I said bullshit. Ok?
My first two classes went exceptionally well today, so I was, like, in the habit of seeing students behave and follow directions. Then, fourth period came in. They turn the lights off, bring in food, roughhouse, and generally bring chaos into my classroom. Numbering 23, they are by far my smallest class, and yet, the hardest to handle.
The bell rings. I immediately direct students to get into their desks and get out their journals. Two continue to mill about in the back right-hand corner, but they head to their desks as I get out the clipboard. I don’t understand what it is about the clipboard. I don’t actually ever do anything with the points I give or take away, but the mere sight of my purple plastic clipboard works on most of my kids. Then, I notice a few students are out of their assigned seats and are in the back corner--where Pimp sits (when he sits).
I look back and music fills the air. Loud music. Pimp quickly covers his backpack and very large boom box with his coat. Students are not even allowed to bring backpacks to class, and this child brings a boom box?!
It was absolutely the last straw. In the last week, he’s had three detentions. He won’t stay in a desk. He talks constantly in class. He brings food in my class and leaves french fries and ketchup packets smashed on my floor. He leaves his Biology book and whole newspapers spread out on my floor. He harasses the girls and taunts the boys. Every journal entry he reads ends up mentioning pimps, murder or poo. I knew, eventually, he would get to me. Today was that day.
I sent him and his boom box to in-school suspension. He will be there again all day tomorrow. I was right to kick him out of class, and I realized that I should have done it a long time ago.
Still, I maintained an appropriate level of professionalism.
I had the laptop cart in my classroom because we are doing pseudo-research papers on blogs (more on that soon). There are thirteen laptops, and it never fails that two or three will not work. Jackson* brought one up to me that was on the fritz. We could see the screen but just barely. I thought maybe it needed a little battery lovin'. I carried the laptop over to the cart and bent over to plug it in. As I bent over, I heard the rip of my pants splitting in half along the butt.
You may be laughing, but it is not funny.
Ok, it is a little funny. I can have a sense of humor about it because I don’t weigh much, so I just chalk it up to crap pants and not large arse. However, since it was a large rip and I would be showing off my, uh, business if I walked around, I sat down at the desk nearest me for the rest of the period. I said I was sick of always coming to them. They could come to me for a change.
You’d think that would be where I’d say it. But, you’d be wrong.
A few students surrounded my little desk island as I helped them with their blogs and using quotations. From the backside of the room (heh, heh...), I see a girl in a white puffy coat enter the room and go over to speak with Tamara. I snap to attention. Last week, another teacher asked me if I had sent a student to her 4th period class to deliver a message to a student. I said no. I didn’t even know her student. So, she told me about how the student interrupted her class saying she had an urgent message from hipteacher. A day later, a girl interrupted my class to “deliver a message” to one of the girls I suspected of interrupting the other class. My two girls are cheerleaders, and so are the other students, so I didn’t really remember which student interrupted my class the other day. So, I assume it is this same girl. I ask puffy coat girl if she has a pass.
“Well, you can’t come in my classroom without a pass.”
“I just have to talk to her for a second.”
“I don’t care. You’ll have to speak with her later. You need to leave this classroom,” I say as I am desperately wanting to get up and escort her out, but, of course, I can’t do that. I have to stay firmly planted to my orange plastic seat.
“Just hold on.”
“No. You need to leave.”
“But, I’m her tutor,” she says. That’s when it happened.
“Look, I don’t need your bullshit. I need you to get out of this classroom.”
“And, I don’t need your attitude,” she snapped back.
“As much as you’ll need my write-up, I’d imagine,” I said as she swung around to leave.
The door slammed and my students sat in stunned silence.
And that’s not all.
After class, one of the counselors comes down to my room with the girl. Turns out Puffy Coat really is Tamara’s tutor.
I explained why I was suspicious to the counselor and apologized to the girl. I said some nifty, backpedalling thing about how at school you are “guilty until proven innocent.” Then, I sat back and sighed deeply as the two left my class.
A few minutes later, my Taiwanese Superhero came in to fetch me for a faculty meeting. I told her my “bullshit” story as we walked to the meeting. I had tied a found sweater around my waist and was feeling much better. Then, I saw Puffy Coat in the hallway.
“That’s the girl I said bullshit to.”
“You mean the Principle’s daughter?”
That's right. The Principle's daughter.
*Names changed to protect the guilty.