The “Gotcha!”

Yesterday a colleague said:  “so you began and ended the day as the voice of reason, huh?”  I felt proud of myself in that moment.  This comment came from my mentor, a woman I greatly respect.  And, although the thought exhausts me that I often have to teach other fully grown adults who just don’t get it, I was glad to be an influence for good around here.  In the morning it was the cell phone controversy and after our teacher meeting it was the “Gotcha!”  A teacher says to me (with out even saying hello or how are you)  “So our student pulled the wool over both our eyes I guess…”  HUH?  WHO?  Speak for yourself lady!  I quickly figured out who she meant.  We have a mutual student “J” who is not doing well.  She’s a repeater and failing this year as well.  However, I managed to forge a relationship with her and she showed amazing work ethic and was a leader in my class.  Also, an emotional mess.  It’s true.  This teacher spoke about how she got in a fight with another student and her verbage was telling.  She starts with “I don’t know what the fight was about.”  So at that point, teenage girls, it really could be anything.  She continues:  “the girl looked at her wrong, or something.  She had to be removed from my class because of that then she found the girl in the hallway and attacked her again.”

“looked at her wrong”  “attacked”  powerful.  Maybe entirely true.  Quite possibly.  “And her mother is no help.”  All I know about the mother is that she called, wanted updates, wanted to pick up her daughter’s work when she got suspended.  Now, J. told me she was getting greatly bullied.  I’ve been told lies before.  Because I choose to give students the benefit of the doubt and understand that they are doing the best to handle their struggles with the limited resources they have…doesn’t mean I’ve been duped.  Shit doesn’t go down in my classroom and I don’t write students up for things I don’t see, but I don’t assume students are just bad.

This teacher really wanted to feel like she won…against a teenager.  Lame if you ask me. 😛

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