Yesterday, I held my class for a few minutes into recess, because they’d been chatty and I still needed to close my lesson when the bell rang. (To be fair, the chattiness could have been prevented. My lesson was WAY too hard for half the kids and WAY too easy for the other half, and I hadn’t expected that and was not prepared. That means no one was really learning, and that always equals chattiness. Oops.)
One kid kept telling me he had to go to the bathroom, and I told him he could go at lunch and then started ignoring him. (I thought he was just trying to get out of class, and I really just needed two more minutes!) Then he started cussing loudly (“F*** this, this is f***ing ridiculous, I have to f***ing pee and shouldn’t have to sit in this f***ing class”) in a progressively louder voice until he knew I could hear him, and then stormed out of class to the bathroom.
Whoa. Bad news bears.
This kid is known as a huge behavior problem and has a heartbreaking life story, but he was switched into my group of kids just for math (they normally travel together all day) because he and I work well together and he’s too smart for the class with no teacher. I’ve never seen the infamous side of him, and I was pretty devastated that I was no longer being protected from it.
But before I even had time to deal with it, he was back. He apologized and said he’d just really had to go to the bathroom. Then he said, “Normally, I would have gone to recess. Most of the time, I just leave. But you, you’re a good teacher. So I had to come back.”
Whether this is a win or a fail depends on where you focus. On the one hand, I had a kid cuss loudly and then storm out of class. On the other hand, that quote happened. I’ll let you judge it, since I can’t stop going back and forth.