Half-of-Class from Half-of-Hell, Second Half
It’s my water bottle. Quiet.
No it isn’t.
Be quiet and do your test or leave.
He left, very noisily bouncing his basketball on his way out. The RSP coach left her assigned student, writing Mr. Balla up for referral to a vice principal.
Because he never shows up, I didn’t even know what name to tell her to put on the referral. Naturally.
This class is usually trouble, as the RSP coach is well aware. She’s been here before. Patronizingly, she leans and whispers hoarsely into my ear.
I know they’re bad and how you’re just a student teacher, so maybe I might have an idea that will help you. All the ringleaders are next to the window, so maybe a seating chart? I don’t know if you’ve thought of it.
Yes, I have. Given a warning, they behave themselves just enough so I don’t have pretext to mess with the seating chart. I would have told her that, but she went on to repeat herself for a good minute or two, in the same patronizing whisper. She tells me nothing I don’t already know, nothing I haven’t already thought of.
I’ve already asked myself: Is there something I’m doing wrong, something so seemingly small or insignificant that I don’t even remember it, or to mention it here in the blog? I don’t suppose the reader would know the answer to that question.
This is the same class where even one would-be gangster who shows up regularly will very casually bump into me while walking by, where two girls who love talking back will waddle in five minutes past the lunch bell, noisily slurping their Icee.
I can’t very well lay down the law — my master teacher never minded these habits at all, and the students know he’s really the teacher of record. I’ll be the mean teacher and lose the efficacy I already have.
They can sense that he knows what he’s doing and I don’t. Every week, someone in fifth period tells me:
You’re not a real teacher.
With less than a month of instruction left, it’s too late to fix this class. I just can’t shake the feeling that it would have been so much easier if I had started off the year with them, rather than coming in halfway.