Category Archives: indolence

No-Fly Zone

My seventh-graders with IEPs will do almost anything to get out of work, not only in my class, but in other classes as well. The social studies teacher e-mailed me:

I am wondering if it is part of F-Boy’s IEP to be allowed to wander around the room at will?? I told him several times to sit down and simply watch a movie, part of a mini-series “Into the West” He insisted that he did not have to sit more than a few minutes at a time. I challenged him to get back to his seat (4 feet from my desk) and give it an effort. I also told him I was going to check to see if this wandering thing is written into his IEP. He is currently sitting and seems to be getting into the story…

I replied immediately and assured the teacher that F-Boy has no such accommodation written into his IEP.

Nice try, kid, but it won’t fly.

Parental Fallout on the Way?

There are two of us special ed teachers at our school. We co-teach a seventh-grade life skills class. Today’s lesson was on test-taking skills. The kids weren’t interested. Some of them refused to open their test booklets. Some of them opened their booklets, but sat and stared at me. Others kept asking, “What page are we on?” even though I had repeated the page number at least half a dozen times, and walked around the room to make sure everyone was in the right place.

After more than 30 minutes of their defiance and indolence, I’d had enough. “You’re on your own, guys. The rest of this assignment is due at the end of the period. You have about 20 minutes to finish.”

I went to my desk and began entering grades in the online grade book. My co-teacher was sitting at another table in the room, where she had been grading papers. Two or three of the boys moved to her table immediately and asked for help. She read the questions and possible answers to them so they could choose the best answer.

For about 10 minutes, the room was fairly quiet except for some giggling coming from the table. All of a sudden the quietness was shattered by my co-teacher’s declaring to one boy: “If you’re going to be an asshole, then I’m not going to help you. Go back to your seat.”

I kept my head down. I didn’t dare look up. I knew I’d start to laugh if I did. Fortunately, the bell rang a few minutes later and the boys left for their next class.

These kids can try the patience of the proverbial saint. My co-teacher and I aren’t saints. She’d finally had enough of their antics and said the first thing that came to mind.

We’ll see if there’s any parental fallout from this incident.