Monday, January 24, 2011

I can't make this junk up

I haven't posted in a week, I know. We're running around crazy with our heads cut off. Eli is trying to wrap up some stuff at work before he leaves, so he's spending a lot of time at the office getting stuff done. In addition, he started his first jury trial this week. He's overwhelmed. (Pray for him, please!)

I'm not going to update with personal stories too much more (it's a time/sanity thing right now) but I had to put this next part down. This is not a reflection on my school or anyone I work with (or myself, I hope), but merely a reflection on the idiocy of preteens, which I believe is only seen in the microcosm of my particular school but can be generalized to preteens the world over.

Today is Monday.

This is the first Monday we have had school this month.

Something was bound to go wrong.

In homeroom, before I was even finished taking attendance, before EIGHT O'CLOCK in the morning, I had two boys get into a fistfight. I mean, really? On MONDAY? And it was over something really stupid that neither of them thought to come tell me about, following the whole chain of command thing. Nope. One kinda' playfully popped the other one on the chin. The second one took issue to the first and a fight ensued. See? It's always fun and games until someone gets hurt. I, of course, yelled the obligatory, "Stop!" because if we don't tell them to stop then the punishment is not nearly as severe, so I did my job, and they continued to fight, ensuring at least three days of out-of-school suspension. Then I called for the social studies teacher next door to come help, and he dragged both boys to the office. Had the fiasco stopped there, I might have survived. But I teach middle school, so it's never that easy.

No, it can never be that simple.

In the fight, when desks and belonging were being knocked around (but not people--not a single child got up out of his or her seat to vacate the area surrounding the fight! They all just leaned out of the way while continuing to sit in their desks and calmly watch...) a binder ended up on the ground, and out of it slid

a skin mag.


Like I said, I can't make this junk up. I honestly didn't know what to do, so I picked it up, touching as little of it as possible, and put it on my bookcase and put a Sport's Illustrated (no, not the Swimsuit Edition) on top of it until I could figure out what protocol was for this type of thing. We switched classes into reading and in the nanosecond that my students were in the hallway, word spread and several boys from one of the other classes who are in my reading class came in and made a beeline for my bookcase. They did not get an eyeful, however, because I knew what they were up to. I had to report this incident to my assistant principal and he came to my classroom to retrieve it and had to roll it up in the SI because the cover was that racy! Sheez.

Same students, later class: one young man brought a can of beer to school and was showing it around discreetly (I really should have been suspicious, looking back on it, because every day, without fail, this student tries to bring his backpack into my classroom when he knows full well that the rule is NO BACKPACKS, and that they are to go to their lockers first--well, today, he didn't try to bring that bag into my classroom). At one point this afternoon, so that he wouldn't get in trouble, he opened the beer and poured it out onto the carpet right in front of his locker.

That's right. Carpet.

In front of his locker.

Nobody will notice. Really.

REALLY? Are you kidding me?

When I sent my last period class to their lockers, several came back and told me that there was beer poured in the hallway. Of course I thought this strange and thought they were mistaken or overreacting, but sho nuff. The office dealt with the boy swiftly and severely, as I hope his mother will also. I think what the was most disturbing to me, though, was that my students knew for certain what they were smelling. I, on the other hand, was not as certain until the can was found (in the kid's backpack--empty, go figure--and no, I do not know why he didn't just throw it away, except to say that he's twelve or thirteen and is just not a problem solver...)

And that was my Monday adventure as a middle school teacher. The other teachers on my team joked that we just needed a flasher to complete our awesome day, but thankfully that did not happen. Oh. So. Thankfully.

Have I mentioned how much I love teaching middle school? :) (Because really I do--I get to tell the best stories...)


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