"Some sub called me a dumbass and I'm so fucking pissed. I left so I wouldn't hit him."
This is a conversation I just had with a student that I don't have in class. He's not and never has been one of mine. I don't even know his name. What did I do? I let him sit. This kid is one of those tough guys you see walking around with his chest puffed out trying to be king of the class skippers. What darkened my doorstep was a much different version of the kid I so often hear before I see if you catch my meaning. This macho kid was borderline in tears. I felt his pain as his eyes welled up and he paced back and forth in front of my door.
No child, no matter who, deserves to be talked to like that. Some of our kids act out because they are degraded and berated at home. Are some of our students just A-Holes? Absolutely. I can name a few right now; however, that doesn't mean we as teachers get to treat them however we want. We can't talk to them like they are grown because they just aren't. Am I guilty of having a bad day and flipping out on a kid? Yep. Everyone has those days. Reducing a kid to tears and calling them dumb or stupid is over my line though. No matter how angry I've gotten or what colorful language I've used in the heat of the moment, I've never called a kid dumb or stupid. Words hurt. I'm sure the kid did something to provoke that substitute, but that doesn't make it right.
On another note, good for him for choosing not to resort to violence. We've had enough teachers punched in the face by students around here this year. Let's talk about that. Maybe instead of focusing on all the Miles drama, we can take another look at discipline. Superintendents come and go, but it's our kids that will still be here.