It’s been unseasonably cool the past couple days in a June that’s been surprisingly merciful thus far. However, despite this taste of mercy, the students at the school where I work are in June mode and that means mercy is not being shown.
Because they are in the sweet spot between midterms and final exams, and because the class I teach didn’t have a midterm, the students have begun causing more trouble. They haven’t had an exam and don’t take our classes that seriously. This creates a period of what might best be described as “rediscovery” where they’ve begun to retest limits and discover what the consequences will be.
With classes that are held in the students’ homeroom, you see the phenomenon where it takes students a couple minutes after the bell to 1) realize I’m in the class even though I’m telling them to hurry; 2) remember why I’m there; and 3) get their books and stuff and get to their assigned seats. It’s no exaggeration to say that students from the same homeroom can get to a class in a different building and get sat down faster than students in the homeroom can get sat down.
Usually at two minutes there are consequences. Today, though, a student took four minutes to get sat down whilst maintaining a “Whadda ya gonna doaboudit?” look on his face as other students enjoyed the show.
What I did about it was extend class five minutes and give everyone homework as a present from him. (Note: I realize that collective punishment is technically a violation of the Geneva Conventions; however, in my defense, those rules were written by people who’ve never taught eighth grade boys.)
Because the class was sixth period I had a lot of time. As promised, class ran long and then I tried to get them stood up and quiet for the official goodbye. I had to chase students from another group out and the student who’d caused all the trouble escaped.
Doubling down on my Geneva Conventions violations, I told the rest of the class they’d stay until he came back and then we’d start the extra time. Luckily, their homeroom teacher is an English teacher and he was very patient. He also got a good look at them cutting up and trying to make a joke out of it. Also, once they saw he wasn’t coming in the room, they realized the joke was on them and got quiet.
Eventually the prodigal student returned and class was finally able to end. About ten minutes after the bell.