Voting with my feet
I received back one of the very, very few referrals I write a year. This was in an after school activity in which a student I do not know was belligerent, rude, disrespectful, noncompliant, and insubordinate. Grossly insubordinate. Beyond a shadow of a doubt insubordinate. I handled this exchange by calmly repeating "You need to leave now. You might as well stop making it worse for yourself," repeatedly as said miscreant hollered and complained and vituperated all over my unmoved self. While the kids that were there to be helped gaped in disbelief and couldn't understand how I stayed so calm. Ah! A chance to teach! I explained that, when somebody says things to you you don't like, you consider the source. If that person's opinion doesn't matter to you, then who cares what they say?
But the kicker?
This kid received a talking to. That's it. IF there is another incident, he MAY lose his privilege to stay after school. "May."
So, you know, here's my philosophy: Life is short. I almost died a few years back, and I realize every day is a gift. Life is too short for me to be expected to put up with this kind of crap on my own darn time. During the school day, I may have to put up with this kind of disrespect and disregard from administrators, but not now. And yes, it is the administrator who demonstrated a total lack of respect for me as a colleague and a staff member. A kid's a kid, and kids need to be directed to correct behavior. Part of "loving our kids" and "being their advocates" is teaching them proper behavior. But the consequences for this incident were quite clearly spelled out, and they were not adhered to in the least.
So I quit the after school activity.
I quit for every other teacher who is trying to do this job. Some people depend on the extra money-- and they need better support than this. The kids trying to learn deserve better than this.
I did not quit in anger-- I'm not angry at anyone. But I am resolved-- it's time to say, "No more." And mean it. I was asked to reconsider. I did. Hmmm-- yep, still certain that I don't need this. So, adios.