Monday, March 30, 2009

Tap Tap Tapping At My Classroom Door

Rounding out the trifecta of Students Out of Control, we have the Sneaker. This event occurred last Friday. If I hadn't already used two write-up slips in the two previous days, this little episode would have earned one as well. But we all must be careful in crying WOLF too often, lest nobody heed our screams when our sanity is on the line.

Sneaker started off the class period by darting out the classroom door just before the tardy bell, mumbling out the side of her mouth, "I'm going to the bathroom." Normally, the procedure is to ASK, and then be granted permission. This way, class is not disrupted later, and the student does not get a tardy UNLESS this is a daily occurrence, or the student has been lolling about the classroom for a while before asking just at the bell.

When Sneaker re-entered the classroom, she blurted out threats to students who were minding their own business and listening to Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. So Sneaker was dealt with in the form of a lecture about her being the one to always stir everybody up for no reason, and how she needs to understand that other people are allowed to speak freely and breathe the same air as she does. That led to another lecture on how she can stare hatefully at me, but I can do the same thing right back at her. (Insert hateful stare here).

Sneaker calmed down a bit, meaning that she stopped breathing fire out her nose and did her assignment. Towards the end of the class period, as I was grading their papers, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that Sneaker and two cronies were standing near the door, looking at the bulletin board. I did not begrudge them this freedom, as it was Reading Day, meaning the schedule was all wonky, and there is a list of bell times for the alternate schedule on the bulletin board.

Oh, but Sneaker was tap tap tapping something on the aluminum frame of the bulletin board. You know that tap. It's the "Notice me, notice me, say something so I can say something back, notice me, notice me, I'm being really bad" tap. I refused to take the bait. The bell rang for lunch, and the students went out the door. I finished recording grades, and went to lunch.

When we came back from lunch, I shouldered my way past the funny boys who KNOW I'm at lunch with them, sitting at the very next table, who rush to my room to stand and wait for me to walk down the hall and unlock it. The Vegetator said, "It smells like my freezer in here!" Which normally would make me retch, because usually my room smells like a mixture of old farts and stale cigarette smoke. But this time it smelled COLD. That's because it was 68 freakin' degrees in there.

Somebody had knocked my thermostat down four degrees just before lunch. Don't think I didn't know who it was. But to put on a good show, I looked at The Vegetator. "Looks like somebody changed my thermostat. What do you know about THAT?" He looked startled. "It wasn't me this time. I swear!" I looked at the other boy who is also in my class 3rd hour. "Swastikator...?" He also denied it. I believed him. He did not get that smirk that he gets when I question him about drawing swastikas on one of my calculators.

I stood in the hall and waited for Sneaker. She came stomping down the hall, as is her way. She could make Michael Caine cry, what with being 10 to the eightieth power less couth than Gracie Hart in Miss Congeniality. As she entered hearing range, I asked, "Why did you lower my thermostat? You know that you're not supposed to touch something like that." Of course she hemmed and hawed. "Uh. What?" I was happy to repeat my question, never letting my gaze waver. She knew her goose was cooked. "I don't know why. I was tapping my quarter on the wall, and I guess, maybe, it bounced over and hit the thermostat." Indeed. It bounced sideways three feet and bounced off the 'down' arrow of the thermostat four times. Uh huh.

She got the lecture on how that was a serious offense, and deserved a write-up, and I was going to have to think long and hard about her behavior and discuss it with Mr. Principal. The wind went out of her sails then, and she acted like a 'normal' ninth-grader for the rest of the class period.

Sneaker has no idea how close she was to being furloughed to Basementia for a few days.


DeadpanAnn said...

'tis the Sneaker tapping at my chamber door.
Only this, and nothing more.

The school year is almost over.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Miss Ann,
May the Gummi Mary bless you for saying that.

I've spent many a midnight dreary pondering, weak and weary, why I have not enjoyed this school year.

The same answer keeps popping up: my 5th hour.

Stewed Hamm said...

Are you sure it was the Sneaker? I would suspect Annabel Lee...

Hillbilly Mom said...

The Sneaker is not quite beautiful, and not quite dead.