Monday, May 16, 2011


Last week my friend came to town and asked if I could pick her up from the airport.  I said, "Sure, as long as it is after I am done teaching."  So when I picked her up from LAX this was our dialog:
Friend: "How was school?"
Me: "Pretty good."  (I replied as I was teaching ceramics all day and that class is always mellow)
I added, "However, I did give a kid a referral."
Friend: "You always give referrals!"
Me: "No, you only hear about when I give referrals.  When my days run smoothly you never hear anything or it would go something like this:
Friend: "How was school today?"
Me: "Good."
And that would be it.  Good days aren't as interesting to people as bad days.  If I really told my friends how a good day went, they would be bored out of their minds.  But when something goes wrong and a kid does something they know they shouldn't and I give said student a detention or referral or kick them out of my class....that is entertaining.  So this is how the day went:

My day was awesome.  I was teaching three ceramics classes where the teacher is so on top of things that the students know exactly what they need to do and how to do it.  I may get the random question of an opinion but for the most part these students are self-sufficient.  So when I do teach these classes, I walk around and look at their art pieces adding things here and there or make something myself.  This day specifically, I had a handful of students I have had in the past so we talked about their art pieces, prom (it is this week), and college.  Great day.....until my last class of the day (which should have been great as well and was great up until the last twenty minutes of class).  Last week AP testing was going on at the high school so students were getting out of their tests and roaming around campus even though they should have returned to their appropriate classroom.  This was not the case for about six students (athletes that I knew).  One of these students was actually in my class that period, two were suppose to be in my class earlier that day and the other students were just hanging out.  I don't mind if students come into the classroom for short periods of time as long as they don't cause a disturbance or do something they should not be doing.

One student in particular who had the class earlier that day but did not attend due to AP testing is a handful.  Every time I teach this student he causes some kind of trouble.  Within about a minute or two of entering the classroom, clay starts to fly.  I look him in the eyes and tell him how I enjoyed not having him in my class earlier that day because of said flying clay.  I told him he could stay in the class as long as he did not throw anything (I mean 20 minutes of class....not that much to ask for).  About 15-20 seconds later, this kid throws a pencil (A PENCIL!) across the room.  I look at the kid and yelled, "Really????"  He denied throwing said pencil.  I was in shock.  I was in shock for multiple reasons: (1) I have known this kid since he was in the womb, (2) I have known his father since I was 10, maybe even younger, (3) I work for his father as a coach.  IN SHOCK.  The kid then tells me that the student he threw the pencil at "wanted a pencil."  Really?  He wanted you to throw a sharp object at him across a room?  I don't think so.  I didn't know what to do at this point.  He was taking advantage of the relationship I have with his father.  No more.  It was time for a referral.

On my way out of school that day, I walked by his father and gave him a heads up that I gave his kid a referral.  Since then, he has tried to find me a school to apologize and has called me to apologize.  I think he gets it now but it is too late to change the consequence of his misbehavior.  Bummer for him.