Thursday, October 21, 2010

Elvis Update:

Update: Elvis came to class this morning and stood outside, too embarrassed to say anything. He just waited thinking I couldn't see him. I told him I was really glad that he came back and I needed to talk to him. When all of the guys came in I asked them what we should do... As a group. They agreed that our first consequence wasn't really fair so we'd let him back in but only if we made a contract that we could all follow. I re-explained the benefits of living in community and being "on a team." and then we listed some specific things that would hurt our team in the shop then we came up with consequences. I think we took a huge step forward as a group! They are really understanding why we need to be together! thank you all for your prayers! I was so glad that I slept all through the night without being worried about the whole situation. And although Elvis never said anything I could tell that he was very repentant and wanted to make things right.

So after that we skipped the lesson on the router and talked about "us" and then I taught them the standard measuring system (inches/feet) which led to fractions... It was a really great day.They are all at least 14 yrs old and haven't learned how to add or subtract fractions but after today I think they might get it! Oh and Elvis broke three rules today and had to do 30 sit-ups =)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I guess it's all part of the deal. When working in a place that doesn't have much structure, where the teachers in public school just don't show up, where kids get most everything that they want if they whine, I'm gonna have to be the one to put some sort of structure in place. I mean who's going to teach these kids about the real world? Who's gonna help them to understand the value of punctuality, or respecting the property of others? Who's going to give them second chances? To say sorry and help them understand the tough love? I mean, there's no love coming from your boss when he fires you, right? Well today I had to discipline one of my students who hasn't really ever done anything wrong. Here's the situation:
I now have three classes in the shop, A, B, and C. A is open to everyone so it's just basic following the rules. B is a set group so I am trying to teach them about the effects that one persons misbehaving can have on the entire group. For example; Rule #1 is to arrive on time. I give them five minutes after class starts to arrive. At five minutes I lock the gate. Well this last week a kid came 45 minutes late and wanted to come in. I asked the class if they wanted to let him in and they said yes. I then explained to them that his punishment was to be shut out and if they wanted to let him in we all had to "pay" something. We decided that everyone would do 20 push-ups and he would do 30. It turned out to be a good experience and now we are beginning to work and think as a group. For the first time I had someone say they didn't want to pay for someone else's mistakes... That's huge in a culture that doesn't say anything against anyone else to their face! Anyways it gave me an idea. I decided to make the same kind of "deal" in group C as well!
Group C is full of my older kids who mostly have decided to drop out of high school. Their friends and mothers call them lazy and good for nothing.... They might not be too far off of the lazy part. They do something until it's hard and then go back to sleep. Anyways, in my class C we have a problem. They always throw the tools on the ground. I think you can understand why that's bad so I wont go into it. So just yesterday I confronted them, told them that we needed to come up with a consequence for leaving the tools on the floor that we would all pay, including me. I explained to them the concept of being a team and how we look out for each other. I told them to pick up after each other because they're invested in the team. I told them that they needed to learn what it is to help each other out in order to help themselves and how we can't do everything on our own in life. It went well and they seemed to respond well. I told them about the other class' push-ups and they said that was a good idea. Then I said, " well what happens if someone wont do it?" they responded by saying that they couldn't be a part of the team... Seemed reasonable to me. After all, they're all friends, they can pressure each other into doing the right things. Right?
Well today as I was walking around I found 2 clamps on the floor... at first it was funny. I was kinda laughing and telling them I needed to see them do the push-ups etc. None of them moved!! I reminded them of the consequence for not doing the punishment and they all started to move... You need to understand that To be kicked off the team is to be kicked out of the shop until January ... Well Daniel did his but the other two couldn't do more than 2!! It was crazy! Ella can do more than that!! They whined and cried fro about ten minutes until the end of the class... So I said," you have two minutes and if you don't do it... See ya in January!" At this point I was still thinking they'd do it... Well Bryan decided he would.. It took him another ten minutes to do it but one-by-one he got them done... Then there was Elvis... He whined and cried, said he couldn't do them, said he'd do sit-ups, but he never moved... I reminded him that it wasn't my rule... They made the rule together and now we couldn't break it... It's a contract! The end of class came and went and Elvis just sat there... The guys started poking at him verbally and I told him I'd count to 5 and if he just started we'd wait for him to finish (it's the softy in me i guess) So I counted... really slow.... Then at three I said he'd have to leave when I got to five if he hadn't started... Well I got to five and told him to leave until January.... Oh crud!! This is one of my kids that probably needed this the most. He isn't a bad kid! He's probably the poorest in every way you could think of! And I just kicked him out! I still feel really bad about the entire situation. I never thought we'd have to kick someone out!
I guess this blog is a prayer request for Elvis and me. For Elvis (or Mono as we call him) That he wouldn't be bitter and he'd get rid of the stubbornness that he showed today. For me that I can let it all go and actually sleep tonight. I don't know how I could have avoided it. Would it be acceptable to let him break the rules knowing that now they'd never take my rules serious and they'd never learn about the team concept? I don't know. I keep thinking it over in my head and I can't make it go any other way...
The only saving grace will be the other guys.... I told them about how the other class chose to pay the price with their friend in order to let him back in... True, in class B it was just a day, this is the entire trimester, but I told them if they each did another 20 and he did 40 he could come back.... I just hope that overnight he'll change his stubborn heart and come back repentant... What an opportunity for me to tell about how Christ took our place and how we are to be to each other!!
Thanks for reading! Sorry, I just needed to vent and ask people to pray. Please comment if you read this and pray. I just feel so sad for Elvis and want Jesus to touch him through what I'm doing. Have a good evening =)