At what point exactly do you begin to think that your students might be out of control? Is it when you find headless chicken and other fowl scattered around your classroom? If so, then my class hasn't quite reached THAT point yet. Emphasis on "yet."
My partner, Mrs. Educator, took last Friday off. When she came back today, she discovered that her pencil sharpener had been ripped off of the shelf. This is one of those little crappy crank-driven sharpeners that mounts to any surface with four screws. The mount itself is still fastened to her shelf. Somehow, the kids actually tore the metal, snapping the body of the sharpener off of the mount.
Think goodness there weren't any poor defenseless chickens nearby to suffer the same fate!
And while we're on the topic of out-of-control -- when I went to pick my class up from the cafeteria today, I noticed that it was a much smaller group than I had delivered TO the cafeteria. Typically, I follow the “quantity in must match quantity out” rule of thumb, but there were five kids who had been taken to the Assistant Principal's office.
After recess, the Assistant Principal, Mrs. Senorita, came by to deliver the gang of five. It turns out that they had taken an empty Cheetos bag and started stuffing it with random food. Jell-O, milk, taco meat runoff, etc. And then they started passing it around. Maybe they were trying to create their own version of Cheese, I don't know.
But rather than just throwing the darn thing away, some of them started screaming loudly, which is just never a good thing to do in the cafeteria, or really inside anywhere.
When Mrs. Senorita came by with the kids, a couple of them were already crying. One of the girls in trouble, a girl who is ALWAYS involved when trouble is to be found, started blinking really hard, clearly trying to force herself to cry. I was tempted to say, "You might want to try plucking a leg hair or two,” but I really didn't want to encourage her.
And after spending about 15 minutes away from my class, out in the hall with the miscreants, I had about 30 minutes back in the room with the kids before I had to leave to go to a meeting about one of my other new kids. A meeting that lasted for the rest of the day.
Before I left, I told the TA who was watching my class that the kids should finish the last two problems on the page we were working on. After everyone was done, he could pick a few kids to go up to the board and show how they solved those two problems.
When I saw him later, at around 3:30, he told me that they had done that page and that it had taken them the entire day (a little over an hour from when I had left). Oh, and that Forced Tears Girl had refused to do anything, even resorting to lying on the floor and having a tantrum. Which I have to admit, really doesn't surprise me at all, coming from this girl.
But when I got back to my room, I pulled out all of the kids' folders, one at a time, and I looked at the page they were supposed to have done. Even after having over an hour to work on them, AND having had people solve these problems up on the board, there were still five kids who had not done those two problems! Thankfully, only one of those kids was also one of the cafeteria troublemakers (and I'm not even counting FTG).
But this just really ticks me off. A day of stupidity, and third-graders gone wild. Oh, and I never even mentioned the behavior of my Behavior Program Exchange Student.
Forget timeouts and losing recess... It's time to start taking field trips away.