Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Broken Record

Eduardo caught my attention early. By the third time he left his seat in the back far corner of the room to throw away another sheet of paper, I knew he was one I was going to have to keep an eye on. But when he asked to use the restroom, I had no problem in letting him go.

I have a pretty liberal restroom pass policy (so long as the teacher has not put the kibosh on passes by stating "no passes" in the lesson plan). I let anyone go. One at a time. Once per period. (And I write down their names.) Most students are okay with this.

Eduardo returned in good time. He went back to his seat.

Not long after this, Eduardo returned to the front seeking hand sanitizer. I looked. The teacher didn't have any.

Eduardo then asked for another restroom pass. To wash his hands. Because he had gotten pencil dust on them? Something like that. His hands looked fine to me. I offered him a tissue. But that wasn't what he wanted.

I explained that he had used his one pass for the class. It wasn't that long until the end of the period. And his hands weren't filthy. He'd be fine.

He didn't see it that way.

He proceeded to ask me to use the restroom. I said no. Then he asked again. And again. And again. It was as annoying as you'd imagine.

In the midst of this, another student approached and asked to use the restroom. I let her go.

He was incensed. How could I let her go? Well, she hadn't gone once before this.

And now I had a second reason he couldn't go. Someone else was out of the room.

Finally, he relented. He'd give me five minutes to "reconsider". Then he'd return.

Five minutes passed, and he did indeed return. This time with his "lawyer". This other student didn't say anything. I think he kind of enjoyed the show. I know the students sitting nearby were getting a kick out of it.

Eduardo started the, "Can I go?" again. After two nos, I stopped answering. He wasn't listening anyway.

Just when I thought I'd spend the rest of the period hearing the question (and Eduardo doesn't know me very well if he thought he'd actually wear me down with this), another student returned to class.

This other student had been called out of class at the beginning of the period. When Eduardo saw him, he said, "Never mind," and instantly went back to his desk.

"Oh good. You made dumb and dumber leave."

This came from a girl seated nearby. The comment was so perfect. I burst into laughter. Which startled the girl.

She asked me about how annoying the boy had been. He annoyed her and several of her seatmates. I explained that such things are just fodder for the blog, and I kind of enjoy them in the moment because of this.

I swear, some days this blog writes itself.


  1. Sheesh! These kids learn too much too quickly. Their manipulation skills amaze me. But when you have a classroom where the teacher has marked "no passes," what happens if someone really has to go? That could get ugly!

    1. Emergencies always trump the "no passes" rule.

  2. My goodness, that's like my kids asking to play video games. Do they ever stop? =)

  3. Oh I could not have that patience. Amazing how they think they can wear a person down. "lawyer" bit was funny

  4. Good for you for staying resilient! I'm sure Eduardo will call you the mean sub, but we all know he's just the annoying student.

  5. First think I thought was if Eduardo had OCD and really had to go back and wash his hands :)

    so true that you get lots of great stories here in your classroom times :_


  6. some kids can be so dumb. i've had that scene before, but not quite so obnoxious. I did have a young man who couldn't sit still ask to go. After five minutes another student asked to go, one i know pretty well. i told him he could, and he should check on the other one. they both returned quickly - silly kids, tricks are for wabbits!

    1. You're the regular teacher, so they don't pull with you what they pull with me.


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