Thursday, September 15, 2022

The Sandwich Incident

Fifth period. Yup, them again

I met Colton for the first time last year while I was covering the geography class. He's a very charismatic kid, which isn't a compliment from someone in my line of work. He was in the difficult class for Mrs. O, too. And he contributed to the chaos there. But I didn't ever write about him specifically as he never did anything that rose to the level of interesting for the blog

On the first day of my covering Mrs. D's classes, I read through her syllabus. She had a no food in class rule, so I made sure to enforce that. Generally, that means when I catch someone eating, I tell them to put the food away. They know the rule, so they look chagrined at being caught, "sneak" a last bite, and put the food away.

Wednesday. Colton has been skirting the no food rule since I got to the class, but we've been playing the game, so when I saw him with a food container, I didn't worry. I'd keep an eye out, tell him to put the food away, and he could eat whatever was in the container at lunch, which was directly after fifth period.

If only.

At the bell, I still had students roaming to their desks. Colton was one of them. He had a sandwich in his hand.

"Put the food away," I bellowed.

"Where do you want me to put it?" Colton asked.

That container? Gone. 

I didn't realize that at first. He brought food in. When I say to put food away, I would think he would realize he should put the food back in the container it came in. But he was making him having thrown out the container my problem. 

And so, now the rest of the class was riveted by the drama. 

(From experience, I knew telling him to throw out the food would have shot this conflict into the stratosphere. They get very defensive of their food. "You can't touch my food.")

In the end, he got to eat his sandwich, but not until after the whole class got to witness our argument. 

But now I had a problem. I've still got a week to go with this class, and I can't have Colton bringing food in every day. And if he can eat in class, the rest of the kiddos will, and that just leads to a mess. 

How do I deal with this? 

That's when it occurred to me that maybe Mrs. D would have an idea. So, I emailed her.

She's in India. I looked it up to find that the time difference is 12 and a half hours. So, I wasn't going to get a response right away, but at least I'd have something by the next time I had Colton in class. (We're on a block schedule, so I see each class every other day.) 

Colton again got no work done in class. (He took offense when I pointed out that his grade would drop when Mrs. D input the three weeks' work into the gradebook, and he might not be allowed to continue to play football.) This was definitely an issue I needed to deal with as soon as I could.

(Conclusion tomorrow.)


  1. Sounds like he's turning into a saga.

  2. Replies
    1. I don't even want to contemplate how long this post would have been had I done it in one. It almost went to three parts.

  3. A cliffhanger. My bets are on you. We'll see tomorrow.

  4. I would bring in some dollar store container and he could put it in there and then put it on your desk. Some kids just really have to buck the rules and step over that line. Just like I don't know how parents parent in 2022. I have no idea how you teachers teach. I'm looking forward to your next post.

    1. Ah, but that would require planning ahead. I did not know he was going to attempt to eat and throw away the container it came in. In that moment, I had to make do with what I had on hand. And then make sure that it would not happen again...

  5. Replies
    1. Oh, no roots. As soon as I recognized him from last year, I knew I'd have to keep an eye on him.

  6. Oh-oh-oh! Let me guess! (I see a continuation post is already up. I'll read it next.) If I were Mrs. D., I would have a large container ready to collect food. Am I right? I'm going to go find out.

    1. The thing is, if you have a container for food, then they'll bring food. When you tell them no food, they keep their food hidden. Or, at least, they're supposed to.

  7. Kids have the strangest way of challenging adults. Some cute and some rude.

  8. What an exhausting situation. I applaud your efforts.


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