I don’t think I’ve written the story of my first referral on this blog. When I was out and about on Saturday I ran in to the student involved at WalMart and he gleefully reminded me of the incident (as he does every time he sees me; he seems to see it as a badge of honor) so it is on my mind. I present the story to you now for a bit of light summer reading.
It was about a week and a half into the school year in my 4th period U.S. History. The class was rowdy, as usual. I was at the overhead trying to do notes on Andrew Jackson (I still remember that!) when I look over at T,
“T, pick up your head!”
“Aw man, Ms. W. I tired and this boring.”
“…” (I hadn’t yet figured out how to respond to cries of “this boring.” Half of me wanted to stop class and give a big, inspiring speech on the importance of Social Studies. The other half wanted to just finish the d*$@ notes.)
“Pick your head up.”
*sigh* “A’ight. But Ima hafta do somthin’ to keep me awake.” (This is where alarm bells should have started ringing for me, but didn’t. Ah, my first year.)
I continued with the lesson, stumbling over the issue of nullification, I’m sure. Before too long, I started to hear a wave of giggles begin from the back of the room. Strangely enough, they’re centered around T.
Ok. Lets try just ignoring it.
Not working. “Ladies and gentlemen, I need your attention, please.”
What the? I can barely see T, but it looks like he’s sleeping again. “T, I told you to pick your head up!”
I start to weave through the desks to the back of the room. The giggles turn to full fledged laughter. I reach T’s desk.
Oh. Good. Lord.
“T! PICK YOUR PANTS UP THIS INSTANT!”
Laughter. T continues to feign sleep.
“IAMNOTKIDDINGMISTER!!!” I can feel myself getting shrieky. “NOW! NOW!”
The other students are beginning to get involved. “Get ‘im Ms. W!” “Smack ‘im!”
I rush to the front of the room, grab a referral form from behind my desk and scrawl something on it hastily. T, by this time, has “woken up” and is accepting the accolades of his peers. You can’t actually see anything, because his white t-shirt comes down to about mid calf, even when he’s standing, but his pants are definitely still around his ankles.
“T, that’s it. You’re done. Go. Go. Go to the office.” I stuff the referral in his fist. “Take this.”
He ambles out to the cheers of the class. I whip around and hiss (in a somewhat desperate manner) “I do not ever want to see that in here again.”
Laughter swells again. “Ms. W, with T you should be surprised you could see anything the first time.”
I attempt to continue teaching about Jackson, with very little success. After the bell rings, I am walking down toward the front office when my AP pops his head out of his office door.
“Ms. W, may I see you for a second?”
“Yes, of course.”
I step inside and he closes the door. Uh oh.
“Did you send T to the office?”
“With a referral?”
“Ok, because I don’t really know your handwriting yet, and I wasn’t sure if this,” he hands me the crumpled up referral, “was a joke or was for real.”
I look down at the referral and I see scrawled on it in white board marker in my handwriting, “Student dropped pants. Refused to respond to teacher.”
I never heard the end of that one. And that was my first referral.