In Her Shell
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
  Good And Bad Things About Being A Teacher
First the bad: today I had to deal with my first mean girl situation. Amazing that in six years I have not had to face this before now. One of my sweetest students came to me on Friday after school and told me that she was being harassed by three of my most irritating students--no surprise. Maybe it's my inner 13-year-old, but I managed to get increasingly more worked up and nervous about the confrontation as the weekend wore on. Last night I had a nightmare about it. I didn't want to make the situation worse for this girl, and it's so nebulous; I thought about calling a parent and trying to explain how his daughter was bullying someone: whispering. Giggling. Plus I think I'm still a little scared of the mean girls. Pathetic. But I was the grownup and confronted the ringleader today, in general terms, about her behavior toward other students in the class. She was clearly taken aback--this is the kind of successful kid who is good at snowing most teachers--and said she understood, but looked pissed. I stayed composed, but felt shaken.

On the up side, I got one kid to give me a cookie in the morning, and in the afternoon I made a girl share her clementine with me.
"Today, my English teacher bullied me out of a cookie. And this afternoon she took my friend's fruit. She's worse than the mean girls."
I'm proud of you WT. I still feel 'bullied' by some of the 'mean' types who I hired! what does THAT say?? Happy Thanksgiving - snix
nice wig janis, where'd you get it?
you know how i deal with mean people? i let them step on my neck for 3 years.
what? there's another way?
JAG: Ha! My position of authority in no way affected their decisions to share food with me when I lingered over their shoulders saying, "What have you got there? Do you have chocolate?"

Snix: I feel you, sister! At least we are in the power positions now. Take THAT, mean girls!

HB: You are an inspiration.
We have a mean girl clique in the 10th grade, made worse by the fact that one of the girl's mothers is a teacher at the school. I had to deal with them last year and the mom was completely oblivious to what a snot her daughter was. Girls are vile; I much prefer teaching boys.
Shaking down kids for cookies and clementines sounds pretty mean to me but since you handled it with aplomb, I forgive you. :-)
Lu: Me too, but how sad, right? Lately I've been feeling like single-sex education might actually have some merit, and I used to be totally against it.

Dale: Since you used the word 'aplomb,' I forgive YOU! Also, for the record, a student offered me candy today and I declined.
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