Monday, September 29, 2003
I told my little burglar that he was breaking my heart, today.
He came to me from In School Suspension, where his actions in my class on Thursday put him, and gave me a letter. The letter was this heartwrenching account of how he wanted to straighten up but he felt like it was too late. He wrote that I was helping him to "do good" and that he was afraid they were going to put him in Juvenile Hall, now. When I caught him pilfering in the other teacher's desk the other day, I said to him, "I'm so disappointed, D. Please go outside." with a shake of my head. He wrote that when I said that, he wanted to cry.
I wrote him back saying that if he meant what he said, it broke my heart. I told him about some of the boys I grew up with that were so funny and smart, but made all kinds of stupid decisions. I told him that a lot of them went off to Juvenile Hall and never really came out. I told him that I worried, because Juvie can be a direct funnel right into prison and that I wanted him to really think and start choosing better things.
And before this, I had watched one of my best students insanely attack another one of my students in the lunch room. It was so ugly, she was really out of control. Both girls were escorted out by the police, sobbing. The girl who attacked the other one won't be returning. It is her third fight this year and they have all been described as "vicious" and I believe that she will be expelled. This is the same girl who yesterday made me a clay "fossil" in science class and brought it to me tenderly wrapped in a paper napkin. She apologized about how the glitter was "mussing" my desk. It is hanging by my desk, but she is gone.
Good Lord. Today, in one of my classes, I only had 10 out of 17 of my students present. Most were gone due to suspensions and expulsions and one burglary.
I don't hate my job, anymore. But I am getting more sad. I don't know exactly what to do to get these kids to just stop fighting. They fight everyday. I fought in Junior High, but this is all these kids do. They can barely attend class due to it.
But, on a happy note, my friend Julie is going to visit me over the weekend and I get to take Friday off! We are going to watch some of my students perform in a Step competition and go to a skating party on Saturday. God bless roller skating! ¶ 6:00 PM