Friday, October 1, 2010

The Pass

"Can I get a restroom pass?"

Restroom passes are tricky things.  I'm never quite sure if they're just playing me because there's a sub or if they really need to go.  However, this request annoyed me.  Gabby asked right after the bell rang to start the period.

"Not right now."

I needed to get class started.  I went through my usual introduction, and then I explained their assignment (history class--they were doing a timeline).  I asked if there were any questions, and Gabby raised her hand.  I knew what her question would be, so I avoided calling on her for as long as possible.  My reply was the same as the first time.

I still had to take roll.  I tried to get the class to settle.  Two other students asked for restroom passes.  I turned them down, too.  Gabby asked me again, this time wanting to know when I would say yes.  I think she asked me seven times in the first five minutes of class.

Now, I was ready to stall her as long as possible.  I took my time with the roll.  Then I counted heads.  Twice.  I had to make sure I had the count right.

That's when I got a fourth restroom pass request.  This girl told me it was an emergency.  I was ready to believe her, as she was bouncing up and down in her seat, looking like she was in pain.

I sat down at the teacher's desk and wrote a pass.

Gabby thought I had relented.  She got out of her seat and came up to the front.  I walked by Gabby and gave the pass to the second girl.

The class thought this was hysterical.  One boy kept repeating that I just walked by Gabby as she had her hand out.  Denied.

I didn't know why Gabby had come up at all.  I hadn't told her yes yet.  After the second girl got back, Gabby asked again, and this time I couldn't find a good reason to refuse her (retaliation isn't really a good reason).

Amazingly, I only had one more restroom pass request that period.  I was relieved.  I was waiting for this to turn into a battle with everyone wanting a chance to get out of class.  (At a certain point, I stop letting students out, and then things can get ugly, depending.)

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