Thursday was the last day of state testing at the middle school. For the last class of the day, I covered a 7th grade English class while their teacher was getting the after school dance set up (along with the middle school leadership kids).
Ms. F warned me that the class could be a bit difficult. She left me a list of classrooms to send miscreants to. They had an assignment that they had to finish, and they were to remain in their assigned seats.
Once the class got to work, they weren't too bad. I didn't get a silent classroom, but then again I didn't expect one. Considering the warning I got, I was pleased with the volume level. While they weren't silent, they were pretty quiet.
Devin wasn't pleased. He called me over and told me that the class was too loud. No one should be talking.
Part of the assignment was to define terms. They were to use dictionaries. One student needed a dictionary, but all of them were being used. She asked if she could sit near a friend who had a dictionary so that they could share. I allowed it.
Devin wasn't having it. The girl couldn't sit there. It wasn't her assigned seat. He couldn't understand why I wasn't going after her. I explained about the dictionary, but this wasn't a good enough reason. So, since Devin wasn't going to be placated, I walked away and refused to defend my position any longer.
Eventually another dictionary freed up, and I moved the girl back to her assigned seat.
Devin called me over a couple more times. He didn't have questions related to the assignment. He wanted to tell me who was doing something wrong. And he wanted to tell me what I was doing wrong.
One of the things Ms. F wanted was a list of exceptional students. Everyone who got put on the list knew it. Devin wanted to know why I didn't put his name on the list.
I didn't explain. I didn't even know how to begin.