We still have five weeks left of school, and yet kids are already beginning to lose it. Just this morning, before class began, I had one of my most capable and pleasant boys walk into my classroom, speak a few words to his friend, punch the friend in the nose, and calmly walk out. I spent a good fifteen minutes cleaning up the blood and reporting the offender to the office.
Yesterday, told one kid that he couldn't leave the classroom to visit another teacher, and he pitched such a fit that I had to ask the principal to come and remove him. I've also confiscated about a dozen toys and perhaps another dozen cel phones in recent days. Gum, running, and dress code violations are everywhere. It's as if all the usual rules have suddenly stopped applying to this class. I begin to have sympathy for those grim authority figure stereotypes who yell at you for the ridiculous infractions. Perhaps they have simply lost their minds after being pushed too far too many times.
Why are they doing this so early? I really don't know. This has been a tough class all along, but now they are really showing their colors. Perhaps this is just the result of extra stress at home since the economy has so many people out of work. That could be the answer, but it sounds like a bit of a cop out to me. There is definitely a PhD project in figuring out why certain classes have the personalities that they do. If I could figure out an antidote for the more hard-bitten groups, I would be one of the world's only teacher millionaires.