Saturday, December 18, 2010
I took two steps when I realized I had better check the weather conditions...the blinds were down. I had not even looked toward them. It was dark(remember? I make coffee in the dark). I KNEW something was up with the weather, though. How? you may ask. Is it my powers as a weather god showing through? No. It's the power of the wet sensation that traveled from the bottom of my foot to my brain. See, the floor had not been covered with wet doggy prints a few seconds before. I went to the blinds and pulled them apart enough to confirm my suspicion. SNOW. Well, there goes the thought of sunbathing in the backyard.
I had first graders yesterday. It was a pretty good class. There were a couple (four) behavior problems, and by problems I mean children. A couple could not stay in their desks. I'm not allowed a cattle prod, so the best I could do was repeatedly tell them to stop, have heart to hearts explaining my expectations and generally growl. It was going pretty well despite the problems...until.
Until, whilst I was bent over helping a student with her paper, another little girl (problem #3) interrupted me to tell me that problem #2 had just "showed his bottom to me." Great.
Yesterday was pajama day...I looked at problem #2...yep, his pajama pants could have easily slipped down revealing..."bottom." Problem #3 began accusing Problem #1, then Problem #2 accused Problem #4 and some others of the same thing. I had a sudden vision of having to dunk them all in water to see if they were witches...but shook my head to clear it. Problems #1, #2, and #4 were boys. Number four had jeans on and I could not see him being able to quickly moon anyone. Honestly, I could not see how SO many people could be mooning others without me seeing, so I automatically decided one or more of them were passing the blame or making things up. I decided to have words with #1,#2, and #4.
Of course, in the meantime, most students had no idea what was going on or what some of them had been accused of. I had many petitioners for help...I told them, gruffly, to go back to their desk while I handled this. I looked at #1, #2, and #4...none seemed overly impressed to be the center of the teacher's attention. Damn. there goes that.
I had already switched from my normal Mr. H. nice-guy voice, to my really-annoyed voice already with no apparent effects. I went to Defcon 2, out came the I-am-so-pissed-off-I-might-eat-you voice. That seemed to at least grab their attention, if not stir them to worry. Crap, these guys are pros!
I decided to throw a scenario their way so they might see the inappropriateness of their alleged actions. I stared with saying that IF they had done this, it was highly inappropriate. I explained that I had not seen it, and that this was their one special chance. If I EVER (I spiced this word with extra mean-pissed-off-teacher voice) heard that they had done this again, I would march them right down to the principal. I expected this to elicit some response...it did, barely. Number one shifted his weight.
I continued. "This is the kind of thing that the principal calls parents about." Slight discomfort from #1 and #4, #2 seemed completely un-phased. "You parents will have to come down and get you. How do you think your parents will feel having to leave work or home to come get you? Do you think they are going to be happy?" Finally, all three seemed to lose a little color. Ah HA! I'm on the right track!
Time to deliver the coup de grace!
"You know, Christmas is just a few days away." Terror shown in their eyes as what I was suggesting began to seep in. "Do you think Santa Claus will be happy to hear what you guys have done?" They had just turned pale and might have been trembling. I had them. I told them, "As it is Santa probably knows what you have done, but he's a nice guy, MAYBE if you are good the rest of the day he will let this drop...but you better be extra good!" They departed with fear on their faces.
My job here is done.
I took them to the specialist a little while later. While they were there, I dropped into the office and let the principal know what had happened in my class. First day in a new building and THIS is how I meet the principal...love my life. She looked worried, until I described who the perps were. Then she looked like she understood. When I explained how I had handled it, she broke out into a wide grin and said it was good to know what scared them. She said she was going to try using that on kids now. She thanked me and told me to have a good day.
At the end of the day, I had given everyone a drawing to color and saw everyone off. One little girl had asked me during the day if I had a girl friend. When I said I was married, she looked disappointed, but then she said her mom had a boyfriend with a slight frown. Number 1, #2, and #4 left telling me I was a good teacher, as though they had done nothing. A little girl gave me a hug on the way out and said she thought I was a good teacher. I thanked her. When they left I cleaned up, wrote the last of my notes and departed, too.
All-in-all, it was a good day.