Tuesday, September 13, 2005

One Word: BIP

And when I write that word, if those of you who are reading this know (or remember) what it means, you'll know that "BIP" stands for Behavior Intervention Program. And you'll know that, if you love me or at least care about me a little bit, you probably never want to see that word pop up in my blog again if it refers to either BIP who visits me or students who visit BIP... But BIP entered my life twice in one school day, and it wasn't even ten o'clock yet...

The first was with RF, whose initials may very well show up on a regular basis in this blog. He was the one that on the first day, I had a struggle with over wearing a hat. I personally could care less, but it is a school rule, and there are reasons for school rules, and I understand and respect those rules, so I feel compelled to uphold them. He was pretty cranky about it; I had to ask him three times. He has a bag with a beer label on it (Guiness... it's kind of a neat bag, but that's not the point--he's got to be something like seventeen!), and so the BIP person, who is really nice and he's totally getting some homemade cookies from me at the holidays and if anyone else has a good suggestion, let me know!----the BIP person came in and spoke with him about it, which was a relief because I wasn't exactly energized to have another conversation with him about the dress code and school rules. (He also has headphones, and I think I can probably say something to him now about it, a week later... this, again, I generally don't have a problem with, especially when you can't hear them and you can see that it helps him zone into what he was doing, but I also know it's an easy escape and you get into that whole "He can't but I can't" argument with other students and I'm really trying to conserve energy just to get through the day...) Anyway, the point is, RF is someone I have a feeling we'll have some confrontations with, but I also have had a few conversations with him, and I know that he just wants some attention, and I think he's generally a good kid. I'm glad he's in my class, and I look forward to getting to know him (which is true of 99% of my kids). We've also bonded over Eric Clapton (and Keb Mo' and that whole blues thing). I ought to get some Robert Randolph in his hands... or just remind him to check that music ought. Good stuff.

The second time was during my third hour, which is actually one of my favorite hours. I have a lot of seriously great kids, but it's early enough in the day for both the students and me to have the energy to get through class, and there are some kids in there that just make me laugh but also seem to somehow appreciate me as a teacher and not think of me as an evil dictator. Anyway, one of the kids that I had pegged as "good" was in the hallway and she and met a friend in the hall and waved at another friend in a classroom. Pretty understandable, considering we have so many windows facing the hall (and the outside) that there was no "blind spot" during active shooter training. It's tempting to peek in, and I look at classes. I like to see how others manage themselves in the front of the room (well, as I can tell). Anyway, the other person, the friend, ended up leaving when my department head told the two to go back to class, but my student, TA, wasn't quite so... compliant. She continued to wave, was kind of beligerant, and the head referred her to BIP. He eventually discovered that I was her teacher (embarrassment ensues) and asked her in front of me whether or not she was willing to go to BIP on her own or if she wanted an escort. I saw how she reacted, and we just decided she would hang out in my room until Lael came to take her down. We were doing group work, and one of her group members, C, pleaded her case, asking me to not send her down because TA wasn't the kind of kid who gets in trouble. Very well could be true, but I trust Derek and his reactions and from what he said happened, this was logical.

I'm becoming more comfortable with the idea of my having to use BIP on my students myself. (Doesn't sound so great, does it, when I put it like that...) I'm looking back on student teaching, and the day of the pen incident with ZJ would definitely have been a BIP moment. But there's that fueling of the fire... ZJ could have come back the next day, loud and complaining as ever. He's certainly one that prepared me for this experience! Again, nice enough kid, but definitely a person who tried me in every way.

Today as a good day. I see that most will be on a scale of one to three. One being bad (Friday), two being neutral (yesterday) and three being good (today). Ironic, considering the heading. I did have one student in my third hour tell me that I was a good English teacher, which was nice. He seemed like the kind of kid who wouldn't like English or teachers, but he's said things on more then one occasion that has made me believe that he is either sincere (or a very consistent brown-noser). Hey, brown-nosing, from this teacher's point of view, if it's done subtlely... not so bad. :) Wait until I have experience, however.

Anyway, it is swiftly nearing bed time. I never feel like I have enough sleep, but that one hour drive helps get me going... MPR is nice too. Lets me get my news in at the start of the day, then I am not compelled to noodle around on NYTimes so often!

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