In which it wasn’t supposed to be a good day

Here’s what was supposed to happen today: Spend all morning struggling with seventh graders fresh off a four-day weekend, who happen to have a test tomorrow, a test where I unfortunately am far more invested in their scores than they are.  Immediately after school, have a data team meeting.  At six– which gives me enough time to go out and grab something fatty and gross for dinner from someplace nearby– spend another hour at school for the seventh grade’s Parent Night, an event that historically has been impossible to project attendance for– that said, I am projecting an attendance of zero, which is embarrassing, and also probably means that attendance will be a hundred and I will look unprepared.  I have a presentation and am running an activity.  This will last until seven.  I am doing this because I am a team player and I care about my building; I am really, really not looking forward to it.

Then go home, spend six seconds with my son, and basically go to bed, because I’m still all beat to hell from spending all day yesterday throwing cement board around.

During homeroom, my boss walks in and waves me over to the door.  First, he tells me that our after-school meeting is cancelled in favor of the all-day thing we’re doing on Thursday this week.  Then the awesome thing happens:  “Thinking about postponing Parent Night, too,” he says.  There’s bad weather coming tonight.  I do everything short of literally falling to my knees in the hallway begging him to follow through with this plan.  Hey, wait!  Maybe this will be a good day after all!

Halfway through Success period Kid #2 of The Kids who are Always Suspended and are Now Both Expelled strides into my class and loudly announces that he’s back, thus literally managing to do something wrong and annoy me the very second I become aware of his existence.  Jihad was expelled for the last month and a half or so of first semester; I had been told that he’d been strongly encouraged to go elsewhere and as of last Thursday my assistant principal was still telling me she was pretty sure he wasn’t coming back.

Really, universe?  You give me my evening back and then put fucking JIHAD back in my classroom?  You’re fucking kidding me right now, right?  Whose Wheaties did I piss in this morning?


He needs to know what Success group he’s in; fine, go to Teacher X, just get the hell away from me.  After Success ends I walk down to Teacher X’s room to let him know my reasoning for having done this terrible thing to him.  By the time I get back to my room, Jihad– who has just missed something like seven straight weeks of school— is already making as ass of himself in the hallway with another kid whose behavior has been more or less on point since he got kicked out.

Relevant point:  I have not written so much as an ISS referral in 2014.  No detentions, no office referrals, no ISS time-outs.  Nothing.

He managed to make it through math.  That said, his influence was felt; first and second hour were the worst-behaved they’ve been in weeks– which is what Jihad does.  Not only is he personally a shithead, he makes everyone else around him worse-behaved than they otherwise would be.  He got put in ISS on a time-out during 3rd hour.  I had to personally refer him to the cafeteria after third hour ended because he was trying to start some shit with some kids in the hallway, and after lunch he decided to run his mouth to one of the eighth graders (with thirty or forty kids, all hooting and hollering and expecting a fight, in between him and the other kid, which is the only way he ever runs his mouth) and I personally took his ass to the office.  He, naturally, blamed me for the entire encounter– I apparently left my classroom, walked all the way down the hallway, then took him to the office for nothing more than putting his arms above his head.  I have time for that!  I do it every day.

Apparently Momma decided to buy his line of bullshit– surprise surprise– and I put a quick end to it by pointing out that the entire interaction was captured on video.  Which it was.  And said video entirely confirmed my side of the story.  Because, as it turns out, I do not leave my students to walk halfway down the hall to take a kid to the office for waving his hands over his head.  I am, however, rather likely to go down the hallway to get a kid who is obviously trying his damnedest to instigate a riot and haul his ass to the office.

Momma did not enjoy our parent conference; Jihad managed to make it through barely half the day (there are four class periods after lunch) before being suspended for three days, and stormed out of the office insisting that she was withdrawing him immediately.

I feel compelled to point out that this is not the first time I’ve heard that.  So we’ll see if he actually drops off my roster.  But if I don’t have to go to my meeting, don’t have to go to Parent Night, and I’ve seen the end of Jihad?  That’s a good day.

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Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.

3 thoughts on “In which it wasn’t supposed to be a good day

  1. I love your narrative regarding Jihad, he sounds like a little terror. But, if it provides any light at the tunnel. I used to be the nightmare that drove teachers to drink as a youth. My English teacher/nemesis from high school is now my friend who I hold in the highest regard more than 20 years later. I spelled out how much she changed my life in an article I wrote after the Newtown tragedy.

    You are appreciated as you have a thankless job that you aren’t given enough kudos for! Thank you!


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