Two random events have me smiling today.
At this very moment, I am supervising detention hall. This is a job that each middle school teacher takes twice a year. If a student gets 5 demerits in a two-week period, then they have to serve detention hall. One gets demerits for being out of dress code, misbehaving, etc. As it is spring, spirits are rising quickly--as are the numbers of demerits. So I had a full crew today--6 middle school miscreants. We went to the park across the street. They picked up rocks while I sat in a chair and tried to catch up on my emails and blogging. They were more successful than I--I only made a dent in my backlog. But thanks to them, the field is now a mostly rock-free environment. Incidentally, I love teaching at a school where a kid can get in trouble for having an untucked shirt or chewing gum or not being respectful. It's really a pretty great gig.
The bad thing is this: these kids crack me up and I like them. So it's hard to be strict with them. We've spent the afternoon laughing and joking around--although they did work hard--hopefully this corrective experience will benefit them somehow anyway, in spite of my pronounced lack of dour-ness.
Also, I didn't have classroom today for various complicated reasons. This happens every year, so during the year, I allow my classes to earn minutes of recess when they behave well or execute a musical concept particularly well. Then, on these days when we are banished from the room, they get whatever minutes of recess they earned. Since they are 11-14, and cannot sit still for more than fifty seconds (sixty if they're girls), they LOVE this.
So, we went out today and I watched one class play "Red Rover." One boy, we'll call him, "Ken" and one girl, we'll call her, "Joanna" caught my eye in particular. Joanna found more excuses than I can name to encourage Ken with hugs and pats on the back. She always managed to be next to him and holding his hand in a more sustained way than was needed.
Ken seemed completely and utterly clueless. I felt like the old guy in "It's A Wonderful Life" who watches Donna Reed and Jimmy Stewart being awkward together and yells, "Youth is wasted on the young." I almost jumped up and pulled Ken aside. "Ken! Joanna likes you. She's done everything but rent a sign. At least smile at her. Heaven, man! Wake up! Next year (possibly the next), you'll be dying for Joanna to even give you a glance."
Funny, funny kids. I love being around them--and am so glad I'm not in middle school anymore!
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