Kid sits down in the front row. "Okay, everyone, take out your workbook"... I started out. Kid starts to look in his backpack, and then sits back in his chair, dejected. Then he looks at me.
"I am fu¢#ed," he said.
I wasn't sure I'd heard right. "Pardon me?"
"I'm fu¢#ed," he said again.
A slight gasp, and then quiet. Everything I am, in working with these kids - these kids who have been kicked out of other schools and classrooms, depends on how I handle moments like this.
"I assume that you've forgotten your workbook? "
"Yeah. That's why I'm fu¢#ed."
"You know, Mike," I started, "there are better ways to express to me that you are, apparently, in quite a pickle. They may not be quite as satisfying, but they won't piss-off your teachers or your parents or get you written up, either."
"Like what?" He seemed genuinely curious
You could say, "I'm eff-kayed," said the student next to him, helpfully.
"I'm fudged!" exclaimed another.
"I'm uck-fayed," said a third.
The classroom was a cacophony of suggestions. "I'm up crap creek without a paddle!" "I'm screwed!" "Life sucks" and of course, "Is there homework tonight?"
"Well, now, there you go. See, you learned something. Can I assume that I won't here you use that expression in front of me again? And you know I have to report this in your behavior log, right?"
"Yes. Sorry. I won't use it again."
See there, they can learn. Your tax dollars at work. No need to thank me, it's why I'm here.
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