The Ballerina Mathematician

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 07 2012

The Two-Handed Feel Up

Yesterday, I got felt up by an 8th grade boy.  It was a definite, two-handed, all-out feel up.  Now this was accidental of course, but it doesn’t change the ridiculousness or embarrassment of the situation.  Let me explain…

My 5th period class is a math skills block full of “high flyers” who all happen to be friends with each other.  On days when none of them happens to be suspended, absent, ditching or in ISS, it is a powderkeg of misbehavior.  Yesterday one high flyer said something offensive to another, who then decided to stand up and jokingly approach the student as if to fight him.  This happens a lot–they stand up and say “You wanna go??” and it seems like they’re going to fight, but really they’re all friends and they’re kidding around.  This doesn’t make it acceptable however, so I approached the student, walking towards him down the aisle of desks.  His friend (another frequent misbehaver) decided it was the optimal time to trip him, and he had no choice but to fall right into me, two hands straight out.

He solidly grabbed both my breasts before rebounding, completely accidentally.  In fact he didn’t fully realize what he had done until he observed the reactions of myself and the other students.  It was utterly mortifying and yet such a comically silly situation.  I was very upset, especially because it wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t been misbehaving in the first place (believe it or not students can’t just get out of their seats in the middle of instruction and violently approach another student).  I sent him outside so we could talk.

He immediately began that it wasn’t his fault, that so-and-so tripped him.  I assured him that I understood, but reminded him that if he had stayed in his seat in the first place, this wouldn’t have happened.  Then he told me he felt too awkward to return to class (poor thing!).  It didn’t take him long to get over that and start messing around again, and I spent the rest of my class protectively covering my chest without realizing it.

What a day.

In other news, I took the PLACE test for physical education today.  It’s frustrating to me that as a licensed teacher with a ballet degree I can’t just teach dance.  Instead I need to pass the PE test, which I’m not sure I did.  I’ll see the results soon, and in the meantime I’m applying to charter schools that might be able to overlook my lack of a PE endorsement.

I meant to update my blog numerous times since my last post–every day that ended up being positive.  However I don’t usually have time during the week, and good days are always followed by bad days, which makes it difficult for me to remember what made me so happy I wanted to blog.  Sometimes, my students make me happy.  Most days, they do not.

I’m 75% of the way done with my TFA experience.  Here’s hoping I can make it to May!

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    a dancer's adventure in teaching math

    Middle School

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