While I’ve got the kids working, I thought it’d be fun to live-blog my day; if I’m getting eaten alive and regurgitated, I’d want it memorialized (blogger to the end!).  What can I say?  I’ve got a computer, the internet, and it’s impossible to "write" write, so I might as well "play" write.

First period.  Free.  Works out nicely so I could steady my footing and plan the day.

Second period.  7th graders.  For fun, I had them answer roll call with their favorite candy.  There was a hint of "good things" to come.  Typically, I don’t think roll is actually called, but I want to know their names (easy, since I already know most of this grade).  We’re working through a study of cells and their function.  Uneventful class.

I should’ve known that wouldn’t last long….

Homeroom.  School is intense for six hours a day, homeroom should be a respite.  At the beginning of class, several of the guys exchanged dollar bills for change.  Miss Phillips has a snack stash in her room, so I assumed it was for that.

What happens when you "assume" anything (factor in these are 8th graders…)?  Y e a h …exactly.

This falls under the heading "WHAT WAS I THINKING???!"

When one of the students came back to my desk to get more change, I investigated further.  They were playing cards…and brilliant deducer that I am, I connected the dots.  "Y’all are playing poker???  FOR MONEY?????" 

Ai yi yi……they weren’t too happy when I put an end to that (although for half a second I thought about joining the game and cleaning their clocks) (I kid, I KID…I never can remember whether a full house beats two pair)  (am I an ingenue or a grifter?)

Third period.
  8th grade.  This class came with a bit of "reputation"…I knew some of the jokers from past experience.  I thought I’d outsmart ’em.  One of their class projects is a wall-sized weather mural, complete with types of clouds, layers of sky, fronts–all labeled.  Only a few students can work on the mural at a time, so I asked the class who were typically the "most-disruptive-for-subs" students (please realize delivery of that question made it unobjectionable–they knew I wasn’t name callin’).

I chose two guys to work on the mural and thought that would keep them occupied and out of mischief.   

It did keep them occupied.  But for one, it was little more than an invitation to trouble.

The rest of the class was working on creating a 25-question study guide they’d exchange later in the week.  While I was answering a question, I heard a commotion in the back.  A student was grimacing in obvious pain, reaching for something in the back of his shirt and on his arm.

Hot glue.  Hot glue that was supposed to be used for labeling the weather mural–not maiming and torturing classmates.

This is NOT something you want to do under my watch (even if technically I missed it).

I knew my reaction mattered…it mattered for the rest of the day today, it mattered for tomorrow, and it mattered for my future "subbing" reputation.

My response?

I sent the offender to the office immediately; and while I didn’t launch into my "I’m not here to be your friend…" speech, I did sternly and calmly express a "righteous indignation" on behalf of the student who was burned.  And, yes…I diatribed it can SO be a verb! "…Trust me, y’all WANT me to sub for you and I’m not about to put up with this kind of junk…" 

You could’ve heard a pin drop. 

They went back to work.  Q u i e t l y. 

Fourth period. 7th grade.  Eventful in that they FINISHED their study guides and we were able to review answers before the bell rang.  Except for Jimmy, who had the singular distinction of NOT EVEN STARTING HIS GUIDE until I came and looked over his shoulder; he BEGAN work on his outside the class, while I confirmed answers inside.

You don’t want to mess with me.  Remember…I can stop a moving car with my bare hands.

Fifth period.  8th grade.  I can’t remember…that was hours ago, right?  If I can’t remember, that means it went well.  100% attendance, probably about 94% cooperation. 

Sixth period.  7th grade.  This is the class my son Thomas is in.  It’s a large class, these kids know me, THAT works to my disadvantage.  Chatty, challenging, but still uneventful.  Aside from half of them leaning back in their chairs (a personal pet peeve), nothing eventful.

Seventh period.  Eventful.  Very…  to be continued….

The last period of the day came with a reputation…not the good kind.  Eighth graders, rambunctious boys…full of life and themselves. 

Because I HATE the thought of my own children being automatically pegged, and because typically I err on the side of favorable expectation.

Ooops, Blog, Interrupted.  CLICK HERE for the conclusion.  Sort of.

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