After yesterday I really, REALLY wanted to dump this class. Even more so after I got calls from three of the best schools in my favored district last night. I came real close to pulling the trigger, but I did give my word to teacher that I’d be there.
When I arrived at the school I got a class list from the office and before class began, I gave a little lecture about how I didn’t appreciated what happened yesterday. As a consequence, I would be assessing “time owed’ in 15s (yes that’s seconds) intervals of time for each time someone acts up, misbehaves, punches, trips, insults, throws, shouts out, throws tantrums or are not where they’re supposed to be during class. Each kid’s “time owed” will be tallied and appended to the report I’m writing for their teacher at the end of the day.
The first few demerits handed out early on actually held them in check to the end of the math test. But by the time we reached the first recess, several of the boys had already accumulated multiple minutes of time.
At lunch time, two boys trashed each others desks and disappeared. The time owed tally sheet was starting to look like an ant infestation. One boy that spoke perfect English yesterday wouldn’t speak anything except Spanish to me today.
Five boys, in particular, just couldn’t seem to physically control themselves to occupy a seat or silence that pie hole they call a mouth.
Lunch time finally arrived and I was ready to dull the pain with a cold Diet Pepsi in the staff lunch room. What I found was a vending machine, door open and devoid of any drinks. Another teacher came in to announce that the police were out front taking a report from the vending driver about some forth graders that were caught stealing drinks from the truck while he was attempting to restock the machine.
At lunch, I actually met the teacher that had these kids last year. She was asked to follow this group by moving up to 6th grade this year but wisely decided to move the other direction down to 4th instead. She wasn’t surprised to hear that I wasn’t having a good day.
The last hour of today’s lesson plan was to have them “write a letter to Ms. R (their teacher) to let her know how their day went.” One kid tried a bribe me with “I’ll write you good evaluation” if I erased his “time owed” points. Otherwise he threatened to write “everything bad” about me.
Time owed - two additional minutes.
Twenty minutes before the end of the day, I finally gave up.
When it’s time to give up, turn out the lights and play a video. I have a video titled “Seeds” I Tivo’ed from the Nature channel I carry in my back pack.
The VCR in the classroom was broken. So instead of a video, I opened the door and announced: “Free Play…Get Out”.
I just couldn’t take being trapped in the same room as these future illiterate jail house inmates.
I held all their backpacks hostage in the classroom so they couldn’t leave the campus early as I had overheard some of them planning to do. Shortly after I followed them outside to monitor the little demons from hell, “Spanish Only Today Boy” was caught entering the girls’ bathroom claiming to retrieve a ball. He exited without any evidence of “said ball”.
Time owed AND a special paragraph in the teacher report.
All of this and more took me forty minutes of carefully edited reporting for their teacher to read on Monday.
I was so wore out and pissed that I stopped by my friend’s house for some decompression time. He wasn’t there, but after hearing about my day his wife made a pitcher of margaritas which we shared until my buddy returned.
If the teacher follows through, and I hope she does, with the “time owed” penalties, several of the boys in this class are going to miss most of an entire lunch period some day in the future.
I’ll never know because I’m blacklisting that school for at least the next two years or until the margaritas wear off.
Whichever is longer.