this trimester.
So, I locked him out:
"Kevin, you clearly don't want to be in class and learn. This tells me you have no interest in graduating. Don't even try to come back. Don't look into my classroom. Go straight to the dean. You're not in trouble. You just lost your privilege to be in my class."The kids who I usually lost because of Kevin's disruptions, actually learned today's concepts as per their assessment results. I was thrilled.
Am I a bad teacher to Kevin for doing this? Maybe. But you know what, maybe this school isn't for Kevin. He needs to reconsider why he's even here. This school has given him countless chances on top of giving him the opportunity to accumulate credits rapidly in order to graduate. Maybe school isn't for Kevin. Only Kevin knows and his actions speak louder than ideas or words.
I'm tired of playing teacher, mentor and school psychiatrist. We really need one.