Friday, May 8, 2009

Empty Sixth

The middle school choir went to Six Flags today.  (I heard later that there were three field trips today.  Classes were empty.)  Although, not everyone got to go.  Any students with discipline issues or grade issues weren't allowed out of class.  This is why they get subs on these days.

The choir teacher told me that more than half of his students would be with him at Six Flags.  That meant that I had incredibly small classes.  I had seven students one period and ten students each in two periods.  The classes were so small that rather than call out the roll, I asked each student his/her name, and I marked them present accordingly.  

So, I kept a running tally of students.  By my calculations, 6th period I should have had four students.

The bell rang to dismiss 5th period.  I waited.  The first two minutes of passing I wasn't worried.  The classroom was far from most of campus.  But when the tardy bell rang and the room was still empty, I was shocked.  No students?  Really?

What is the protocol for such a thing?  I waited ten minutes wondering if any student would wander in after being in another class (in an earlier period I got a call from another teacher who told me that he had one of my students finishing up a test, so this was possible).  But no one ever came.

I probably could have checked out.  I have left early when a teacher returns to school and tells me I can go.  I have left early when a coach comes to school to coach his team.  But I was stuck.  This teacher's 1st period was a guitar ensemble, and I had promised to be around after school so the students could retrieve their guitars.

So, I waited.  For nearly an hour.  

It was after the bell when I started to worry.  No one was there.  Did I stick around all 6th period just to have no one pick up his/her guitar.  Two minutes later, they all ambled in.  

It's these easy days that balance out the horrible ones.  

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