32. WENDY’S MISTAKE, WHY TWP DOES NOT DIRECTLY POST COMMENTS and HOW TO SEND US YOUR COMMENTS

MEMO TO “Sheryl” and AustinTXGal of itdawnedonme.wordpress.com: Obviously, y’all did not like our invitation -Which you mistakenly referred to as an advertisement- but that’s o.k. We just hope your readers are more open minded -They would find TWP a moderate perspective on the difficult issue of c.p.. Finally, as to “promoting violence” and “disrespectful,” -ARE YOU KIDDING? Anyone that has read our posts knows how we feel about paddling -WE HATE IT but prefer it to suspending students! As to “disrespect” -that is a two way street -When someone who has never met us casts accusations about us, we are under no obligation to post their anti-c.p. “term paper!”

Finally, Ms. A.T.Gal, we at TWP are announcing a new TWP policy: Anyone who uses another blog or web site to slander, trash, or lie about this blog or its contributors will be confronted, challenged, and “called out.” Same goes for militant anti-c.p. blogs as well. We are not “wall flowers” and will not remain silent!

MEMO TO ALL: After receiving feedback from readers and careful reconsideration by TWP, we have decided NOT to carry a link to a supplier/producer of paddles. Fact is -we get nothing for it and -the grief we got for such links in the past just does not make it worth our while. Instead, a future post will have an editorial on what is and is not an appropriate paddle for use in a school setting. Stay tuned!

WHY TWP DOES NOT POST COMMENTS DIRECTLY and HOW TO SEND TWP YOUR COMMENTS

 

It is truly amazing to us at TWP that some folks simply do not have a grasp of the English language as to why we do not post comments directly. Let us repeat ONE MORE TIME: We have a high volume of comments with 28 posts to keep up with. When we say that there will be no DIRECT posting of comments -it is not TWP’s intention to censor comments we disagree with. Just check out our FAQ’s which are mostly “anti” questions!

But we will shun name calling, vulgarity, and sexual references. Also, as a certain “Sheryl” found out, we tire of reading anti-c.p. “term papers” -Hey, we have REAL jobs as REAL teachers! So send those to someone else. Finally, when setting up our blog, a dear internet friend of ours warned us about being swarmed by anti-c.p. zealots. What this community does is this: Any blog or site that goes against the “anti’s” will be bombarded with hate mail, spam, and possibly viruses. While TWP has not had a virus attack yet, in our 2nd week we received several hundred hate or junk comments -some that were threatening. To this day, we do not regret the way that we handle comments from our readers.

But we do look forwards to receiving legitimate comments and questions from our readers -both positive and negative. REALLY! So, how best to insure that your comments/questions are considered for inclusion in a future blog? We listed some pointers below.

Check out our DO’s and DO NOT’S on our first post: TEACHERS WHO PADDLE.

That’s pretty straight forward but we are continuously astounded on how many received comments violate those simple rules. They are NOT hard to understand.

Read as many posts and FAQ’s as you can before sending a comment/question.

The second biggest problem we encounter are uninformed comments/questions. Some are so bad, we wonder if the person even read our blog at all! Hmmm…Maybe the illiteracy rate is higher than we thought!

Do not assume things about us that are not in the posts.

If you make statements like “Those teachers do not care about their students” or “They LOVE their paddles,” be prepared to get “ripped” in a future post -because nothing could be further from what we are really like!

Be NICE.

We understand that the issue of paddling in school bring out a strong emotional response and bad feelings in people. But we are NOT ogres! Remember: We have feelings too. We all have families and live routine, normal (But sometimes hectic) lives with the normal ups and downs like everyone else. The only difference is that our jobs revolve around 7 to 11 year olds eight hours a day with only a 25 minute lunch break -when not also monitoring the cafeteria! And the last thing we think about is using the paddle -Which is a last resort for us!

 


Dear Readers:We at TWP are probably going to catch HELL for this post -but, with Wendy’s blessings, we are going to give a side of Wendy that shocked all of us. Wendy is a quiet type who is as friendly and caring as Michelle, Jenny, and myself. A few commentators have unfairly labeled Wendy as the “mean one”,”hardest paddler”, and “most hot-tempered.” TWP believes that all of this stemmed from our post WENDY’S (?) WORST PADDLING -but these assumptions are way off. Rather, just like the rest of us, Wendy hates using the paddle and as she puts it: “5TH graders are too old to be paddled and need to grow up!” In Wendy’s post, she tried repeatedly to get out of using the paddle but only got lies in return. In that case, the other contributors of TWP would have done no differently than Wendy.

 

WENDY’S MISTAKE

The first part of this saga is second hand info since I (Renee) was not present. It started at a morning recess for the 5th graders in which Wendy and Max, our other 5th grade (and only male) teacher, were monitoring while sitting on the steps that lead into the classroom wing of our school. A student, Shad – who is a loner and keeps to himself -was doing some art work on a paved walkway at the far end of the playground area. He had the school’s permission because colored chalk was being used that washes away when it rains. Every teacher, including Wendy, knew about this “approved art” -so it was never an issue. But some other “art” on the brick wall only a stone’s throw behind Shad WAS an issue -A VERY BIG ISSUE!

I was told later that one of a few of our black students came up to Wendy and Max complaining, “Shad put something ‘bad’ on the side of the building!” The student admitted that he did not “see” Shad do it but asked Wendy and Max to look -which they did.

What Wendy and Max saw -around the corner from where Shad was working on his sidewalk art -was something none of us ever expected to see: A black grafetti hand-written proclamation stating “KKK 4EVER!” Both Wendy and Max were horrified and asked Shad about it. Shad denied any responsibility but Max checked the black chalk and compared it to the markings -they matched as to color and Max later told me the markings looked “chalky” to him.

That’s when Wendy “blew her stack” and hustled Shad inside after telling Max, “Shad is MY student and I will handle this!”

Since Jenny was in the middle of a science demo and Michelle’s class was at the library at the other end of the building, I was the one who was called on to be a possible “witness.” (This was only a week or so after the paddling referred to in WENDY’S WORST(?) PADDLING). I could tell she was steamed and she already had her “TAKE ALONG” paddle tucked under her right arm. After telling me what happened, I was aghast and felt this was SERIOUS! But despite our repeated questioning, Shad would not admit to it.

Finally, Wendy gave an ultimatum: “Confess to us and just get a paddling or take your chances with Mr. Smith, the principal -And risk certain suspension and likely placement in the alternate school for the rest of the year!”

Shad continued to protest his innocence but must have feared being the youngest student in a school set up for older students who repeatedly start fights in school. Wendy was ready to just haul Shad to the office when he finally ‘fessed up saying,”O.k., I did it…Please don’t take me to the office!”

“Alright then, Shad…We will handle this apart from Mr. Smith…But this paddling is one you will not forget!” Wendy proclaimed. “The VERY IDEA of putting a racist message on the outside wall of YOUR school…” Wendy muttered as we entered the conference room where paddlings are given behind closed doors.

While just the three of us were in the room, a three month pregnant Wendy took charge and insisted on doing the honors because she considered Shad “her” student. If anyone thinks a pissed off pregnant teacher cannot swing the timber -think again! She gave five of the hardest swats I’ve ever witnessed -and I had to keep her from swinging at a wider angle than 90 degrees! I’ve heard that 5th graders do not tend to cry when paddled but this was definitely an exception. But even through his tears, Shad then stated, as he walked back to the classroom,”I did not do it!”

Wendy and I considered that pathological but let it go because the punishment was done and over with. The discipline report simply stated “playground misconduct” and we left a note on the janitor’s closet door about the wall markings.

Strangely, he was nowhere to be seen! That really was strange since he had a reputation for being a wanna-be teacher whom everyone loved and respected. Ol’ Clyde, as we all call him, is a black Korean War veteran who retired the year I was hired but came back because, “If I just sit at home, I’ll die of boredom!” Well, Clyde was more than just a school “fixture” -He was the school before the old building we now use was even built! But he was “out on errands” as Wendy and I found out later when lunchtime began.

Popping in the teacher’s lounge where all of us lady teachers were watching our favorite daytime drama while eating lunch (Poor Max is always out-voted -but hey -Life is unfair and someone has to watch the cafeteria with Mr. Smith!) Scratching his head as he looked at our note, Clyde asked,” What did you give me this note for, Renee?…I already knew about the markings early this morning when I unlocked the school doors…I saw them when I walked around back…”

That meant two things: First, Shad didn’t do it because he rode the bus and never had the opportunity apart from recess! Second, Mr. Smith never mentioned the markings at our early morning staff meeting. Suddenly I lost my appetite and Wendy looked like she had a bad case of food poisoning.

“Uh, Clyde…Where were you this morning?” I asked.

“At the hardware store…Trying to find something that will remove the black ink markings without ruining the exterior brick’s color…And I found ‘it’ and…NO MORE ‘KKK’ AROUND HERE!” Clyde declared in triumph.

I only wish Wendy hadn’t been there because I seriously thought she might have a breakdown right then and there…and lose her baby!

Patting her knee as I sat next to her, I calmly said to a trembling young lady,”Easy now, Wendy…Calm down and take a deep breath…Don’t fall apart on me…and remember… YOUR baby!”

(No one else knew or understood what this situation was really about.)

Wendy then got up and made a beeline for the door to the cafeteria but I managed to intercept her and steered her to the conference room down the hall. Wendy already had tears streaming down her face but agreed murmuring,” I have to see…”

“I know…I’ll bring Shad and have a substitute called to spot for you this afternoon…Because you are in no condition to teach right now.” I then had a wobbly Wendy sit down while I went back to find Shad in the cafeteria.

I half dragged a quiet and sullen Shad back to meet Wendy, explaining what happened and imploring, “It was a mistake, Shad…and Wendy -knowing her as well as I do -will spend the rest of her life if necessary trying to make it up to you…Just keep in mind…She is also carrying a baby inside …and in her present condition…”

“It’s o.k., I understand…I don’t hate HER -just what she did!” Shad replied, to my relief.

When Shad stepped inside, what happened next was such a departure for Wendy that I will never forget it as long as I live!

Wendy literally dropped to the floor on her knees and wrapped her arms around Shad’s waist and sobbed, “I’m sooo sorry, Shad…Please…forgive…me!”

I then worried that if she did not pull herself together , we might have a miscarriage right then.

Patting Wendy on the back, I encouraged her to take deep breaths and calm down. Then I helped Wendy up so she could sit back down in the chair.

A wide-eyed Shad then spoke,”Wendy, I hated what you did but now that you said ‘I am sorry,’ I forgive you!” and then embraced Wendy who could only cry softly as she repeated, “I was wrong…I am so sorry…”

As lunchtime ended, I was so thankful that in our small 200 +/- school, nearly all the grade levels had lunch within a 55 minute period. Who knows what might of happened if Wendy had found out while my class and I were back in our room? I sent Shad back to his classroom with the librarian who spotted until the substitute teacher arrived. As to Wendy, she was o.k. but I encouraged her to take the last couple of days that week off -which she did. Before getting in the car when James picked her up, Wendy asked me to trash that paddle saying, “Renee, I don’t ever want to see that thing ever again!” Of course, I obliged and removed the paddle from her room.

Understand, as Jenny, Michelle, and I dropped by Wendy’s home afterschool, Wendy told us, “I’m not turning into a P.T.A.V.E. fanatic but…I just don’t want to use the paddle anymore…at least for now…And in two more months, I’ll start my maternity leave when Christmas Break starts!” We all “High-fived” Wendy on that and left our young marrieds to themselves. (If you could only see the future baby’s room -decked out in Auburn Blue and Orange wallpaper, bed sheets, and carpet -Wanna bet where that child is going to college?)

When Wendy came back at the start of the new week, there was one other change: Despite his protests, Shad was reassigned to Max’s classroom because we all felt it was in the best interest of Wendy and Shad. For Wendy because of the probability that she would be too permissive on classroom discipline with Shad. For Shad because we all understood that the “feelings” he might have for Wendy would be a problem for both -but especially for Shad’s education.

But those two saw each other at recess time. I’ve been told that the sight of Wendy sitting down near Shad to “model for art” was a sight to behold. With a growing midsection, the idea of Wendy trying to ackwardly sit and get up off the walkway would have been heart-warming and hilarious at the same time. I only wished that someone had taken a picture of Shad’s portrayal of Wendy -It was GOOD -but a rainstorm messed it up.

As to the paddling, Wendy told me that Shad said, “My butt was sore but no serious damage!” It will always “Hurt” Wendy inside but she is just glad Shad has no hard feelings towards her-Hey, those two will probably be friends for life!

Alls well that ends well!

COMING NEXT: EDITORIAL:

WHY THE “ANTI’S” HATE TWP

&

(LOTS OF) YOUR FAQ’s

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