It's tempting to ignore things that reflect poorly on your teaching when you're writing a blog, but when I started this project, I decided I wanted to be honest and open about my experience. With that in mind, I'd like to share something a student wrote about me in the classroom. The assignment was to rewrite something they wrote from the perspective of another person. This student chose me and the view he presented isn't flattering for either of us:
"Dale (name changed) I hate you, you truble making kid. Your Just gona be a pice of crap garbage guzzler when you grow up. That is if you get out of the pen. I will hate paying Taxes because they will go to feeding you in Jail. they should feed feed you moldy bread and let rats in your frame of a bed." (spelling and grammar mistakes were left)
Now this is a student who I get along with fairly well. He isn't very motivated to work and I have to tell him to be quiet and to behave himself on a daily basis. He's funny and apologetic when he does something he knows he isn't supposed to do, but he'll do the same action again without fail. He just never learns to quit. His disruptions have gotten better as the year has gone on, but he's still a handful in class.
I'm not sure if this is how he really thinks I see him or if this is his attempt at humor. I've never suggested that he was going to prison. In the past, I have tried to tell him that I could see him being successful someday. In another story he said that he would probably die in a drunk driving accident and I said I didn't think he would.
I'm not sure if this perception has to do with the fact that I have to remind him to adjust his behavior everyday or if he really thinks that I see him as a worthless person. If that's so, I'm disappointed in myself for not dissuading that perception. As a teacher, you have to balance being a supportive role model, and being an authority figure that requires respect. I feel as though I'm loose enough with my discipline as it is and to go any further would break the tenuous hold I have on the classroom management. I prefer rapport over the rod, but I have to draw the line somewhere and with Dale, I've had to draw it on a regular basis. Most likely Dale is going to forget this, but it's giving me something to reflect upon as the week progresses.