Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Streak Is Over

We're just over 2 weeks into the school year, and today a vice principal has informed me that I've offended a student or students and given me the ole talking-to.

I think this is my longest streak for the beginning of a school year, so I guess that's good.

23 comments:

Darin said...

That isn't nearly enough detail. What'd you do? :)

Darren said...

I don't want to go into that. It gives people ideas--and we have enough people running around with their panties in a bunch, waiting to be offended.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't you just offend someone every year on day one (period one, if possible) and get it over with? Then you could be ISO9001 !!!

-Mark Roulo

Darren said...

What bothers me is that we're raising kids to be so sensitive, so thin-skinned. I'm serious, it's way over the top.

For example, when I use different colored pens on the overhead, sometimes I jokingly come up with color scheme names. Black and red is "blood in the dark". Green and red might be "Christmas".

You might be surprised to learn that I have received complaints in the past about the religious nature of the "Christmas" title. You'd think someone would say "get over it" before that kind of complaint gets to me, but no, I get a talking to. It seems that any time someone is offended, it's my fault--it's not that they need to get over it.

That was not today's situation, however. I will not go into that, as specificity even here on my blog has gotten me a talking to in the past.

Eric W. said...

I'll stop by during 4th for the whole story. :)

Darren said...

It would not be appropriate for me to share it with you.

Rhymes With Right said...

You know -- sometimes administrators just need to be told to take a flying leap in such situation. You know, when the kid doesn't have anything approaching a valid grievance, but instead is just trying to get a little leverage against the teacher.

For that matter, we need to tell that to parents from time to time.

Darren said...

I have considered the following response: "I do not address anonymous complaints about me."

What bothers me is that their first response isn't, "Have you discussed this with your teacher yet?" When they do not do that, they justify the student's offense. The student can *be* offended, but that doesn't mean that their offense is reasonable. Additionally, by not sending students to me first they validate the unjustified fear that if a student is identified to me that I'll take some retaliatory action against that student.

That is what bothers me most, actually.

Debbie said...

If they think your offensive they better get ready for college professors. It's one thing to have an opinion it's another to expect everyone else to have the same opinion, and have a grade depend on that expectation.

Robert Talbert said...

Do you happen to keep any data about complaints against you, by any chance? I wonder if you get a big spike of complaints during the first 3-4 weeks and then it trails off like some kind of exponential distribution.

Me, I get them all at the end of the semester when students begin to do the math on their grades.

Darren said...

No, I don't keep any records except to note how long in the year it is until I get my first.

Mike Austin said...

Dear Darren:

I well understand. At my last post in Argentina---I was there 10 years---I had to labor under a 300 pound lesbian principal. She routinely hauled me into her office because I actually had the gall to answer high school students’ questions about God, morality and such. It was always unpleasant, and not just on my part. There was something about being around a Christian---the only one on the high school faculty---that unnerved her. I wonder why?

Mr. W said...

I will not go into that, as specificity even here on my blog has gotten me a talking to in the past.

I was going to ask you about this because I wrote about a freshman coming to school with alcohol and how she was only suspended 6 days..whatever. Anyway she found it and got upset. I didn't mention her by name at all. Could I get a "talking to" about this?

Darren said...

You always *could*. Whether it's legitimate or not is a different story.

Mr. W said...

You always *could*. Whether it's legitimate or not is a different story.
A bunch of teachers and I had a lengthy discussion about it. I said since I didn't mention names it was fine. Plus don't we have freedom of speech? I know that sounds all ACLU-ish.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to get you into trouble by being too specific, but did this have anything to do with the orphan from Luxembourg, the missing penguin, and 27 gallons of Kool-Aid? If so, the offended person was *Sooo* out of line.

-Mark Roulo

MikeAT said...

Darren

Sorry I’ve been off the net the last few days…gotta ask, what kind of statement offended your student? They may soon be students at the University of Houston or Rice University and as a cop I need to make sure I know how to offend them really well.

Cameron said...

I really can't believe that people complain about you. It makes me want to flick them in the ear. I did not have a more entertaining class at Rio! Any side discussions kept my attention. And I don't mean that we didn't get anything done, because I'm pretty sure that your class was the math class I understood the most. People should complain when a teacher isn't doing their job, not when they hear something they don't want to hear.

Darren said...

Thanks, Cameron.

Ellen K said...

Mike-You're near Rice. That's such a cool area except for when you get out of the immediate vicinity. As for offending kids, I really really try not to present my personal religious or political views to the kids. It just causes them to get off track. Most of my kids do know where I stand and they know I will listen to opposing views without shushing them. But I do know that the teacher in my dept. that left managed to offend many of my students with some rampantly liberal/leftist views on everything. It got to the point that kids dropped her course due to her open views on everything from same sex marriage to the war in Iraq. Frankly, she discussed her private views so much, I don't know how she got through the curriculum. I have many of her advanced kids this year and they tell me that everything I am teaching them is new, even though it should be review. That tells me she used her classroom as a forum for her ideas. And that's something most conservatives don't do. I wonder why it is that some people get away with that stuff.

Darren said...

The offense had nothing to do with religious or political views. In fact, I'm pretty sure the totality of my discussion of politics in class this far was in one class and is paraphrased below:

Student: Do you think Obama's going to win?
Me: No.
Student: Really? You don't think he's going to win?
Me: No.

rightwingprof said...

I had a student a few years ago who really hated me. Seriously. She didn't hate the material or how I taught it. She hated me. It was completely personal, and very ugly.

And to this day, I have absolutely no idea why.

MikeAT said...

Ellen K

I generally patrol around mid-city but I like to run radar around a great school zone off of US 59. I nail people doing 30 plus in a school zone 20. I got one young lady doing over 35 and she almost screamed “I’m may be late for a test…” and I told “Call a friend in class…and don’t worry…you will be late!

God I love my job!

And you’re right, it’s a beautiful area.