The kids at my school are indignant when reprimanded. They have good reason. As one pointed out, "You're just like Ms H--you don't like Asians!" Yes, yes, that's it. I don't like Asians. The truth is, I can't really tell the Cambodians apart from the Hispanics at this school. Most of their names--Shaidiamond? Chansolida? Jeessell?--are not (to me) obviously from any linguistic group. In both ethnic groups, girls tend to wear gold bracelets and hoop earrings. The kids wear school uniforms. Except for a few children obvious in their appearance or in their names (the two Carloses and the two Rafaels, for example, have names that reveal their backgrounds), I cannot guess who is what.
Also: If I disliked Asians, why would I work at a school that is 50% Asian? If I disliked Hispanics, why would I work at a school where the remainder is Hispanic?
Many of the kids seem to have a short circuit in the "consequences" section of their brains. Ergo, when I reprimand one, I often receive the charming response, "Why you pickin' on me?" If my answer is not to the offended child's satisfaction, he often rewards me by saying, "Woooooowwwwwwwww," in exasperated, indignant disbelief at the injustices inflicted upon his poor soul by a soulless substitute teacher.
I say "he", because the girls are more likely to stare at me with an evil, defiant glint in their eyes and repeat the offending behavior, rather than arguing with me, the teacher. Perhaps they are smarter. I'm not convinced that is the case, however. I think that these kids have developed their own gender norms for misbehavior protocol.
It is interesting, this anthropology of adolescents.
Oh, and also! One charming young man called me a bitch and said he hated his fucking school in front of the vice principal, immediately after being released from the vp's office for another offense! Needless to say, he did not make it back to my class that afternoon.
PS Nonetheless, I maintain that 7th grade is way more fun than 1st.
4 months ago