The first semester of school is coming to a close and there has been a whole lot of crazy that has happened.
1. I get it. Kids love their phones. I mean love. Will do anything for them. They spend ridiculous amounts of money (probably their parents or their boyfriend's/girlfriend's money...any way you look at it A LOT OF MONEY) on these phones. And WOW do they get mad when you ask them to put them away. As a sub, I have two pretty simple rules: put your cell phones away and respect the classroom. This last rule kind of puts many rules into one (i.e. don't swear, do your work, be nice). The first rule is because I am a sub and if an administrator comes into my classroom while subbing and my kids are texting or even talking (which some do!) while in class, well that is a big "no-no" for them and I am held accountable. So this is what happened:
I am subbing for a class where the teacher has left a video for the students to watch (surprise, surprise). This in itself is not something new. This is normal for substitute work. However, in this classroom there is a student who is blind. Now, she can't "watch" the film but she can listen to it and get the information presented. (I don't know about any of you, but have you ever tried to listen to a film? Not the easiest thing to do.) I ask the class to please put their phones away and pay attention to the film. This means no talking. The class is very chatty. I ask again to stop talking and to put the phones away. Then I see this girl texting on her phone. I ask her to give me her phone. She says no. Then I tell her to give me her phone. She asks, "When will I get it back?" I tell her it depends on when she gives me her phone. She makes a huge deal about this, walks up to the front of the class, throwing a fit, and hands me the phone. Instantly, she holds out her hand and says, "Do I get my phone back now?" I ask her to have a seat. She gets louder. I instruct her to have a seat. She gets louder. I tell her we will talk about it after class. After class she approaches me and demands her phone back. She starts yelling at me. She is getting pretty aggressive at this point. I tell her I will give it to her administrator after school. She is yelling and yelling and I am thinking to myself, this is not going to end well. She leaves.
At the end of the school day, which just happens to be the day before a long weekend, she comes back to my classroom. She follows me to the front office. They inform me I have to write a referral if I am to turn in the phone (the school has a no cell phone policy). For 20 minutes I am walking around the building, looking for a referral and her administrator. I return to my room to fill out the referral and she starts banging on my door like she is the police! She keeps banging on the door like that is what will make me open the door. She gets on her friends phone and is yelling while banging on the door, "Mom, do you hear how loud I am banging on the door and she won't answer it!" Well, yeah. Why would I do that? I finally get a staff assistant to detain the girl and she is still yelling at me.
The girl's phone was worth $600 (according to the girl). Why on earth would you bring something that expensive to school?
2. Kids think they are awesome. Kids think they are always right.
I was subbing for a class that is known for being a little loud and at times out of control. The class was not too excited that I was holding them after for being so rude and disrespectful. One kid decides to "give me the finger." I dismiss the class except for this one kid. I ask, "Really? The finger?" He responds, "I don't know what you are talking about, but if I did give you the finger, you deserved it."
WOW. When did that become acceptable for high school kids to do to their teachers? And when will kids learn that the teacher always wins. Kid got a referral. Kid has been nothing but nice to me in every other class I have subbed for him.