Friday, September 04, 2009

Walking On Eggshells

Well, I've made it two weeks without a visit from the vice principal. I believe this is a new record for me.

Each year at the beginning of school, I say something that offends someone. This year is no exception, except that this year the offended person took their complaint to a counselor, who brought it to me.

I have a "persona" at school; it's not all that different from who I am in real life, but it's a little larger than life, and a little more cavalier. For instance, if a boy disagrees with me or questions me on something, I might feign surprise, raise my eyebrows, and say, "Do you think you could take me?" The bigger the boy I say it to, the more laughter it gets in class. Honestly, I think it's fun, harmless, and disarming, and the vast majority of students seem to think so as well. Algebra is stressful enough already.

So in the middle of doing a problem I stopped, as if a very important thought had come to mind, and I asked the class (I don't even know which class), "Do you know how beautiful I am? I'm so beautiful, you can't even count that high." Then I went back to doing the problem, while the students laughed and relaxed a little more.

The complaint from one student? "Mr. RotLC thinks we're stupid because he says we can't count high."

That's the caliber of what I've gotten to deal with each year, and without an administrative filter to say something like, "I'm not going to take this type of complaint seriously." Maybe I should be thankful that such a complaint went only to a counselor instead of a VP this year.

6 comments:

Darin K. said...

Holy cow...I probably do something like this on a daily basis. If one of my students said something to the DoS, they'd probably get laughed out of the room. Thank goodness for reasonable admins. :)

Ellen K said...

To teach high school you have to have some gravitas. I have kids that say snide things all the time and I can dish it out to them. It takes them by surprise and quiets them down real quick.

KauaiMark said...

I predict that this kid will get a job as a "PC" censor correcting textbooks...

neko said...

My mother is a teacher. A couple years ago, a parent complained to the principal because she was...
using sarcasm!

PeggyU said...

Hmmm. Well, if you ever need to keep this student busy, you might try telling him to count until he runs out of numbers ...

MiaZagora said...

"Mr. RotLC thinks we're stupid because he says we can't count high."

Hey, I didn't know fourth-graders could take algebra! ;)