I was left in charge of the class for the afternoon. The teacher had to go to the clinic for a minor injury which required treatment.
“You going to be OK with the kids for this afternoon?” she asked me.
“Oh yeah,” I said, flicking my wrist nonchalantly.
My outer calm did not reflect my inner anxiousness.
The afternoon actually went well. Two of the kids were stationed at desks in the hallway because of their constant interruptions and refusal to work. The rest of the class worked steadily, with the bribe that if they worked quietly, they could have the last 15 minutes of the day as free time to play cards, look at books, etc.
One of the older boys, about my size, put in his ear buds, pulled out a can of pop and pulled his hood over his face – all not permitted in the classroom. His refused to give up his pop or take out his ear buds, even though the music was loud enough to disturb the rest of the class. One second away from calling the office (as he refused to step out into the hall) he threw himself full length on the floor.
“You can stay on the floor,” I told him, “As long as you do your work.” I pressed a pencil into his hand and he worked, making progress on his sheets. The other students looked on.
“You can lie on the floor too, if you want,” I told them.
They all clambered about to find a spot on the floor, one crawling under my desk. I walked around, checking their progress by putting a mark on their most recent answer. They were actually working. And the work was correct.
I hope the principal hadn’t peeked into the class to see students on their stomachs on the floor, kicking their legs happily as they worked.
Maybe I will be reprimanded tomorrow for unorthodox teaching methodologies.