Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I no speaka you language

I have previously regaled you with the story of a note I confiscated in one of my classes that was being passed back and forth between two seventh grade girls, one of whom referred to me as a "nigga."

I received another gem of a note from one of those girls a couple of days ago, but this time, it was written directly to me. This girl is a bull in a china shop. She walks into the classroom (mostly tardy) and turns it upside down. She doesn't stay in her seat, she never brings pen or pencil or paper, and makes a point of borrowing said items from someone on the other side of the classroom so she can make a big production of going over there to retrieve said items. On the way, she blaps other students in the back of the head and generally causes a ruckus. When I remove this student from the classroom or hold her back at the end of the period to talk to her, our conversations are pointless, because as soon as I begin speaking to her about her behavior, her eyes fixate on the ceiling, and she loudly and rudely talks a mile a minute in order to drown me out. Forget about calling home; there is no available number. The only thing I can do at this point is mail a letter or make a home visit. The other day, I sent this girl to another classroom with a behavior paragraph to fill out. Instead of doing the behavior paragraph as instructed, she came waltzing back into my classroom with the following note. I have rewritten it as is, with no corrections for spelling or grammar. You know, before I started teaching, I knew that kids talked this way, but I honestly never contemplated the fact that they wrote that way too:
Plez Read

I aint gone do dis I do not like dis school I do not like da boy Im sittin by I do not like you da reason why I do not like dis school is because all da peps do is talk bout me and they need to mind they own bizness da reason why I dont like da boy Im sittin by is cuz he always sayin stuff bout everyone includin me da reason why I don't like you is because you is always blammin stuff on me and you never listen to me when I need to talk to you but I listen to you when ever I start talken you cut me out always Im trren to tell you mr. [Chanman] I don't like da boy Im sitting by so can you please move him or move me thank you 4 reading and listenin to dis.
Please understand that the reason she is so upset is because I moved her away from the friend with whom she was passing the previous note in the first place. It's not about "da boy" I sat her next to; she wouldn't like anyone I sat her next to. She wants her partner-in-crime back and she is mad at me for separating them.

My question is, and I am serious: later on in life, do these students learn that they can't write this way in the real world? Do they know that no employer will accept this misspelled street slang? When the moment arises, will the students who write like this be able to switch gears and write in proper English? I am honestly at a loss here.

Good Day to You, Sir


Polski3 said...

Geeze...what kind of discipline plan does your school use? Why isn't the administration involved with this kid?

I do not believe teachers should have to deal with this crap.

OF course, YOU will be to blame later for her welping who knows how many kids and being unemployable.

THERE must be something else in this job that keeps us doing it.

Good Luck with her.

Darren said...

Educational malpractice--and not on your part, Mr. Chanman. As a taxpayer, I'm disgusted that your school and district allow that kind of behavior to continue.