29 June 2006

Self-Defense, Cafeteria Style

This happened a week or so before school ended, and every time I sat down to write about it, something came up.

Not surprisingly, my students usually didn't want to go to Mr. X's class. And though he is otherwise harmless, there is something a little weird about him and more than one kid, especially the girls, has said so. But they never really could substantiate their complaints with anything specific.

If my kids were able to track me down before he came to pick them up and take them to the music room, they'd beg and plead to spend the period with me. "Miss M, pleeeeaaaaase!! Let us stay with you! We don't want to gooooooo!!!" If I was in the coach room for whatever reason, I usually heard them whispering outside my door before I actually saw them. I must admit, the fact that they liked me enough to do that was flattering. And I always found the stealth factor pretty amusing. They must have thought that if they could avoid detection for at least fifteen minutes, that the odds of them not going to music would increase in their favor.

Almost every time, I made them go to Mr. X's class. I hate when teachers pull kids from my class without asking me (and there was really only one person who did this until I told the kids that they were never to miss my class)so I try not to do it to others. But at the end, I was struggling to simulataneously pack up my classroom, clean up the coach room, and unpack an enormous shipment of Perma-bound books that came in mid-June. So when Girl #1 came to me and asked if she could stay with me during Mr. X's period, I was very torn.

"I don't like taking you out of his class," I reminded her.
"But Miss M, Girl #2 and I went to see him today at lunch," she said.
"You always complain that he's creepy and that you don't like him, so why would you girls go see him at lunch?" I asked, very surprised.
"Oh, it's okay, Miss M," Girl #1 said confidently, "I brought a fork."

Sidenote: Girl #2 told me later that Mr. X asked them to help him with something during the lunch period when they went to see him. Girl #1 said no, but Girl #2 is a big people pleaser and felt bad saying no. Girl #1 didn't want her to go alone, hence the arming with the fork. But since it was from the cafeteria, it was probably a spork. I don't know if that would be more or less effective.

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