Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Not My Name


Middle schoolers, in general, are terrible liars. (There are some masters of deception, but mostly they just can't manage it.)

Seventh grade math. Second period. I was taking roll via a seating chart. But because seating charts (especially in middle school classes where teachers are constantly moving kiddos) aren't always 100% accurate, I was calling out the names of those I was marking absent.

"Jake is not here..."

"He's here. He's sitting over there," a student let me know.

But when I looked over at Jake, he claimed he was Steven. He was sitting in Steven's seat.

"So, it's okay for me to mark Jake absent," I said.

Usually that's enough to make the student give up the game. Not Jake. Nope, he was willing to be absent to be Steven.

(Turns out that Steven was suspended, so he was marked absent anyway. And no, I didn't mark Jake absent. It seemed silly to do when I knew he was there.)

Needless to say, Jake was a difficult student.

But what was remarkable was how the rest of the class would not play along. Occasionally one of the kiddos would ask Jake something. They'd call out "Jake". He would say, "I'm Steven". And they would roll their eyes, finish whatever it was they wanted to ask, and then go back to what they were doing (which was mostly the assignment).

Because the rest of the class was behaving, Jake was not able to cause enough of a commotion for me to need to kick him out. But he got a starring role in my note to his teacher.

I was three doors down from that class the next day. I ran into Jake's regular teacher. Jake's antics got him suspended from class. And not for the first time. (Jake has been an issue in that class all year.)

16 comments:

  1. It was good the kids didn't play along with Jake. You would think Jake would want to be more like his classmates, but apparently not. Positive peer pressure versus negative peer pressure, but apparently he wasn't catching on to that either.

    I see Jake in years to come in your posts from the continuation high schools.

    betty

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  2. Oh brother...sounds like Jake and Steven are buddies. Soon they will have their own mug shots

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    Replies
    1. According to their teacher, yup, they are.

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  3. This would have hit all my intensely curious buttons. I would have wanted to strike up a conversation by first telling said person that everyone, from time to time, wishes that they were someone else for a while. Then I would want to ask this particular child why they wanted to be Steven. Maybe it doesn't even go that deep. However, I'd be fascinated to hear the answer.

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  4. It feels like getting suspended from class is exactly what he wants :P

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  5. Tells you something when the rest of the class won't play along...

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  6. Replies
    1. There's a reason my tag for 7th grade classes is "7th grade crazy".

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  7. Hi Liz - well that's one class of sensible kids ... if Steven and Jake aren't around at all they'd be happy ... cheers Hilary

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  8. I often subbed in a class where there teacher was known for being a strict disciplinarian. They were typically a very well behaved class, but if one of them began to step out of line all I had to do was grab the teachr's book and ACT like I was about to write a note to their teacher.

    THEY DID NOT WANT THAT and would straighten up immediately.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, that is a great deterrent, but only if they're scared of their teacher. Some, not so much.

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  9. Once again, I hope this student gets his act together. ~sigh~

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  10. I vaguely remember the days when playing that game might be amusing. Sometimes I wished I had a twin so we could pretend to be each other.

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    Replies
    1. Funnily enough, twins don't play that game. And they get irritated if you mix them up. I'm rather glad they don't.

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