What a crazy week!

It must be the end-of-the-year blahs, just a general frustration with the world or the beautiful weather making me want to be outside instead of on the computer that has kept me from posting much lately. I would lend an equal amount of credence to each of the three but I want to address the first because it seems to affect everyone in schools these days.

My malaise started about a week ago while subbing in an elementary P.E. class for several days. It was a fifth grade class that I found out after the fact that has a nasty reputation that caused my funk. This class and their crappy attitude led me to the conclusion that kids don't know consequences. This group came in not wanting to do what they were supposed to because I yelled myself hoarse trying to talk over them, then when we began playing the game scheduled for the day that the mutiny happened.

A couple boys made it really clear that they didn't want to be "yard fairies" by playing soccer. I of course took my responsibilities seriously and made them play. Fifteen minutes into the game one of the boys took it upon himself to ruin the class for everyone by using his hand every chance he got and intentionally scoring a goal for the other team. By that time I'd had enough so I made them jog laps to hopefully impress upon them that soccer was the better option. That worked like a charm! (more sarcasm)

After a few minutes of laps I gave them the option again of playing soccer. 12 took it, the others I made continue to walk/jog laps. This went over like a lead balloon, some of the girls even began to cry. The tears really flowed once I stood them against the wall and forcefully told them that math was not open for discussion in their regular class, similarly what I had planned was set.

Next day I heard through the grapevine that the teacher was upset with me for sending them back to class in an emotional state. The principal also told me that some of them had complained to him about the episode. I related my story and he was understanding but I clearly got the "you're just a sub" vibe from him.

On to my point! These kids did not get their way, complained and heard no more about it. In my time (boy I'm sounding like my grandparents) the teacher was the ruler and any sort of dissent met with fierce resistance from the higher-ups in support. Now, they got a nice talking to and it was resolved with no apparent consequences. Anyone else have similar experiences?

One thing this has reinforced upon me is how NOT to raise my children. They need to learn respect and how to make the right choices and consequences reinforce the right choices lesson!

Ed U. Cayshun


Anonymous said...

You're a curious type of educator... yelling over a group of 5th graders. Yelling over kids to get their attention never works. Standing up against a wall? Good grief, I haven't seen that since I was in school...You are right about this class going without consequences for their actions but on the other hand, it seems as if you set the tone.

Sounds to me like you might need another line of work. Doens't seem if if you like it very much.

Ed U. Cayshun said...

While I would agree with you that it sounds as if I don't like it much, but I explained that in the beginning of the post, specifically the "end-of-the-year blahs".

I would also address you comment about standing them against the wall. If it were a regular class they would be sitting in their seats, at their desks, however, this being the gym I needed to get them together, the wall is where they line up to go back to class. Hence, I had them line up at the end of the hour to get ready to go to class AND give them a thorough talking to, during which I raised my voice to emphasize my point.

Not knowing exactly how old you are I would wonder if you would have considered complaining about the GAME being played during gym class when you were in fifth grade. I know that 20 years ago when I was 12 I wouldn't have thought about being so bold and being the "fat kid" I hated gym!

As to setting the example of having no consequences, I demonstrated to them the consequences for their actions including laps and the forceful reprimand that I gave them. Those are the results of their poor choices. The real question is did they learn from it? I'd say no because a one-time lesson isn't very significant as opposed to hearing the same message over and over again from birth.


Anonymous said...


I'm a young educator (LOL - 38 with 7 years in the classroom). I think you are right. It seems that we educators are called to task for every little thing. It seems that administration takes the word of kids and parents and does not support our position of authority as educators.

I wonder almost every day if I've said or done something in innocence that will be taken out of context and cause me many hours of grief to straighten out.