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Entry date: 11-16-2022 - Charter part 4 - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

A few days ago, I left off my discussion of my former teaching job by talking about how the classes were set up with students who tested similarly. What a nightmare that was for me at the end of the day during the 2019/2020 school year. I can now tell you why.

As I previously shared, I taught Monday – Thursday and had seven classes each day on the first three days and eight on the fourth. By the end of each day, I was whipped. First class was at 8am and the last one ended at 4pm, so it was a jam-packed day. Before you go saying, “That what everybody else does … eight hours, you wuss,” let me just say that I would argue that every fifteen minutes of teaching time is akin to an hour of time sitting in front of a computer.

My last class two classes of each day were 6th grade classes, and they were the worst. Even the 6A class, with the highest achieving kids, was often a bit of a nightmare. I should probably break down the difference between 6A, 6B, 6C, and 6D.

The kids in 6A were mostly pretty sharp kids and fairly well behaved. They stayed on task and asked good questions. I had a few slackers in there, which makes me realize that I have missed out on telling you about how, out of 750 students, I had about 100 who basically didn’t do anything. You might think this would make it easy, just give them an F and not worry about it.


I had to fill out a document for each kid I gave a D or an F to and it was a lot of paperwork. I had to document each time I reached out the parents and what type of intervention efforts I made with each student. It sucked, big time.

Like I said, though, 6A was pretty good. Even the slacker kids in there could hold a conversation and were often at very least minimally respectful. They mostly wanted to learn and would even ask questions from time to time. They also enjoyed challenging work which was a plus. This was the same for the other grades, too. My favorite classes to teach were all A classes.

In the younger grades, the B classes were also pretty good, but not in the 6th grade. This group was chock full of a bunch of smart-ass little punks. Not the good kind of punks, either. They didn’t want to do anything and there was a group of boys in there that were just assholes. They would lie to my face, yell at me, try to get out of class to go to the restroom and they wander the halls. You name it, they would do it.

I would go into a young teacher’s room to see them on Tuesdays, I think, or Wednesdays, and she would often be on the verge of tears because of how they treated her. A few times, I stopped by there on Fridays when I was bored of sitting in my tiny office and had to tell her to go take a break because of how bad they were treating her.

They didn’t like me, and I didn’t like them. I have the chops now to have gotten them under control if I was their homeroom teacher and saw them every day, but when I was just a “Specials” teacher at the end of the day, they were done, and I was tired. It was a bad combination.

That was 6B. 6C was not as poorly behaved, but they just didn’t give a fuck. DGAF, as the kids would say. I’m guessing that I probably gave a D or F to three quarters of the class during the first quarter. This was before I knew how much paperwork these grades would give me.

There was one particular student in 6C that I really liked. He was very charming and reminded me of Hayden, my stepson, a little bit. He was super handsome and the girls loved him, but I suspect girls were not his thing. No big deal, either way, of course, but he knew that people found him charming, and he used it to his advantage. He could sweet talk the other teachers into overlooking that he didn’t do anything, but I didn’t fall for it.

Mainly I didn’t fall for it because, like Hayden, he was very capable of doing anything he wanted to do. He could have easily done the work I was giving them. I realized after the first quarter that I needed to ease up a bit. It was a “special” after all and it should be fun.

Anyway, he would figure out anything he could to not do any work and when I reached out to his mom to talk about it, she was so shocked. He was getting good grades in other classes, but he didn’t do anything in them. All the other teachers had the same feelings about him, but they didn’t want to do the paperwork, I suppose, either.

He’s a freshman this year. I wonder how he is doing.

6D, though, was my last class of the day on Mondays and Wednesdays. There was a full-on bully in that class, and he did his best, a twelve-year-old, to try and bully me at first, too. He tried to pull the intimidation act with me from the get-go and I watched, and stopped, him from intimidating many of the students in class.

Even though I went to administration several times about him, he was never disciplined more than what I could do in class, which was to separate him from the other kids. It was weird, too, because his parents were very supportive and talked to me each time I called them. His older brother was an 8th grader and was a good kid and his little sister was in one of my first or second grade classes and she was an angel, too.

At some point in the third quarter, he came clean to me that he couldn’t read. This was heartbreaking but not an excuse for his behavior. We started talking about how he could use Tech time to practice some reading and also how to use his powerful personality for good instead of bad. For a time, he was doing well, but then fell off in that last month before the pandemic hit.

He wasn’t the only turd in that punchbowl, though. There were a few that I have not missed at all. We went on spring break in March of 2020 and never went back. It wouldn’t surprise me if a few of those kids are in juvenile detention at this point. Sad, but true. They taught me a lot, though. If I had it to do over again, we would have a very different class now.

See you tomorrow.

Got lazy with this one. My bad, pimp.

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