Monday, February 1, 2010

The Unwelcome and Unloved

I have been struggling to write lately...the Thing that has been happening in our family consumes my thoughts a lot and is providing a fairly solid writer's block that is proving difficult to get past. In addition, compared to last year's class, this year's sophomores are fantastic. I don't really have the caliber of stories that I did last year. And I am NOT complaining about that, just saying that I don't have as much blog fodder or angst to get rid of as I did last year.

Speaking of last year's sophomores, I have some returners...(insert very tiny and completely fake cheer here), including one of my 5 Annoyances from last year's Infamous 6th period. When I saw his name on my roll, I have to admit I got a knot in my stomach. He is enrolled in my 6th period again, and while I do like this 6th period about 87% better than last year's 6th period, it is still my most challenging class of the day. I had high hopes, since the word from his US history teacher was that he had grown up a little bit. But within 30 minutes of being in my class, he was already one warning away from being kicked out.

When I have a kid like this, I doubt my abilities as a teacher. I have a tenuous hold on that class as it is and while he deserves as good an education as the next kid, at what point does his disrupton become unfair to the rest of the class? At what point am I "justified" in having him removed? Does that point ever arrive? And why is it that some kids have the ability to make me doubt my abilities?

I will freely admit that I am carrying some baggage from last year with this particular kid, but I am trying to give him a fair chance, while still cutting him off at the pass. I want him to know that I am not going to put up with what he did in my class last year. So....we'll see.

We're halfway through the school year!