Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I still love to talk shop

A six-year-old boy and two of his classmates have been suspended from school for one day. They took paper towels and stopped up a urinal. The urinal was broken and was running water. They flooded the restroom, the hallway and part of a classroom.

Mom is doing the right thing. She is backing the school's position.

In the meantime, a urinal running water is sort of like a mud puddle. Well, not as attractive as a mud puddle. Have you ever seen a small boy and a mud puddle? I've seen few who didn't rise to the occasion of splashing it. Girls have a lower rate of splattering the water, but they will too.

I worked for a non-profit and some of the wilder science night programs produced a broken tuning fork. It is a pretty stout piece of metal. One school would run the science night for two hours.  One obnoxious thing some boys would do was take the chemicals for the chemical change activities and just pour them all together. No one could do the activity. At one, a grandfather did it. At the two hour program, a girl did it.

I don't like the child's punishment for flooding the floors. We have moved ahead and backward. In my opinion, two smacks with a paddle and have them miss recess and empty each classroom's trashcans for the custodian. You can't do either one today.

I would have let mom punish him. I used to tell students they could get their parents to write a note and to excuse them from doing homework. It never happened.

But I know why the school took that tactic and they really had to. They have to have discipline and water on the floor destroys the building and can produce an accident.

In a county I worked in, a teacher was using alcohol burners for a science experiment. Two boys decided to toss a lit burner between them. The teacher told them to stop. You guessed it, they did not stop. One boy was sloshed with alcohol and his clothes caught fire.

The teacher was sued and the boy collected damages. Even though he was seventeen, the teacher was held liable because she did not stop class and take the alcohol burners away. A simple request to stop the behavior was not enough.

Meanwhile, there have been so many times I walked into the boys bathroom because too much was going on. It was almost always water and soap on the floor and the crew was sliding. The restroom was shut down until the floors were dried.

I have to say I was lucky. I never had a serious accident where a child was harmed nor was I sued.

Called on the carpet, is another story. The irony of this is when I did screw up, the parents were OK that I was human. It was always a crackpot that called the complaint.

Since I have retired, I have had a bad experience with a formerly home-schooled individual. They have made false police reports about me. They said I had been pulling fence posts out of the ground for one thing. I'm strong but not that strong. Plus at my age, you don't risk your rotator cuff or back over stuff like that.

Law enforcement came by to make sure my dog was not the guilty of what it was accused one night. It wasn't. The dog they reported had a broken back. The officer was nice and she casually asked me these questions. I know they had to verify, but I was disgusted. Particularly since they have done some pretty annoying and threatening things to me. I have told them to stay off my property and put a fence up.

Long story short, they aren't honorable which is what I suspected about many crackpots, I know I have not given details, but they could harass me with specifics. The bullies in my life have taught me sometimes you lose.

Parents might not agree with you but if you were honest and had their child's welfare at heart. You could work with them. And yes, if it did not affect other kids, I gave them what they wanted. I had one student whose parents felt it was unfair I made him keep a notebook. I didn't push the issue. The other children knew it. They said nothing. They turned in their notebooks. It wasn't worth the battle.

One thing I do know, I was never able to teach a high school student how to organize their work. Sixth grade was pretty rocky the first week, the first three weeks but by the first six weeks, it was an easy A for all.


  1. I never had much patience and that's one reason I only had one child. I could never be a teacher and have multiple kids testing me. I seriously admire anyone who can get through to a classroom full of kids.


    1. The testing part is real. I enjoyed teaching summer school but you always have one class that is resistant. One year, I had one that took about two weeks. Then they were really great boys to work with. High school summer school is mostly boys who didn't turn their work in.

  2. The idiot parents are most of the problem. I did stupid crap and never listened and there could have been a few times Mom probably could have sued, but she didn't, because she knew it was my own damn fault and I got a lecture lol teachers can only do so much. Kids have to be held accountable too. But all this coddle crap and sue happy nature just makes everything harder.

    1. You have hit the nail on the head why Johnny can't read. He comes from a home where no one reads, there is no reading material and when he goes home there is so much uproar his emotions are on a low boil even at school.

  3. Too many parents have abandoned their duties to their children. It makes it so difficult for teachers and schools and unfair to other students. It takes a lot of patience to be a teacher. I have one jerk of a neighbor too.

    Susan Says

    1. My mother was a housewife and she had the problem of people assuming she had time to do free child care, sewing, etc which she did not do casually. There are some people who will just use you.

  4. The story about the teacher who was sued is disturbing. Teachers already deal with SO much without enough pay and now they have to worry about being sued if they make the wrong decision in the classroom and someone gets hurt. Teachers are angels on Earth, for sure.

  5. Crackpot parents were the reason I stopped teaching and went into school psychology. Little did I know that I would find even more!

    Sorry that you're being bullied. I'm sure the police know the truth, even if they have to investigate. I do feel sorry for the dog with the broken back, though.

  6. The lack of a uniform system of discipline is leading to chaos in our society. Parents who defend their little darlings no matter what are doing their children no favors. Bad children often will turn into bad adults.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

  7. I could never be a teacher and admire those that can and are.

  8. My mother was a teacher. Punishments can sometimes be hard to dispense but are necessary to teach children right from wrong.

  9. Being a teacher is sometimes thankless, Thank you for all the good you did as a teacher. Crackpots can be scary.

  10. Hats off to all teachers, I say. They have to endure some incredible behaviour from students. I definitely would have no patience for dealing with these delinquents. The neighbours are another thing, that is a real shame for you and your family. Carolyn @ pastimes-passions-paraphernalia.org

  11. I know what you mean. Teachers get blamed for so many things that common sense would see was a person doing the best they can.

  12. That is just crazy. Shame teachers have no real control anymore. When I was in school, a teacher could still yank a kid out of class and paddle him. I think more kids need that.


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