Friday, November 14, 2008

Power Games

"We don't like you."

One girl (who I'll call Princess) greeted me with this comment 7th period yesterday. Her friend then told me that I should become a "cool" sub. They said that they prefer their teacher (which is as it should be), and that they are disappointed when they discover that it is me who is covering their class. These are the comments I remember; they had other things to say as well.

None of this bothered me. I'm not sure if I was surprised by this or just happy about it. The girls were playing me. I saw that right away. And they were not going to win.

Princess held her book in such a way that I could tell that she was texting on her cell phone. When the time was right, I indicated that I knew perfectly well that she was on her cell phone. She replied that there was no way that she would let this cell phone be confiscated.

Princess spent the period challenging me, but she was doing it subtly. Well, she thought she was being subtle. She wasn't. When I started writing things down for the teacher, she instantly got defensive. She told me that I had better not be writing her name down.

What I was doing was tallying up the day. Each period is ranked according to which class was the best behaved. Princess didn't know this, and I didn't tell her. But every time I took pen to paper, she started a new story to distract me.

She told me about how upset she was the one time that I wrote her name down for a teacher and how she was going to go after me, but she didn't see me for a year. (I don't recall having written her name down before.) She told me about the time that a class had made me cry. (It wasn't me. I've never cried in class. I would remember that.)

So, apparently I had some power there. Princess spent the period trying to convince me that I didn't. But I wasn't in the mood for a power play. (I could have easily written her up or called for back up if I had wanted, say, to confiscate her cell phone.) And I wasn't a bit frightened, even when she threatened but did not threaten me about writing her name down in my little note.

Before I left for the day, I wrote, "Princess was very angry today". I wonder how that went over.

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