Friday, March 13, 2009

Immature Boy: The Sequel. Or why you can never reason with an adolescent during the full moon.

The next day this kid is in class, he starts his tired old song and dance routine. Keep in mind that he gets back from tech school, eats lunch in the cafeteria, sneaks out to stand around the corner out of sight of cameras with the janitors, goes straight to my room at the bell, bullies kids until just before the tardy bell, stands blocking my doorway to ask if he can go to the bathroom, or brush his teeth, or get his book. I will admit that I am an enabler. It's easier to let him go then, and only disrupt when he comes back in, than to have him in his seat, asking me while I am trying to take attendance.

Halfway through class, after giving an assignment for which I allowed partner work, he moves right in front of my desk. He rubs his head. And from there, it goes a little something like this:

I have a headache. It's bad. Can I go to the nurse?
Why not? It really hurts.
I let you go to the library, and you went somewhere else. You're not leaving my classroom.
But I've been sick all day. I need to see the nurse.
(Various malcontents: He really has been sick. You should let him go.)
Why didn't you go during lunch? Or instead of talking to the janitors?
What do you mean?
You had time to go then. There's no need to use my class time.
It didn't hurt this bad then. I always get a headache when I come in here.
I'm not surprised. I always get a headache during this hour, too.
So you're not letting me go to the nurse?
You can't do that.
Yes, I can. You proved that I can't trust you. You might go somewhere else.
Come ON! I just want to go get some ibuprofen for my headache.
You can do that after class.
It hurts now. I'm going to walk out of class if you don't let me go.
Do what you have to do. I will have to write you up if you walk out.
(The Attorney: Yeah. She wrote ME up when I walked out!)
(For the record: Attorney told me the day before his incident that he felt sick, and might need to run to the bathroom. I gave him permission, and he went once. The next day, he made no mention of illness, acted like his usual self, and got up in the middle of my lesson and walked out, not a word of explanation. I suppose he thought that one day of permission granted him walk-out privileges for life. He knew better, and was just making a scene. That's what he lives for.)
Oh, this is so stupid. Will you go to the phone and call up there?
That's a good idea. I will have the nurse make a house call to my classroom.
What? I don't want her to come down here to see me!
That was your idea.
Do you know how embarrassing that would be?
I'm just trying to get you the medical attention that you need.
I don't even know if she's here. I'll look out the window for her truck.
(New Girl This Year: She's here. I just went there.)
That's where you were? You let HER go to the nurse, and you won't let ME?
That's right. She has never disappeared when I let her go somewhere.
I can't wait to get to Mrs. LunchBuddy's class. How about you, Attorney?
I can wait.
Mrs. LunchBuddy is so much fun. You can joke with her.
(The Attorney: Yeah. You really like her, because she HIT YOU.)
(This is true. Professional Victim had his mom come to school because Mrs. LunchBuddy hit him on the back when he threw something, saying, "Professional Victim, stop that!")
We're over that. Anyway, like I said, you can joke with HER.
That's good. Since you can't joke with me, which I guess is what you're hinting at, maybe you shouldn't sit in front of my desk and talk to me.
(The Attorney: Ha, ha. She got you on that one.)
I can't believe this. Oh...this is SO stupid.
Your behavior caused the situation. I've let you do more than anyone else in here, so don't start about how I won't let you do anything.
You have to let me go to the nurse.
No, I don't. I've offered to call her down here, but you don't want that. What you really want is to see if I will let you out of class. And I won't.
That's stupid. Why would I do that?
You tell me.
You're just like my brother.
I can see that. I have him twice a day.
Just drop it.
All right.
Really. Just DROP IT.
I did. Why are you still talking?
Oh, this is good. Just drop it, OK?
I did.
I can't believe you won't stop.
Maybe if you stop talking, your head won't hurt so much.
I'm going to put my head down and go to sleep.
Go ahead.
Oh, I can't believe this.
I thought you were going to sleep.
(Episode of eye-rolling and sighing.)

I refuse to let a student have the last word. That's just how I roll. We had an 'expert speaker' during an inservice telling us how to not agitate a student by trying to have the last word. As Mr. S and I say, "Like H*LL!" There is no way I'm backing down from a student tirade. Bring it. A classroom has ONE LEADER, and that is ME, by cracky! Deal with it. Put that in your expert pipe and smoke it! Let one kid get away with that, and you lose the respect of every other kid in that class. They know what's right and what is wrong. They need to know the boundaries.

The principal came to the door to ask if I burned the popcorn. It wasn't a code. Somebody had incinerated some popcorn just before this hour, and the whole building stunk. Having a microwave, but no popcorn, I was off the hook.

"Mr. Principal, on your way back up the hall, could you stop by and escort Professional Victim to the nurse's office? He has a really bad headache, and I can't let him go alone."

"How about if we give him a pain in the other end...say, from sitting three days in ISS?"

The Principal made his exit. Professional Victim revived from his near-coma. Actually, he was already revived, since he blurted out something when the principal was talking to me, so that I had to ask Mr. Principal to repeat himself.

You just had to bring it up, didn't you?
I want you to have the medical care that you need.
He called me in about the library. Did you know that?
No. But I'm not surprised. I went right to him and told him how you disappeared.
I didn't get in any trouble, though.
(The Attorney: How's that? You got called into the office!)

The bell rang. I watched Professional Victim go down the hall. He did NOT make a stop at the nurse's office. Go figure!

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