September 3rd, 2004


Comic Classroom Actions Rivaled "Cheech and Chong" Routine

By the time I got back to finish the blow by blow saga of the BD student donated to my classroom without guidelines for how to succeed with him (most "special" students now are "mainstreamed", but when they go into the regular classrooms, parents, student, specials teachers and the regular teachers have a meeting and the adaptations that should allow the student to succeed are written down, signed, and the participants all have a copy of what is to happen. These reports are confidential, which is odd, as our files and desks DO NOT LOCK. So, WHERE are we to store them?

By the time push came to shove, he was again back beside my desk, picking up the book he'd chosen and thrown there. He made no bones about stating that he was not going to read it, that others had tried to get him to read, and he wasn't going to do it, no matter what I said or did.

At that point, I warned him that open defiance led to detentions, which meant he'd be living after school instead of being able to go out for sports or band, etc. He assured me that that had been tried, too, and would not change his mind.

At that point, he threw the book into the trash, and I excused him to the principal's office.

So, how did my "regular" students react? One boy commented, "Class seems as if it will be less boring this year."

A buddy added, "Yeah, it's pretty lively."

From across the room, "Like a Saturday Night Live" routine.

I don't have commercial TV, but one of my former students had brought in a Cheech and Chong tape and played me a part about Sister Mary Elephant who talked in a horrid, high-pitched, whiney voice, "Class, class, quiet, please." I quoted it as closely as I could.

When the hijinks continue, she adopts a MARINE SERGEANT BELLOW, "Q-U-I-I-I-E-E-E-T!" I pantomimed looking around wide-eyed, then bellowed, in a whisper, but the same tenor she used, "Q-U-I-I-I-E-E-E-T!"

Everyone laughed, and I signaled that it was back to business as usual, and all became quiet.

The boy peeked his head into the classroom (my room opens into a hall, so only those right in line with the second door could see him. Giving me the raspberry, he said, "You look like the cover on that book!"

One boy offered to pick the book out of the trash for me, and he did, handing it politely to me. On the cover was a monster with bug eyes on stalks, claws, sharpened teeth, so I opened my mouth wide, made my hands into claws and showed the book. Among the guffaws came one comment, "Not even close."

I learned at lunch that the superintendent took him back home, and when parents, superintendent, and principal of the school in the next town that runs a BD program he was evaluating, nobody could get him to say anything more than his name...

Maybe I ought to print out my classroom's reactions...

Two of my other students have earned detentions, but they know why, know they broke the rules, and still chat in a friendly manner before school in homeroom.