>How do I describe a day like today? For some reason the phrase “shit storm” comes to mind.
Block 1: Ok. 1st Block wasn’t too bad. I did have to confiscate several sheets of blank address labels. A student had stolen from the Science room (the teacher was gone and had a substitute) and had passed them out to several other kids who were now wearing them as mustaches. At the time I was really annoyed, but if I had known how the rest of the day was going to turn out, I would have let the whole class make fake mustaches and probably fake eyebrows as well.
Block 2: Tired of hearing the kids continuously break out into discussions regarding the crazy girl fight last week, I had to lay down the law. I reminded them that in my classroom, we do not engage in fighting and we do not talk about fighting. I told them if I catch them talking about school fights, they would have to call home and serve a lunch detention. A student responded:
Student: “What’s the big deal? It’s like 10 years later, and people still talk about 9/11.”
Me: “Don’t you dare compare a middle school girl fight to 9/11.” I was too frustrated to say anything else so I made the kids take a test.
Block 3: Although I made it through the Block without incident, as soon as I dismissed the class, all hell broke loose. In less than 5 seconds of the dismissal bell, I found myself diving through a crowd of 100 8th graders. I made it to the center of the chaos to find two girls on the floor. The 1st one was on her back on top of a teacher who had her restrained so she could no longer hit him. The 2nd girl, who is being pulled away by two other teachers, has both hands tightly gripped into the 1st girl’s hair. As the teachers begin to make some headway in separating the two, the 1st girl grabs the 2nd girl’s leg. The two teachers are now dragging all three of them down the hall while I am trying to hold back crowd. That’s when I notice a boy is repeatedly kicking the girl who is restrained. With one hand, I continue to hold back the crowd, while I pin the boy against the lockers with the other. He continues to kick her until I am able to get my body in between them. By then administration has arrived and I am off to write my 1st office referral of the day.
>Yesterday the unthinkable happened. I got a detention. Yep, it’s true. I felt just like I was in Middle School… oh wait… I never got a detention in Middle School. In my entire lifetime, I have received three detentions; one in 2nd grade, one in 4th grade, and now one as an 8th grade teacher.
In 2nd grade, while I was standing in line at the drinking fountain, one of my friends playfully stepped on my foot causing a foot stepping game to immediately ensue. As I raised my foot to step on his toes for the third time, I was quickly snatched out of line, by my ear I might add, while my teacher yelled in my face, “No toe stomping!” I was slapped with 30 minutes of recess detention. I remember going home and having to face my parents. They rolled their eyes at me.
In 4th grade I was playing a vigorous game of freeze tag at recess. I tagged a kid, but he didn’t freeze. I chased him down, yelling, “You can’t escape me!” and slapped him square on the back. Still, he didn’t freeze. Now I was mad. I caught up to him again. This time I pushed him to the ground, sat on him, then proceeded to bounce up and down, while yelling, “I tagged you and you know it.” At this point, the recess monitor looked over and made me “sit on the line.” I had to spend the next fifteen minutes sitting on the blacktop, with at least one of my body parts touching the yellow painted line that ran the length of the building. I got an additional five minutes for trying to hit a kid with my shoe for taunting me. My parents had a hard time keeping a straight face when I explained this one.
And now, in my 10th year of teaching 8th grade, I have received a 3rd detention. This week I had early morning supervising duty. Yesterday I was late… for the third day in a row. As I was making my rounds through the cafeteria, shooting the breeze with my kids, my principal called me over.
Principal: “Miss Lewis, we really need you here at 7:15.” (I had arrived to school at 7:22)
Me: “Yea. I know.”
Principal: “So we’ll see you bright and early tomorrow.”
Me: “Ok. No problem.”
Principal: “And we’re going to need you to come early next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday as well.” (What??? Did I just get assigned three days of detention?) “So, no more hitting that snooze button.”
Me: “I’m working hard to reprogram my last 33 years of not being a morning person.”
Principal: “If you want, I can give you a call in the morning?… No?”
This morning I got to school at 7:05. I went to my classroom, straightened my desks, wrote the agenda on the board, and made sure I waited until 7:17 before reporting to the cafeteria. What can I say? I like living on the edge.
Please don’t make me call my parents.