I was just re-reading some of my previous posts and remembered the one I posted about a student who had made a point of telling other kids not to call names because "we don't do that in here," which is what I always say. It made me sad to remember that, because even though that kid wasn't perfect at that point, now he is a total disaster.
He has a major anger management thing going on due to an estranged, jailed father (and who knows what else), and at least 3 times a day, I look up to see or hear him threatening someone or calling them horrible, horrible names. It's really awful. (On top of the fact that I have 2 other kids that have their own major issues, but that's a whole nother story.) For instance, today (a half day after conferences before a three day weekend) I gave him some missing work he had to make up, which his mom had requested. He gave me this totally insulted look, like how could I possibly consider making him do work over the long weekend (I told him he should've done them in class in the first place), and then he said that it wasn't his fault that I didn't see his papers when I graded them because they stuck to the other papers. (I told him that doesn't happen with 15 assignments). He took several of the papers and walked away while I went to get another one. I turn around less than a minute later to see him with another kid in a headlock, and didn't let go until I forced him to. I asked the other kid what he had said to set the other kid off and he replied that he hadn't said a thing (which I believe, he's my smartest kid who knows better than to get mixed up with this one). I'm pretty sure he was just mad at me, and took it out on the other kid. I felt bad about that one.
Another example of the extreme anger and hatefulness inside of him was when I asked him to call his mother about something he was doing wrong after another kid had just used the phone (whom he dislikes). I handed him the phone and he refused to use it until I had "wiped it off" (The first kid to use it has known hygiene issues). He refused several times until he thought I was calling his mom for him. (I wasn't, I was calling the principal.) THEN, he dials and another kid hits his pocket and pipes up, "Hey! Why are you calling me!" So he got caught on that one. He dials again, and this time I take the phone to make sure he's calling mom, and who's voice mail picks up? His own.
Another time, he was talking about a couple of girls who came in late, and referred to one of them as "that thing." Needless to say, I could go on with the stories. The hatefulness in his voice and disregard (and lack of safety) for others is really disturbing to me. He and his mom wanted him moved out of my class this week, but when mom saw his grades, she realized that that wouldn't solve any problems (which I fully agreed with. I know that if he switched classes, he'd start the same thing all over again. It's not me or the class that is the problem, it's his own issues that are the problem.) So anyway, I definitely have NOT made progress with this one. I know it's an extreme case, but it really does make for very difficult days for me. Hopefully, somewhere down the road, I'll be a better teacher because of this, but right now, it sure doesn't feel like I'm able to help this one be successful...