Wednesday, March 21, 2007

And For Some Kids, Only A Swift Kick In The Ass Will Do

Okay, I know I just talked about tardiness yesterday, but I have another tardy story. Rest assured, however, that it is not my intention to turn this blog into an all-tardies-all-the-time kinda place -- at some point I plan on talking about politics or telling stories about my weird-ass family or writing a mean letter to some retard who wrote a letter to the editor and, of course, posting pictures of cute little puppies.

So.

I have this kid (we'll call him D) who's late all the time. I mean EVERY fuckin' day. And not just a little late; we're talking like 10 or 15 minutes late, class has already started late. Most mornings I see him get off his bus as I walk into school, so that's not the issue. What IS the issue is that after he gets off his bus he stands around outside talking to his friends, and when they head for class he heads for 7-11. (I know this, by the way, because I have spied on him from my classroom window, which overlooks the bus drop-off.) Then he and a large coffee -- for him, not me! -- materialize in my class 20 minutes later.

None of this would be so bad if D could manage unobtrusive tardiness, but the general disruption of his tardiness is exacerbated by the fact that D smokes copious amounts of weed and never seems to have any clue that class is actually in progress when he arrives. "Uh, hey, what's up?" he says as he enters the room like a stoned Kramer.

Every. Fuckin'. Day.

So you can see how this would get annoying. And how the whole sticker thing might be sort of lost on him.

A few weeks ago I assigned D detention. The next day he was on time. In fact, he was on time for several days in a row before his scheduled detention. "Were you thinking that if you stopped being late you wouldn't have to serve that detention?" I asked him. "Uh, that's fine with me," he answered. "Tell you what, we'll go double or nothing," I offered (stupidly). "Okay, but I don't really know what that means," D agreed, bleary-eyed. So I explained that he was excused from detention for as long as he continued to come on time, but that the next time he was late he'd have DOUBLE detention. I thought I was incentivizing him.

I'm sure it will not come as a surprise to you that D was tardy again. He was supposed to serve his double detention yesterday and today. I'm sure it will not come as a surprise to you that he didn't show.

Ergo, I called his dad. Who kicks ass. Our conversation went a little something like this:

Me: Mr. D's Dad? I'm D's Geography teacher. I'm calling to discuss his tardiness.

D's Dad: His TARDINESS?

Me: Yes. D is tardy to my class on a regular basis. In fact, he's been tardy to nine of the last ten classes. It's very --

D's Dad: Can you hold on a minute?

Me: Uh, sure.

D's Dad: (shouting) D!

D: (in the background) Uh, hey, what's up?

D's Dad: (to me) Thanks. Can you start over please?

(I believe at this point I was placed on speaker-phone.)

Me: Sure. I was saying D is tardy to my class almost every day. He's been late nine times in the past ten days.

D's Dad: How late are we talking?

Me: Often as late as 15 minutes.

D's Dad: That late?

Me: I'm afraid so. Does D ride the bus?

D's Dad: Yeah, so I don't understand why he'd be late.

Me: Well, he usually comes in with coffee from 7-11. Perhaps he's walking over to 7-11 after he gets off the bus?

D's Dad: Thank you for calling. I'll take care of this as soon as I hang up the phone.

Me: I really appreciate that. However, D still needs to serve his detention.

D's Dad: I understand. What's tomorrow -- Thursday? You want him Friday, Saturday, and Sunday too?

Me: (laughing) No sir, I'm afraid you're stuck with him then, but I'll take him tomorrow and Tuesday.

D's Dad: He'll be there. You won't have this problem again.

Dude. I LOVE parents like D's Dad. Well, assuming he didn't beat the shit out of D once he hung up the phone. And assuming D's ass is on time tomorrow.

13 comments:

Anon. Blogger said...

Oh yeah.

My kids know the rules in this house.

Rule number one: keep your ass out of trouble.

Rule number two: keep your ass from being talked about by someone on the phone with me, unless it is about what a fabulous human being you are.

It is really simple when it comes down to it.

My kids are saints - as far as anyone knows so far, and that's how it should be.

With the girls it has been very effective. The little squirt, well, he had to get in trouble to the point of consequence until he understood this simple concept: this family doesn't do principal's office. get it? we don't do it. end of story. (third grade)

It works. (so far, knock on wood, God willing....where's my rabbit's foot????)

lulu said...

what what what? You called a parent and it wasn't somehow your fault the the kid was late? How the hell did you manage that?

Megan said...

AB - Yep, I'd sure like calling you. Although I guess I wouldn't have to.

Lulu - I know. . .it's a rare thing.

Big Orange said...

I've got my own lil' acronym for this sort of thing; IBIWISI

I'll
Believe
It
When
I
See
It.

But then again, I'm much more of a sourball than you, and I don't care for pictures of puppies...

Melissa said...

I'm betting he beat the shit out of him. My dad would have.

Frank Sirmarco said...

I imagine this kid pulling up his shirt sleeve for another kid in detention (exposing a cigar burn) and saying, "This is what you get for being late for Geography class..."

Wait, maybe that's The Breakfast Club. Sorry.

Grant Miller said...

I will try to be more like D's dad. I promise. I have a question - do you ever swear in class? My teachers never did, but every once in awhile, one would let one fly and it got everybody's attention real quick.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Dear D,

Payback's a bitch.

Amy said...

So... what happened?

I'm losing sleep over this!

Ok, not really.

RandyLuvsPaiste said...

I have the same reaction as Lulu:

My little sis is a teacher too, and whenever she calls the parents, they usually try to shift the blame onto her.

Dave said...

I like your teacher stories.
I'm sure this isn't allowed, but would you like the authority to lock the door at the beginning of class and kids outside the room are S.O.L.
Sort of a Joe Clark approach.

Coaster Punchman said...

This post inspired me to write about some teacher memories. However, I wrote it very late at night and it ended up rambling so I have not edited and posted. And I may never get to it. Nonetheless, I thought you'd like to know your teacher posts inspire me.

Megan said...

Orange - The good news is that D was on time on Thursday AND he served his detention.

Melissa - He seemed sheepish but unharmed when I saw him next.

Frank - I had another kid for detention on Thursday afternoon and he just sat there staring, a al Breakfast Club, for a good 20 minutes until I gave him some papers to grade.

Grant - I occasionally swear in class. I recently told a kid to "quit bitching about everything" and the other day I "guaran-damn-tee"d something. It usually just makes the kids laugh and doesn't seem to carry much weight. Plus I think a lot of them go home to their mama bears and tell on me.

Vikki - And how!

Amy - D was on time Thurs and he served his detention. However, he was late on Friday. . . (Oh! also, every time I go to your blog my computer freezes! In case you were wondering why I don't love you anymore.)

Randy - Yes, that's fairly typical. D's dad is definitely the exception, although as you can see it's not doing a whole hell of a lot of good.

Dave - You know, I don't think I would. Most of the kids wouldn't feel like that was much of a punishment - they'd just head back to 7-11.

CP - Well, thanks. I'm touched. :-)