This week at one of my schools, the kids are allowed to wear all kinds of crazy stuff. Instead of their uniforms, I mean. I’m sure it’s probably fun for the kids, although yesterday I opted not to wear pajamas, and today I opted not to wear my clothing inside-out. But lots of kids did wear their clothing inside-out. Which is fine with me, and in theory, no problem. In theory, anyway.
But see, there’s this one class. This one class that never shuts up, this one class that has such a hard time getting it together before I can actually start teaching anything, this one class that is comprised of a lot of kids who are likely just entering puberty and are therefore losing their minds.
So with that as background, here’s the way things went down in class today. For the convenience of my readers, I’ve broken the events down into 12 steps in the order in which they occurred:
1. About a million (OK, more like 20 or so) kids came in through my door, most of them wearing their clothing inside-out, making their usual loud entrance, which actually doesn’t bother me very much.
2. After a lot, and I mean a lot, of effort, I got them to sort of, kind of, quiet down so I could start talking to them. “Talking to them” means beginning a sentence, saying “shhh,” continuing the sentence, saying “shhhh,” and on like that. For 50 minutes.
3. In a few minutes a student came to the door and urgently requested members of the student council to come outside and talk. Which was fine with me, since I’d rather have them talking outside, away from me, vs. talking in my class. A few students got up and went outside.
4. A minute or so later, as I was attempting to continue, the students who had gone outside barged loudly back inside, saying they needed ALL the student council members for this apparently important meeting. So more students got up and left, leaving me to try to continue, as the rest of the class speculated among themselves what the student council might be doing. (I wondered how this second group of student council members managed to get elected, but weren’t able to figure out that they were supposed to go meet with the rest of the student council the first time they were asked. But I kept my wondering to myself).
5. A minute or so later, one of the student council kids came back in, while I was trying to teach and saying “shhhh” a lot, and asked if I had a pencil. I told him to look on the desk, but at the moment, I didn’t happen to see any pencils. He found a pen, and disappeared again.
6. Within seconds, another student council member came in and asked for a pencil. I told him (or her, I can’t remember) to look on the desk. He (or she) didn’t find one and left.
7. You guessed it – each one of the other members, one by one, came in and asked for pencils. After looking around, and after hearing from me that I didn’t have any handy, they left. I continued dispensing wisdom to the class and saying “shhh” a lot.
8. All the members of the student council returned, not exactly quietly or subtly, and one of them had a list of all the students in the class. It was then I found out the purpose of their vital student council meeting: They needed to indicate on this list which students were wearing their clothes inside-out. Because apparently, that information was important and needed to find its way into the school records.
9. I’ve never actually seen a glacier melt, but I’m pretty sure it’s a faster process than the amount of time it took for these student council people to figure out and notate which students were wearing inside-out clothing. At this point, I was getting a little frustrated.
10. One of the student council girls was the main person gathering this crucial information. Her method? Standing next to me while I was teaching, looking around the room, putting a check mark on her list, looking around the room some more, putting another check mark on her list, one at a time, and then somehow getting confused in her record-keeping.
11. At this point, while everything within me wanted to scream out, “YOU’RE MOVING LIKE A ##$^%$^#####@@@&& GLACIER!!!!!”, I said instead, “We need to do this about twice as fast. Can everyone who’s wearing inside-out clothing just raise their hands?” (it’s possible some of my inner tone may have leaked out).
12. The student council member gave me an annoyed look, as though I was somehow inconveniencing her, and told me she already had it.
I won’t be at school tomorrow for Crazy Hair Day. Good luck to whoever needs to gather that information.