Friday, January 20, 2017

Defeating the Vandal


Friday. (The 13th, as it was...) They had a test.

I was having a good day. The classes were cooperating. Things were going smoothly enough that I was able to get caught up with some of the grading.

(Yes, I was actually grading student work. It doesn't happen often. But with longer teacher absences, it's better to keep the students' grades up to date. It lets them know that what they do while I'm there counts, and more of them stay on task that way.)

So, I was in a good mood.

It was towards the end of 4th period. Students were finishing up their tests, and some were even doing the after-test assignment (which was starting the semester final review sheet).

I happened to look over at one student's desk, and I noticed him drawing. On. The. Desk.

(Students draw all the time. There's a great art department at that school. Sketchbooks frequently come out. This I don't mind.)

Um, seriously? The afternoon classes frequently complained of defaced desks. Early on, I found the cleaners so they could clean off their desks. I just hadn't caught any of the morning classes in the act before.

I growled at the student. (Not literally. But I did make my displeasure known.) I told him to stop. He dutifully got out a book. (But didn't do any work.)

I went to the closet, pulled out the desk cleaner, went back over to him, stood over him, squirted the "artwork", and proceeded to make it disappear.

Ah. That felt good!

The boy? He quietly (tests were still out) complained to his neighbors. I had ruined all his work.

Yeah, um, okay. If he really wanted to preserve it, wouldn't he have done it on something he could take with him? And this made me the bad guy? (I could have made him clean it up, so he really got a gift from me.)

25 comments:

  1. He certainly wasn't walking out of the classroom with the desk.

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  2. Yes, I was going to say I already thought you were generous!

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    1. Thanks. It was more self-preservation. I could just picture him making a big stink in a quiet classroom. That was the last thing I wanted.

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  3. When you draw on a desk you always think that everyone will want to see it. For some reason.

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  4. Yeah, I was wondering why he wasn't cleaning it up. Maybe he has a future in graffiti?

    betty

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  5. Someone paying for those desk and hopeful he will be come a tax payer.
    Coffee is on

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    1. He's at an age where they don't think in those terms. Maybe when he's older?

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  6. Hi Liz - gosh I hate it when kids scratch/draw on tables, chairs window sills etc ... I guess it was easier and quicker for you to clean it off: if he had to do it .. it might have delayed things. Perhaps we need to teach budgeting earlier ... that someone has saved up or taxpayers have to ensure the school has sufficient desks etc ... cheers and have a good weekend - Hilary

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  7. kids are dumb and love to complain - i caught a kid doing that to the back of a chair with an obscene drawing, not in the act but the next person told me. i removed it and warned all the classes and reported the kid (and personally let him know i was onto him) i was there for a week and nothing happened again. i don't see vandy's much anymore, but it's frustrating all the same. yay for subs!

    and wanted to thank you for visiting my cradle rock release party =)
    Tara Tyler Talks

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    1. I don't see it too frequently. But this class...

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  8. Oh, you're so mean ruining his graffiti. If only he cared so much about the school's belongings!

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    1. He spent so much time trying to hang with his friends that I doubt he thought much about anything else.

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  9. Yeh I reckon he should have cleaned it up, except that the job would have been poor and he'd probably have squirted some kid with the cleaner.

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    1. And he'd've slow walked the whole process, making a ruckus as he did so (while everyone else was taking a test).

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  10. Years and years ago.....okay maybe longer than that, I drew in class. I was going to be a fashion designer so I was always drawing dresses. BUT never on the desk. I worry about todays kids.

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    1. I've never had a problem with students drawing in class. Well, at least when they weren't supposed to do something else.

      This isn't something I see a lot of. He was just...special...

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  11. I totally would've made him clean it up! And told him to put his talents to better use and draw on PAPER.

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  12. I would've made him clean it off, too. HAHA

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    1. Another day I would have. But there was something kind of gratifying about cleaning it up over him. Seriously. I think I enjoyed that more than going through the whole making him do it thing.

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  13. My 7th gr. granddaughter says: Boys are stupid. Boys break things.
    Good job, Liz. You should compile your observations into a book: Surviving Sub Teaching: Teaching in the Trenches.

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    1. A member of my writers group said the same thing after reading this blog.

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  14. I would have made him do the cleaning. But I can imagine the joy you got from watching it disappear!

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    1. Yes, it made my heart all joyous.

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  15. I think it was even better that you cleaned it while he sat there. Ah, the challenges of children.

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