Friday, May 14, 2010

Spoke too soon

I had an absolutely wonderful group of third graders today. They were fantastic! They listened. They raised their hands to speak. They didn't fight with each other. We got through the morning work so quickly that we had a half hour before lunch, so we played silent speed ball. I did have one incident with the game. One kid got irate when he was "out" because he felt I'd let someone else continue for the same violation, but I reminded him arguing with the ref was grounds for being out anyway.

So...because they were so wonderful, I wrote the "teacher note" at lunchtime, thinking I could get out of there right at 3pm and not be stuck writing a note after school.


We got through math with measurably more chatter than we'd had in the morning, but it was still okay.

We went out to PE, where I had the kids playing "Steal the Bacon." They were having a fantastic time, boys vs girls, screaming encouragement for their teams, when a teacher came out and yelled at them for their screaming. Honestly? They're out on the basketball courts at PE, playing a game! The kids said that that teacher is always "mean," but I let them do one more round. They couldn't not cheer, so I decided it would be better just to give them free play for the remaining 15 minutes, since they had recess right after that.

This was where it fell apart. One kid was throwing freshly-mowed grass at a group of kids, who naturally had to come and tell me about it. I walked over and broke them up. By then, another teacher had come out for recess duty, so I went inside. Then, there's a knock at the classroom door. It's one of the kids from the grass-throwing incident to tell me that the same kid who was throwing grass hit her. I briefly considered telling her to tell the teacher who was on duty, but Grass Thrower/Hitter was right there. He said she'd hit him also. So, I told both of them they were benched until the end of recess. They protested, but I told them to march over and go sit down. For some reason, they went together, arguing the whole way. Then, on my way to the restroom, another one of the girls involved in the grass throwing incident told her mother, who had come to pick up a younger sibling, that the boy was throwing grass. I told her he was already in trouble and being punished.

Then, I went back and tore up my letter and re-wrote it.

Well, the first 2/3 of the day was excellent, anyway.


  1. I'd say 7/8ths of a day being good is an overwhelming success!

  2. Don't you just hate that? I've had a few days where I wrote the note early like that. I've always told the class that I already wrote the note and said they were a great class. But (and this is the important part that makes it work), if they ruin that and I have to write a new one, it's going to be a lot worse than it normally would.

    I don't have any way to tell if they would have behaved anyway or if my telling them that had them making sure they behaved. But I've never had to rewrite the note. Although a few times I have added a note to the end about a specific kid.