The N Word

This is from last year when I taught Culinary Arts.
My 8th Graders were rambunctious. One of my students was throwing things and running around the room and refusing to sit down. I got face to face with them.
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C: Get out of my face nigga!
Mr. C: Sit down.
C: Nigga! Nigga! Nigga!
Mr. C: Are you seriously calling me that right now?
C: Yeah nigga. This is some bullshit nigga!
Mr. C: Is it?
C: Yeah.
Mr. C: Why would you call me that? I don’t like that word, and I’m white.
C: (stare)
Mr. C: Do you know what that word means?
C: It means you an ignorant black person.
Mr. C: So why would you call me that?
C: (Silence)
Mr. C: That word is derogatory and demeaning.
C: I don’t know what those words mean.
Mr. C: They mean being disrespectful.
C looks away.
Mr. C: Look at me.
Do you respect me?
C: Yeah.
Mr. C: Then sit down.
C sits down.
———————-

This was actually a breakthrough. When I first started teaching at this school, I had to earn my respect from my students. It was a proving ground. There was a period of time where my students were pushing the boundaries. These students don’t like change, so they didn’t like me at first. Some students wanted to make my life hell thinking that I would quit. They wanted their old teacher back. But after a while, the students came around. I earned their respect and a right to stay at this school.

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Real Respect

This is from the archives last year when I taught Culinary Arts and had 8th graders. It didn’t happen very often but I would lay the law down when I felt I needed to.

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M: Give me my pencil so I can do my work.
Mr. C: Excuse me? I just sharpened this pencil for you and you said give it to me?
M: (blank stare)
Mr. C: All of you need to learn some respect. You talk to me like I’m not a teacher or something.
(silence)
Mr. C: I am, and you don’t talk to me like that.
D: I ain’t never cursed you.
L: I respect you.
(Both students give me handshakes.)
M: I don’t even respect my daddy.
Mr. C: Well you’re going to respect me.
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I didn’t understand this at the time, but I understand now why they didn’t have respect for adults. The adults and parents in their lives weren’t around enough to gain any respect from them.


8th Grade

This is an older post I found from last year when I used to teach Culinary Arts and had 8th graders.
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Three of my 8th grade students did not finish their work and therefore I did not let them cook.
Two got mad about this.
They tried to leave the classroom.
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K: Can I go to the bathroom?
Mr. C: Do one question, and I will let you go. You haven’t done any work.
K: (pushes her stuff off the desk and pushes the desk.) Nah fuck that I’m leaving.
(she walks out the door)
As I’m writing her up, another students is cursing at another student and walks over to me.
R: How you going to write her up for not doing anything?
Mr. C: Mind your own business.
R: Don’t tell me what to do. You don’t tell us what to do. I’ll get the principal.
Mr. C: We can get the principal, and I’ll tell them how you’ve been acting.
R: I don’t give a shit about no principal.
Mr. C: Apparently.
K walks back in:
K: Don’t even try to write me up!
Mr. C: I did write you up.
K: Fuck you!
Mr. C: Okay.
K: Fuck you, fuck this school and fuck this work you just gave me. Fuck your skinny ass, ugly as hell.
Mr. C: Well I’m ugly, what can I do about it?
K: Fuck you.
Their Educational Assistant walks in and I explain the situation and they take them both to ISS.
K: Fuck this school (kicks a chair).
Mr. C: See you guys next time.
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Fridays…

2nd block with my 8th graders:

3 of my students have not finished their work and therefore I did not let them cook with us today.
2 of them got mad about this.
They tried to leave the classroom and I would not let them.
———————
K: Can I go to the bathroom?
Mr. C: Do one question, and I will let you go. You haven’t done any work.
(K pushes their stuff off the desk and pushes the desk)
K: Nah fuck that I’m leavin’.
(walks out the door)
As I’m writing them up, another students curses and walks over to me.
R: How you gon’ write her up for not doing nothin’?
Mr.C: Mind your business.
R: Don’t tell me what to do. You don’t tell us what to do. I’ll get the principal.
Mr. C: We can get the principal, and ‘Ill tell them how you’ve been acting.
R: I don’t give a shit about no principal.
Mr. C: Apparently.
(K walks back in)
K: And don’t even think about tryin’ to write me up for LDA.
Mr. C: I did write you up.
K: Fuck you.
Mr. C: Okay.
K: Fuck you, fuck this school and fuck this work you just gave me. Fuck your skinny ass, ugly as hell.
Mr. C: Well I’m ugly, what can I do about it?
K: Fuck you.
(The Educational Assistant walks in and I explain the situation and they take them both to ISS.)
K: Fuck this school.
(kicks a chair)
Mr. C: See you guys next Monday.
——————–


Wet Dog

8th graders:
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K: Mr. C, why do people say that when white people sweat, they smell like a wet dog?
Mr. C: Do you know what a wet dog smells like?
K: Nah. But, I’m just sayin’, my momma say, “It is too hot outside, these white people need to get inside befo they smell like a wet dog.”
Mr. C: Well it just means that people stink, because they don’t wear deodorant or they just have body odor, and it smells like a wet dog.
K: That’s triflin’
Mr. C: Yeah.
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