So I was working after school a couple of days ago when my school phone rings. Walking over to the phone, I notice it’s a private phone number, meaning it’s someone the office is transfering to my room. I pick up the phone, and it’s J! Little J! I say, “Hi, J! What’s up?” (I try to sound like I’ve missed him).
He says, “Oh, nothing, Mr. V., I’m just calling to say hi.”
I couldn’t believe it. So I engage him in conversation to see if there is really some reason why he calls, but nope. He just wants to chat. So I remind him that he still has one of our school library books, and I ask him if he can find it and have his mom bring it back to our school. He said sure, but I know we’ll never see that book again.
It’s amazing that a kid who drove me crazy would call to just say hi. He was a student who I had to move away from me because almost everything he did would catch my eye. He’s a kid who probably hated me while he was here, and I couldn’t blame him! Seemed like he was always getting in trouble. He had to of thought that I was picking on him. And at one time he told me, in an angry tone, that he hated school and didn’t want to be here.
But he calls to say hi.
Yep, it’s official. J has been taken off my class roster. He is no longer a part of my class, he is no longer attending this school. I am officially down to 30 students. Too bad I can’t take his desk out of my room and give us a little more space. I have 32 Oral Language students first thing in the morning, so even though he’s not here, I still need J’s desk.
It’s been 3 school days, and still no J. I think he moved.
Am I a horrible person for being relieved?
I am, though. Relieved, that is.
J tells me he’s moving! I tried not to act too excited. Then I told him to make sure his mom tells the office. Now I know not to get too excited when students tell me they’re leaving. Too many times they think they are changing schools, but are really just confused about I don’t know what. So I didn’t get my hopes up.
But later that day he tells me that his mom said he can try the new school, and if he doesn’t like it he can come back here. Hmmm, is that how it works?
The next day the office tells me that J’s mom called and said it would be his last day. I told him I was sorry he was leaving, and I tried to make him believe me. So I get him ready to go. At the end of the day we make sure to take out of his desk all the things that are his, and that all the school things actually stay here (it figures that he still has one of our school library books at home).
We walk out, we all say our goodbyes. As I go to my box before I go back up to my room, I have a note from the secretary. Jonathan’s mom called and said that Monday will be his last day.
So now J goes into the office to bother them about his books. I get a call after school from the office, telling me J is in there asking if he can get his books, and telling them he paid for them and wants them. I tell them to put him on the phone, and then tell him to stop bothering the office. He knows how to get the books back.
He tells me his mom can’t come and get them. She’s too busy. She has too many kids to take care of. Again, that’s crap. He’s important enough to come and get them.
J’s mom called. Said she couldn’t come up to the room because her she has her newborn with her. That’s crap! She can come up. If it’s important enough for her (and her son should be), then she can come up.
I hesitantly agree to give the books to his sister the next day.
But the next day, J has a TERRIBLE day. There is no way I’m going to give those books to him with that behavior. So I tell him to inform his mother that I have changed my mind. She is going to have to come up.
It’s time for the Book Fair. That means as a teacher, I can send about 3 kids there during lunch, and 3 kids there during recess. I’ve got about 15 kids who want to go. I can’t send them all. Not in one day. So I randomly select 3 who have money to buy books. They get a note. They can go at recess.
J really wants to go. But he wasn’t picked for this recess. Plus he has recess detention for missing homework. But after detention, when he is supposed to be walking to the playground to line up after recess, he sneaks over to the book fair.
He gets busted. The teacher who had him for detention writes him a discipline note.
At lunch, I pick 3 more students to go to the Book Fair, and I remind the class that only the students I pick can go. But guess who decides to go, anyway. J. Yep, even after getting a discipline note, he decides to go to the Book Fair and buy a couple of books.
I was furious!
Of course I bust him. He tells me that he needed to go because his mom gave him money.
Half the class brought money. They know that they have to take turns going to the fair, and that they can’t all go at the same time. Plus, we will have class time to go. He knows that. Every student knows that.
I take the books away, and tell him that if he wants the books back. His mom will have to come up to the room and talk to me.
Who’s the thorn in my flesh this year? What name am I going to be calling over and over and over again? Who am I going to need to stop talking and pay attention? J_ is the name. He frequently does’t bring his homework. He often doesn’t return things he needs to. I’ve got mom’s text number, and I’ve already texted her a number of times to help her remind J that he needs to show her things so that she can sign it and that he can return it. I think mom’s overwhelmed.