Thursday, March 16, 2023

The Show

Thursday. All the English teachers were out, so I got to see a bunch of other subs I hadn't seen in a while.

(Well, not all the English teachers. The district has the students do an essay once a quarter, and the teachers take a day to go and score them together. They score by grades, so only the senior? teachers were out. I'm not sure which level was out this day as the teacher I covered taught 10th, 11th, and 12th graders.)

Second period English 10. The class was co-taught, so another sub I'd seen around arrived to cover for the co-teacher. 

Mr. S had covered for the teacher before, and he warned me to look out for a student, Malik. 

Class had been in session for maybe a minute when Malik made himself known. He wasn't sitting in his assigned seat, and he made a production of moving across the room to where he was supposed to be. (I hadn't even gotten to attendance yet.) Then he had to make a show of retrieving his computer from the computer cart. And then he started singing. Not loudly, but audibly. 

The rest of the class? Dead quiet. 

I moved on to other things. Mr. S kept an eye on Malik. 

Malik attracted my attention again. The students put their phones up for the period, but Malik was playing Tic-Tac-Toe on his smart watch. Sigh. I told him to get to work. He informed me he had completed it.

We all know this was a blatant lie. But I don't argue doneness with students. It never goes well. But Mrs. V had left them something to do if they were finished: read their reading books. A few students were quietly reading in class. 

So, I informed Malik that if he was done, he needed to read. He explained that he can't read. (This is not the first time a student has claimed this. I never believe this lie because I have been in the classes where the kiddos truly cannot read. They try.)

The rest of the class? They enjoyed this show.

Then Malik began humming. When I told him to stop, he acted confused. I told him not to sing. I didn't tell him not to hum. *rolls eyes*

So, again, I busied myself keeping track of the rest of the class. Mr. S told Malik to get his head off his desk a couple times. 

Malik wasn't going to do anything productive. Neither of us wanted Malik to disrupt the work of the rest of the class. So, Mr. S sent Malik out of class.

Malik? He sang as he skipped out of the room. Skipped. Seriously. 

The rest of the class? They laughed. Then they got back to work. 

Malik got what he wanted, I think. And this is the major difference between middle school and high school. In a middle school class, this would have set the rest of them off. In high school, they enjoy the show and then move on. (Older students stop thinking the show is funny.) 


  1. It only takes one to disrupt the entire class... Hopefully they are old enough to move on. After that, you can enjoy a sweet beverage and a little rest ;))

  2. There's always got to be at least one. I suppose a positive is that he's not throwing desks. So there's that.

  3. someday, Malik might be wearing an orange jump suit, with numbers across the chest. IF that's his life goal, then skip away.

  4. What a button-pusher... you said no singing, he wasn't singing, he was humming! I can image what he's like at home.

    1. I left out one little detail with the singing. He thought it was okay to be singing "The Star Spangled Banner". Um...

  5. Skipped out of class? Oh my gosh....

    1. I mean, I could see a 7th grader pulling that, but a 10th grader? And he's not small for his age.

  6. Hi Liz - always one ... but the other kids obviously knew what was going on and let it pass them by ... like you say I hope he figures things out before it's too late - cheers Hilary

  7. Replies
    1. Yes. I hope his special ed teacher is giving him that attention. I can't do it in the regular classroom setting.

  8. And then the kids who don't realise they are no longer funny to their fellow (mature) students, act up more to try to get the laughs they were used to getting.


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