Friday, February 10


A Very Strange Day in Junior High

I may have done my first horrible thing today. The kind of thing that kids will remind each other of years afterward. "Do you remember that one sub? That crazy sub?" I'll blame the steadily mounting pressure of the day, starting with...

The Kid Who Wouldn't Take Off His Hat

Five times I tell this one lil angel to take off his hat. And six times he put it back on. Then he took a picture with his cell phone without turning that unmistakable digital picture click sound off.

My first confiscated cell phone!

Michael Freekin' Moore

Back row, center aisle. Here's this perfect tiny human being tracking me with a digital camcorder.

What. The. Hell.

I get up from my desk. He tilts the camera up, keeping his eyes glued to the flip out screen.

I walk down the aisle. The lens follows.

I'm standing over this delightful cherubic specimen of innocence. He leans back to keep the camcorder trained on my face.

"You can have that back at the end of the period"


Finally, that Terrible Thing

How does a kid get a pen with a built-in Operation game?

This thing was the size of a cucumber and perfectly mimicked that annoying buzz from the Operation home game.

I see this monstrosity, I ask the shining beacon of scholarship if he has to use a pen that big. He says it's his only one.

It buzzes and buzzes, I tell him he can borrow a pencil. I don't want to see the board game again.

He puts it away and as soon as my back is turned...


When I turn around, there's this mini man of letters smiling with that damn pen.

I'm sick of confiscating things at this point. So, I chuck that football sized pen into the trash. I tell the flawless academic he knows where he can pick up his pen after class.

A synchronized gasp sweeps over the room. Didn't have too many more problems with that period.

Am I a monster?

I know perfect teachers/subs exist, but I'm going with you on this one. I'm saying - not a monster, just human. Try throwing away someone's (practically empty) Carmex tube in a high school class sometime and imagine the uproar. From everyone. For at least 10 minutes. Ergh!

BTW: Did he get his pen back at the end of class?
I still have one of those operation pens in my desk. Took it away two years ago.

I have a great big box on top of my cupboard in my classroom. It's full of rubber balls, tech decks, mascara, mirrors, hacky sacks... all kinds of things I've taken away. The kids all know that they will get them back the day before school gets out, or when a parent calls.

Cell phones and Ipods go to the vice principal's office. They aren't allowed at school.

Good luck!
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