Tag Archive: school


Discovery end date set

This is a quick update on what is happening with Noel Estevees- the 8th grade student who stabbed a classmate after school last month. Young Mr, Esteves is being held at a youth detention facility. Last month his lawyer was able to to get the state from charging him as an adult. In the article, then say that Esteves had a different, more tamed look- which can only help his case as he appears younger and more in control. Perhaps at the youth facility he is getting some mental health services to help him deal with all of this.

This is such a sad case because it does show significant failures in the system. The bullying epidemic is thrust in everyone’s face and actually does appear to be more than just something cooked up by the media. There was clearly ongoing tension that all attempts to mitigate failed. But school safety failed. What is their actual purpose? Nobody noticed that Esteves had that huge knife with him? I imagine that one of the kids are school must have seen him brandish it at one point during the day. And so did the trusted adults and teachers fail by not being available so that a student could confide what they saw? Or was it the “snitches get stitches” garbage being espoused by kids and young adults that dissuaded any potential reach or contact? Seriously, everyone thinks it’s brave to allow these things to potentially happen until it’s their friend or family member shot.

And what about the red tape that failed to get Esteves out of there? His father did the right thing- he went and said my son doesn’t feel safe here, please get him out. There are how many unscreened schools? If a kid doesn’t feel safe, he doesn’t feel safe. Let them go before they start arming themselves.

I have more to say but this is all just digression but if Tim Crump (the deceased student) was suspended- then why was he anywhere near school grounds. If I remember correctly, he was supposed to be at an alternate middle school. But clearly, he was looking for trouble. I worked at a high school that had school safety officers look each morning at photos of suspended students just in case someone who is not supposed to be on those grounds was.

And so the discovery portion of Noel Esteves case will come to an end tomorrow. And then a trial date will be set. And arguments for his case are argued, I hope people pay attention to a few of the things I thought about and put those issues on trial too.

-Chester Kent

Twilight

There’s a lot to attend to but my efforts will fail to even parse most of it. Currently, I’m serving as as replacement for a co teacher at a school in the Bronx. co-teacher because except of one period, generally it’s supposed to be two teachers. Let me state that these boys and girls need the extra help too. Generally, they are classified as D-level special Ed. The sad thing with the kids being below level is that none of them are ell’s, and only a few (out of the 25or so) have IEP’s. It’s also sad that so many skip or miss days of school. My mother was never a lenient as these kids parents seem to be about attendance.

One thing of joy/stress is my Art History class, which is my art history class. Not sure what their other teacher had taught them but I’ve restarted teaching them the principles and basic elements on art so that I can mold their responses to art work to sound intellectual. I’ve been integrating my iPad into the class room so much in this regard. For example, drew this picture to allow them to describe the details in regards to shape, form, line, and space. I had provided the scaffolding and prior knowledge. I’m curious/dreading to read their responses.

I’m curious for yours too, gentle reader. How do you like my digital art?

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Lean On Me.

Lean On Me. (Part I)

I have always liked Morgan Freeman. There’s no comparing him and Samuel L. Jackson. I hate Samuel L. Jackson. The difference between the two of them is that Mr. Freeman is Joe Clark, and Mr. Jackson is one of those students from East Side High. Not the troubled, needs extra love student, no Samuel L. Jackson would be one of the ones that if you can think back to Lean on Me [the movie,] well Mr. Jackson is the one you, and Mr. Clark need a megaphone to reach.

I need a megaphone to reach a lot of my students this year. I considered a whistle but I’ve also considered tear gas and other crowd control measures. And now, I don’t know what to consider.

There are a lot of issues at Pre-Joe Clark, East Side High. We have kids that are potential pyros, murderers, street corner hangoutters when they don’t have a curfew (if they aren’t one already.) I know it sounds like the Wild Wild West of Racial Stereotyping, but to paraphrase Jay-Z “niggas is crazy…don’t forget to get…that…dirt..of your shoulder.”  I’m just trying to brush it off.  To let things go.  I am trying to overcompensate for the seemingly infinite problems at school with humor. It’s not fair of me to do this. There are actually a few kids on my overall roster who are just pleasant, productive, insightful, and just refreshing breathes of fresh air to be around and in front of. Those are the kind of kids I spend the night trying to figure out lessons that will placate the others around them so that I can continue to foster growth and the best I can for their educational well-being. There are some kids that I’d spot a dollar to (when often unfortunately it’s been my only dollar.) There are some kids who bring a smile to my face when they share their lives in their short answers, when they try to let me know everything they can about their parents and their dreams. Or they write too much to try and impress me, because they know that since they have my attention undivided with those other kids.

But lately, instruction has been ground to an impasse because of those other kids- the assholes. And while I’ve dealt with kids like that, I have never in my life felt that the environment at school would ever be so inhospitable. It’s like these classes I’ve inherited are the dirty little secret of the staff. Except, the other veteran teachers are having issues with some of the same kids. And the only thing we’ve been offered is to differentiate our lessons. And I want to scream, “I can’t change my lesson because……”

To be continued in Part II (Maybe later on tonight.)

Be well.

-Chester Kent

march wrap up

The phrase says “beware the Ides of March” but really March was what I should have been wary of. Despite the images and ideas of Green, growth and hope- I found myself thwarted by the children I had eagerly dressed myself for in the AM’s.

My problem in the past month was not situated to just one location and or with one, singular population of schoolchild. Meaning I didn’t just interface with just high schoolers or just middle schoolers. I didn’t just monitor sections of regular,  CTT, inclusion and/or self-contained classes exclusively. Nor had I been just situated in just one borough.

Yet, the amount of attitude or the things that came out of these kids mouths were, well, in their own vernacular, “OFF THE HOOK” or my personal favorite “O.D!!!!!!”. Friday, I probably had been cursed at more times than metro buses that are missed, stop signs that exist or maybe even those yellow cheese schoolbusses with their flashers out (when all you want to do is get home.) However, the main difference is that all the anger and disrespect sent towards me was completely uncalled for.
In the past week alone, an 8th grade girl at a middle school decided to brand me a “rapist” because I pestered her about having her cellphone out in gym class.  Yeah.  She did.  Yes.  Seriously.  Other kids jumped on that disrespect train, and it caught me off guard. I kind of wanted to cry but I had other classes to make it through.   Overall, the school day was great but the rapist cloud hung over my head.  I would return to that same school aon Friday afternoon, and my fingers would be crossed hoping that all that jazz would be forgotten.  But then she walked in third period.

Two statements were made from her.  One  of her statements utilized that term towards me and I had to throw her out.  Which was a struggle as it was.  She fought with every ounce of her strength that she could muster to disrespect me and claim the room as her throne.  Yet, I refused to engage her.  I could explain my reasoning behind it but as I told her- “for the next forty minutes I am your guest teacher; Not your actually teacher. They called in. And as such I have my own set of rules which may or may not be the same Z your regular teacher’s. But they are in line with the board of education.”
However I continued by saying “I am an adult And your teacher and you will leave this room. An you will not address me in your manner of choosing. But you will leave this room.”
And she didnt and so I had school safety called to remove her from class.

Un-April Fool’s Day

Returning back to the school I went to on Wednesday.  Listing classifies it as “Special Education” – My favorite….ha.  Wednesday wasn’t that horrible, so I’m going to try to give today and honest shot. Let’s see how it goes. Not really sure what to do with Special Education kids when there aren’t any notes to tell me exactly what subject or classification of special ed it is.

I know it sounds like rambling, but as long as I don’t end up having to deal with 2 of the little “Bankers” (note, my use of ‘bankers’ is a substitute for another word, I digress.)  These “bankers” were unnecessarily unruly thus I had to squash their attitudes and put them into their places in  on Wednesday.  Their places being  child to my adult, and student to my teacher, iu the whole child-adult, and student-teacher dynamic.  One banker referred to me as a rapist, and the other who threw a football at my head.

The rapist comment came as a result about me pestering her to put her cellphone away.  I could see how I was being annoying, considering I was in fact being annoying in response to being annoyed that she clearly violated school policy and my own personal policy about cellphones in school.  Her response warranted me having her thrown out of class.  I also responded in a firm, masculine and clearly not pleased tone to any of the kids who dared even  tried to spark that incident again.

The football banker.  Not even worth getting into. Or rather it would infuriate me even more than thinking about being called a rapist.

I have no issue throttling both of them today.   Let’s hope I don’t have to.

It’s a late start…8:50-3:50….Ugh.  I hope it’s not really til 3:50. Anyway, I’m going to pick out something nice to wear on this cold April morning.

-Chester Kent