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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Once more, my classroom has become the revolving door. My latest ward, D, has left my fine school for better and brighter things (and toilets everywhere feared). I'm sure he'll be all right -- after all, there are kids everywhere for him to call, "fat a$$es." However, his replacement, who arrived yesterday, makes D look like "the Beave."
This new kid showed up around 10:30 yesterday morning. He literally looked like something the cat had dragged in. He had on a T-shirt that looked like it had been turned inside out, his whole face looked filthy, and the "whites" of his eyes were much more yellowish than white.
His name is r. Normally, I would capitalize initials, but since r doesn't know his capital letters from his lower case letters, I think r will be quite fitting.
While my other kids were starting their opening activity, I took r aside, to ask him a few questions. I first asked him how he did at his old school, what kinds of grades he got. He told me he got all A's. Than I asked him how he had done on the TAKS reading test. He told me fine. I wasn't getting a whole lot of input from the lad, so I told him to go back into the room and finish working the word problem up on the board. Suddenly, he tells me that he can't do word problems, because he can't read.
More than a little confused, I asked him how he had done fine on the reading test if he couldn't read. He replied, "My teacher helped me." Incredulously, I asked, "Your teacher helped you on the TAKS test?" He rolled his eyes and said, "My teacher KIND OF helped me."
Later, when I mentioned this to the vice principle, she told me that the story that she had heard was that r and his family (there are five other kids) haven't attended school at all for the last month. I have since heard that they haven't been in school for one month, one year, two years. I'm really not sure which to believe. But after spending an entire day with my new charge, I know what NOT to believe. This kid is a liar, a thief, and a bully. In other words, all of the admirable trades that I've come to expect from most of my third graders.
Is it Spring Break yet?


Christine said...

Holy Hannah! All too often the kids that transfer into a classroom can really upset the apple cart you've spent all year building.

I live in an area that has seen a large number of refugees move into the area. Thanks to the International Rescue Committee, we receive students from very diverse backgrounds. Just when you think you've heard the worst story ever about a child's background, a new student moves in with an even more horrific backstory. Some of the kids have had a parent killed by the Taliban, some have lived in refugee camps their entire lives, many have never been to school before, some have never worn shoes. It's never dull.

My heart always aches for these kids because too often the other kids find these students to be easy targets. There is one student, however...whew.

She has a horrific backstory, and I feel an enormous amount of sympathy for her, but she is one of the biggest bullies I've ever seen, will lie to your face and argue with a wall until it cries uncle. And that's just at recess!

Mister Teacher said...

Yeah, we have a large refugee contingent at our school as well. But we have "newcomer" classes for these children.
r is not a newcomer, he's from the states, he's just a mess...

Anonymous said...

Funny you should bring up r. I was the teacher that helped him on the TAKS. I helped him by showing him the door. The only help was saving him from himself on the test. It was either that or watch him pathetically cheat, a-la Chevy Chase in "Spies Like Us". Of course, r wouldn't have won the sexy Russian.

Mister Teacher said...

HAHAHA! Don't publish anon anymore! Let us know who ya are!!