[note: I try not to be too wordy on here but this was all too good to cut any of it out. Hopefully you make it to the end.]
Today was by far the most dramatic day I've had teaching. Leave it up to a class full of 1st through 3rd graders. Everything started out okay...thats how they trick you. They come in to class so sweetly and quietly and by the time they leave there is a mini flood by the sink, two trash cans over turned, and gobs of glue all over the tables.
It started to go downhill when I took a toy away from a boy. I told him he would get it back at the end of class and that I was keeping it in my pocket. Minutes later he comes up to me begging and pleading me to have it back and saying that he'll keep it in his pocket. My answer? No. Because I wasn't born yesterday. He proceeds to beg. I move on. Then he starts moving the still life cart back and forth causing things to fall. Long story short, he won't stop. I forcibly remove him from the room and give him my best, "I ain't messin' around, you better stop this. NOW" speech. It doesn't work.
While this is going on, another student flips out and starts kicking the trash cans and overturning them. I don't even attempt to address him. He is an emotional needs student and at that point, if his emotions need to kick a trash can, then amen. I couldn't deal with both.
I decide to ignore the boy with the toy and see if he changes his attitude. THEN, a mini soap opera begins to unfold.
I'm not quite sure what happened, but this is what I gathered (names have been changed): Janae told Trayvon that her best friend Monet was in love with James. Then Monet got mad at Janae and Tayvon and poor Trayvon, who was just in the middle of it all, started to cry because he felt conflicted. James was being protective of Monet. Janae and Monet start to yell. Janae goes to stand in the corner. I go over to talk to Janae and here is what she tells me (seriously, I am not making this up. She is probably 7 years-old): "I gave her everything! I gave her my life, my heart, my soul, everything and thats not good enough for her...I took out my heart and ripped it open."
Jump to the end of the period and the boy who was kicking the trash cans to sooth his emotional needs is now drowning them in the sink. A small puddle starts to form and he starts sliding around in it, getting his clothes soaking wet. I try to stop him. And then give up.
The boy with the toy is in tears now and I don't have the heart to call his mom like I said. Okay, really I just don't have the energy. So I give him his toy back and get the class in line and on their way out of the art room as soon as humanly possible (which is 8 minutes). I try to tell the class to be careful of the water. This translates in their brains as, "Look, there's water! You should slide around in it because that would be loads of fun." So they all start sliding in the water and out the door. I think, "As long as they are leaving...fine by me..."
Happy Tuesday folks!
[image via Sweet Fine Day]