It seems that the moment a dry erase marker is left unattended someone feels the compelling urge to document who is their best friend on my whiteboard. Is it genetic? I suspect a correlation between whiteboard graffiti and children who get immunization shots. How's that for a possible case study?
After missing a day of class, ask “Did we do anything while I was out?”
We actually spent the day coloring you a get well card. Did it arrive yet?
Slam Books on the Floor
When I ask kids to clear their desks, I generally get three types of responses. A minority of students calmly take their belongings and place them beside their chairs. Well done. Another third of the class flings their things, with a wide sweeping motion of their arm, across the floor around them. It’s sloppy, but I can deal with it. It’s the remaining students that drive me nuts. Upon hearing my command to remove their belongings, the proceed to take their textbook (weighing no less than 18 pounds, or so it would seem) and hold it about shoulder height like a waiter carrying a tray. Then with a swiftness of hand, allow the book to fall flat to the ground. The sound of textbook-on-tile is the teacher equivalent to a mortar going off on a battlefield. Flashbacks after retirement are inevitable.
Ask to use the Bathroom at the Most Inconvenient Times
Let me illustrate this one with a fictional story (fictional only in the sense that the names and lesson are imagined – this scenario happens daily).
The teacher looked out at her students. “Time to practice math facts!” As she began calling out numbers, students’ hands shot into the air.
“Six times five,” called the teacher. “Go ahead, Jimmy.”
“Nice job. Three times three,” continued the teacher. “Katelyn?”
“Good! How about eight times four?”
Josh raised his hand. “Is it forty?”
“Incorrect, Josh,” replied the teacher. “Who can help him out?”
Sam raised his hand.
“Yes, Sam?” asked the teacher, point at his outstretched arm.
“Can I go to the bathroom?”
Nothing brings a lesson to a screeching halt like learning of a student's need to urinate.
Sit in My Chair
When did it become okay to sit at the teacher’s desk? When I was in school I just assumed teachers lived in their classrooms. Sitting at their desk would be the same as inviting myself to their house for coffee and dessert. My chair is not community butt space. Stay out of it.
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