The last week leading into this winter break week was pretty busy. The four assignments in five days went pretty quickly. Only two incidents of note are worth mentioning.
The first was having a “ninja throwing star” sail by my ear as I opened the door to the classroom in the morning. No, it wasn’t a REAL throwing star but one made of folded paper.
The 4th grader ninja kid was more surprised than I was at how close it came to giving me a potential severe paper cut.
I could have sent him off to the office, but instead I made him hand over his entire origami arsenal for the trash can and wrote a note to his teacher for future discipline disposition. I didn’t send him to the office because this school has a weak disciplinarian principal and I knew nothing of consequence would come of it.
“Boys will be boys!”
The second incident occurred at the same school the Friday before the break. I had about 20 more minutes to go over the lesson plan for this final day when there was a knock on the door. The dad, standing there with his son, clearly wasn’t expecting me as I opened the door.
Dad: Uhhh, is Mr. K here?
Me: No, I’m substituting for him today. Can I help you?
The dad and son had just come from meeting with the principle about an incident that had happened previously in the week. His kid was allegedly punched by another kid with a sharp pencil sticking out between the knuckles of his fist. He wanted me to make sure this other kid would not bother his kid today.
That was the shortened story of the conversation. The actual conversation lasted for most of my remaining prep time and included threats of suing the school, the other kid’s parents, the principal, and having the aggressor kid expelled from school etc, etc, etc…
I told him that I completely understood his concerns and promised to watch out for the kid today. I would also leave a note for Mr. K to inform him about his concerns for the safety of his kid when school resumes after winter break. That’s pretty much all I can do as the daily replacement for his teacher.
As the pair turned to leave, I saw the principal making his way out to my classroom.
He saw the pair leave. He told me that “aggressor boy” does have a reputation in the school but for the other kid not to have reported the problem on the day it occurred made him doubt which boy to believe. He asked what thoughts I had about having “aggressor boy” in class today.
I’m thinking: “You want ME to make that decision for you? Ok, then…”
The last day of school before a week off doesn’t have much going on in the classroom so I suggested that he should keep “aggressor boy” in his office for the day, and I would send down his daily work to do.
I don’t need any more complications today.