No my friends, this post isn’t about “The Office” on TV. Although I do enjoy “The Office” on TV.
This post is about one of the most powerful tools a school teacher has; a school teacher’s power tool, if you will. And I will. And I did. Today I sent 9 kids to the THE OFFICE. We’ll use all caps to differentiate THE OFFICE in school from “The Office” on TV.
It was four kids from one class and five from another. But all for the same stuff – constant talking, even after being asked several times to stop. The weird thing is that some of them will look at you to acknowledge that you’ve asked them to stop talking, and continue talking all the while. It’s almost as though the teacher is the rude one for interrupting their conversation. Then they look shocked when you finally send them out, and usually they say, “What? I wasn’t talking.”
The reason I love THE OFFICE is that after many generations of kids going to school, THE OFFICE still has this magical, mystical power. I’ve seen kids with incredible attitudes reduced to tears after going to THE OFFICE. I’m not sure what exactly happens in there, because I just send ’em and don’t go with ’em, but it must be terrifying and impressive at the same time.
The other great thing about THE OFFICE is that I don’t have to let my own anger and frustration escalate. I tell the offenders a few times to knock it off, and then really don’t have to raise my voice but rather, just hand them the form and tell them to leave. The really funny thing is when it’s a kid whose name I can’t remember (there are some kids I only see once every few weeks), because for those kids I quickly fill out the form with my info and write down what they did and I hand it to them and say, “Hey, would you mind writing your name on this for me before you go? Thanks.”
Now if I could just find a way to get THE OFFICE working in everyday life, like at home, or in restaurants when people bug me, or in traffic. There should just be a portable form of THE OFFICE so I can just write out a form, open my car window and hand it to the offensive, slow, annoying driver and say, “Hey, please write your name on this and go.” Then suddenly they’re magically transported out of my way to THE OFFICE for bad drivers, and I really don’t need to know what happens to them there.