Yesterday, during my planning block, they announced for a list of students to report to the library. As they went through the names, several teachers commented that the students on the list were some of their worst behaved students.
Later, during my next two blocks, there were several of my own students pulled out of class. And, yes, most of them were students who are generally not very well-behaved. The “problem students”.
That afternoon, I got a visit from a school counselor and a social worker-type woman about one of those students and learned a lot of eye-opening things about his home life and some of the things that might be triggering his aggressive and angry behaviors toward me. (He has gotten in my face as if he means to fight me and yesterday told me he was going to “put my a** out” to give you an idea…)
Putting two and two together today as I was taking a shower (because isn’t that the best time to think?), I realized something. The students that we were identifying as our “problem students” and our worst-behaved students were possibly being called to the library because they are students who have troubled home lives. And it made me think.
No, there is no excuse for threatening a teacher or for not doing work or for distracting your classmates. However, we often don’t look past that behavior to see what is behind it. What is that student struggling with outside of school that makes them feel they need to prove themselves in front of their peers? What sort of things do they deal with once they leave these halls?
What is truly causing this misbehavior?
Because I think that probably, if we were able to see the whole picture, we would see that it goes deeper than a desire to disrespect the teacher or distract the class.
There are no excuses. But there are definitely causes. And I hope the woman who visited me yesterday is able to help these students rise above those causes and live without excuses and be the better person that I know they are capable of being.