I’m at a loss to start this post. I suppose I should simply explain the situation. While waiting to score a full-time job (thank you, sequestration politicians), I signed on as a substitute teacher. Over the course of this school year, I’ve had some good classes in multiple schools. I’ve also had some poor ones as well (to be expected).

But today, I experienced a new low. Four hours of watching six ‘students’ not speak. If they had assignments, maybe they worked on them using the computers. Most did not.  

 I was instructed by the school admin and the teacher I substituted for as follows: the students are not to speak unless it is to the teacher (me); they are not to eat or drink in class (FYI this is high school); no resting of heads or sleeping. Simple stuff.

The students know the rules. The rules also state the ‘three warnings’ principle, or they go to the principal. So they know ahead of time how much they can press their luck (or the sub).

Now I, as stated by the teacher, could read a newspaper, do the crossword, etc. Just monitor and maintain the silence. Did I mention that they have a camera mounted in the room? (I didn’t check if it had audio.) Aside from scheduled rest room breaks, needed or not, things went as planned.

I can remember goofing off when I had a substitute. Usually they were either uptight sticklers or very cool (early 70’s) and I try to be the latter. In normal classes, this works and we get things done. But when a kid gets annoying enough to earn a spot in this Remedial class, there is nothing more they have to lose. Unless it’s to get expelled. 

One week later, and I’m in another ‘regular’ class. Everything went too smoothly. The juvvies came in, sat down, and went to work. 

Dedication, like a person’s constitution, comes from within. External forces have influence, but can be subdued by the power of self-discipline. The question I leave with you is; will the malcontents ever develop that discipline in order to survive the real world?

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