Saturday, February 6, 2010

Pulling my hair out

Most kids are sweet, even the ones with baggage and family issues and disabilities like ADHD. Most kids are interested, interesting, considerate, and kind. Most kids like learning. Most kids want to learn. All kids need to learn.

Most kids are respectful and deserve respect themselves.

Four of the students I taught in my Thursday art class are none of the above. These four did not give a shit about anything, or anyone other than themselves and their own wants and pleasures. These four had no interest in anything except their egos. They did not care.

I have a feeling that their parents put them in art class as babysitting under the pretense of something educational.

I very much dislike teaching this Thursday class already. There is a persistent school/community culture of permissive discipline. Not all from all, of course. Some are really nice. Some are really sweet kids.

But in general, they are a bunch of pain-in-the-ass whiners, used to being allowed to give up on whatever they are doing because they are "tired" or "bored." From twenty minutes of drawing? Oh hell no, kids, hell no.

I had to remove these four students from the group, and from art class, today. They decided not to participate, so they won't. I sent notes home to their parents, telling them their student had chosen to withdraw themselves from art that day. The parents need to sign it and return it to me next week. I left my phone number on the note, for parents to call me if they have questions. I don't anticipate anyone calling me, but I have a ready conversation in my head anyway.

I saved these four student's art work - if scribbles and large black dots from Sharpies being jabbed at the paper repeatedly could be called art (some do, I know - but not in my art class). They were jabbing the pencils and markers at each other too. They were careless tossing my art supplies all over the tables and floor. They were rolling all over the tables and floors themselves.

When I separated them, they calmed down. They settled to reading their books, or looking at their pokemon posters, or just quietly chilling out. These are students that would benefit from something other than the type of art class the YR program runs. They do not enjoy the art we do, not even a smidgen. I have never, ever said this before, but this is a case where I truly believe everyone would be better off if these kids didn't come back next week. Or ever.

Sounds harsh? That's because it is. It's also harsh to the other 20 students in my class who are learning and enjoying themselves in my art class when they have to deal with the disrespectful disruptions of these four musketeers.

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