I had hoped that there might be a ceasefire. It was not to be.
Pencils in my classroom supposedly work like this: There is a “Take Me” jar of sharpened pencils. When a kid needs a pencil, they are to trade their broken or dull pencil into the “Sharpen Me” jar. Kids are supposed to donate pencils to the class so that we have a supply. They are allowed to use the electric sharpener in the morning.
Pencils in my classroom actually work like this:
1) Someone generously donates a pack of pencils to the “Take Me” jar.
2) Sneaky Stealth boy pockets all of them.
3) Sneaky Stealth boy takes erasers off and converts the remainder of the pencils to shards of exactly 1 and 1/2 inches in length. He stores them in his desk, along with enough paper to start an inferno. Or to make 7,000 spitballs. To my mind, it’s about time that someone went for the inferno instead of the spitballs. No such luck.
4) Ten students come rushing up to me after specials, reporting that SSB has been shooting pencil shards and spitballs at them throughout music class. Apparently, SSB is not a Mozart-in-training. He denies everything, including the things that I do personally witness. But, in general, he gets everyone pissed off, pretending he did nothing. “Oh, no! I was walking around the perimeter of the room looking for a place to throw this little piece of saliva-sticky gum away!” Yes. Yes, he did too say it. Maybe I added the saliva thing. But you know I didn’t make it up; I just played fast and loose with the quotation marks. He also grabs every pencil within range on his recon mission.
Another frequent flyer on the discipline referral express is Borderline Psychotic Boy, who is known to enjoy a nice chair flip here and there, and for mumbling nasty things under his breath to students whose only English consists of the choice profanity that they have most likely learned from nasty young ‘uns like BPB. BPB takes it upon himself to round up a posse of Anti-Sneaky Stealth Boy dudes, all of whom are getting a rush out of being part of a tough little league of vengeance. It is so freaking pathetic, and super conducive to the sort of high level academic rigor that we are expected to achieve on a daily basis.
Pencil shard bombardment makes for some inspiring group work. Research shows that this is the ultimate educational method. The researchers clearly cancelled their research appointment at my school. Today’s triumphant group project outcome? SSB gets pissed off when someone erases a microscopic mark that he drew on his group’s poster. His response? DESTRUCT”OR STRIKES AGAIN! POSTER DESTROYED! Projectiles fly as temper tantrum ensues! Learn, learn learn!!
Will someone please just get it over with and recruit these charmers to the Douchebag Academy and make them valedictorians? Their families have trained them rigorously for this, their destiny. I am but an annoying distraction.
Tomorrow: Parent-Teacher conferences. The shocker: Sneaky Stealth Boy’s parents aren’t coming.
I am not going to make it.