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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Backed Up …

I just love a lesson plan that starts off: “These kids can be quite noisy at times”.

The teacher who called me Sunday night didn’t mention that item of information when she asked me to take her 6th grade class for Monday morning. She saved it for…Monday morning…SURPRISE!!.

Well, it’s only one day and I had a pretty complete lesson plan to work from. By the time the kids figure out that I’m all bluff, it’ll be over and I can walk away free and clean.

Of the thirty 6th graders, she has five boys and one girl that are the driving force behind the class turmoil. If it wasn’t for the “tainted six”, this class would be a dream.

I sat hard and tight on all six…all day. We made it to the end of the day in pretty good shape and nobody ended up crying or composing a “Kill List”.

As I’m packing up to leave, the office calls down to ask if I can take the class again tomorrow. The teacher has contracted some kind of infection of the thyroid and is on her way to the hospital. She’s seriously sick so I agree knowing that I’ll have to come up with a lesson plan for tomorrow. Something I haven’t done before so therefore so it’s probably doomed from the start

With the help of two other 6th grade teachers, we come up with a lot of work to fill the day. Only the math section is a logical extension of the previous day. The rest is mostly reading and writing stuff till the dismissal bell.

The “tainted six” are corralled by having their names on the board in a box labeled “The LIST”. I haven’t told them what the list means. The longer I delay telling them, the implied threat seems to have their attention…especially after I put check marks after each offenders name when he/she forgets I have “The LIST”.

By lunch time, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Near the end of our 40min lunch, one of the male teachers exits the teachers lounge bathroom and asks one of the female teachers to go in and flush one of the toilets in the womens room.

She returns right quick. “There’s black water backing up in both toilets!”

A check in the student bathrooms confirms that the plumbing is seriously compromised campus wide.

Back in the classroom, I tell the kids: “I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that all the restrooms are closed because sewage is backing up in the plumbing”

The kids ask: “So what’s the GOOD news?”

“The good news is that I won’t have honor any further requests to “go to the bathroom” for the rest of the day AND requests for “drinks of water” will be discouraged due to the bathrooms being closed”

One of the “tainted six”, one that’s had an unusually weak bladder today, later told me that the toilets were backed up with “black water” since the 10:00am recess.

Evidentially neither he nor any of the other 785 kids on campus thought that was worth mentioning to any adult on the school grounds.

Fortunately, I’m not working there tomorrow or Friday due to advance scheduling. I’m busy for the rest of the week…or at least until the plumbing gets fixed.

1 comment:

subhuman said...

Hey there, I'm liking your blog. Nice to know there are other subs out there who feel the need to write about the day's catastrophes (or successes, but aren't the crazy days more interesting?). Check me out sometime at (but remember that I'm a newbie!)