It was after testing time. They were short subs (as is common this time of year), so I was sent to cover an 8th grade U.S. history class for the last two periods of the day. Since it was special ed, the classes were small, and I had an instructional assistant (IA) to help me.
They were watching the video Uncle Tom's Cabin. (It's near the end of the year. 8th grade U.S. history ends with the Civil War.) They started the movie on Thursday.
Once I got the video started, I found that I was dead tired. But I was not tired enough not to pay attention to the class. The first group I had was fine. The second group needed more of my attention to keep quiet.
A second IA came into the room. She sat and watched the movie for a bit, but then her attention was diverted by another student. He was seated at the desk that was way off to one side (the "bad" chair). She took him outside to talk to him.
I didn't hear much of the conversation, but from various snippets during class, I caught some of what was going on. The boy was in trouble for leaving school early, or at least he had attempted to leave school early (I couldn't tell if he got away with the ploy or not).
Around about the last five minutes of class, both IAs left to go home (that's pretty standard) taking a few students with them (they get to go early to the bus). I was left with the students who had to stay until the end of the day, including that boy.
First thing after both IAs were well away, the boy asked if he could use the restroom. I told him he could...after the bell rang. He argued the point a bit until he changed tactics. He informed me that he got to leave one minute early.
Um, really? I held his eye. I held it long enough that a smile broke out on his face. Yeah, I thought so.
As soon as the bell rang he bolted for the door. As did the rest of the class. And as I was packing up, I wrote a short note to the IA explaining what had happened.
And he thought he was in trouble before...