On Wednesday we had what was probably the most dramatic entrance yet to our Happy Little Portable. I was sitting at my desk, helping one of my kids with some assignment, when I could hear someone stomp up our ramp and then a key turn in my lock (my door is always locked). The door opened and standing there was Officer Awesome our SRO (Sheriff Reserve Officer) holding open the door for one of the maddest little seventh graders I'd ever laid eyes on.
Temper Boy had been with us before and for the most part is a halfway decent kid, but oh gosh, don't irritate him because he absolutely loses his mind and will pitch a fit and shut down. It's like flipping a switch. Apparently he'd been horrible for a substitute teacher, was escorted to The Principal's office, and she assigned him three days with me. He. Was. Not. Happy. The fact that he was actually escorted by Officer Awesome tells you something. Most kids get out to our Happy Little Portable on their own.
First off, he flung a handful of little teeny tiny pieces of paper into our trashcan by the door. I found out later that he had apparently torn his write-up into a bunch of little teeny tiny pieces and had scattered them from the building, along the sidewalk, and up the ramp to our Happy Little Portable. It was as if he'd left a trail of breadcrumbs along the trail so he could find his way back upon his escape.
Temper Boy then stomped to one of the empty cubicles and SLAMMED his backpack onto the floor.
I looked at Officer Awesome and he simply rolled his eyes at me. I rolled mine back.
At this point the dozen kids in there were Stone Cold Silent. Because this was truly the most dramatic entrance they'd ever seen. They all stopped working and all heads were turned to Temper Boy.
Temper Boy took his chair, which was on top of the desk in his cubicle, and SLAMMED it down on the floor, plopped into it and crossed his arms and glared at us.
I looked at Officer Awesome, who was still rolling his eyes at me and said, "I don't know about you, but I could do without the chair throwing." He nodded.
"I DID NOT THROW MY CHAIR!!!!" screamed Temper Boy.
"Yeah, whatever," I said. "You know the drill, empty out your backpack. If you have a cell phone turn it off and put it in the backpack so I can hang it in the closet."
"YOU ARE NOT TAKING MY BACKPACK!!!!" screamed Temper Boy.
"Fine. Knock yourself out," I said. "You are more then welcome to leave your backpack and all your belongings in the middle of the floor so anyone can reach in there and take what they want, rather than have it placed in a secure area. Your choice." I might add I was using a very calm voice and was speaking in a normal volume.
Temper Boy kicked his backpack and glared at no one in particular.
The other kids were still silent and staring at Temper Boy. Then all of a sudden one of the 8th graders said, almost under his breath but it was so quiet that we could all hear him, "Jeez, it's not THAT bad in here,"
I almost died. I wanted to laugh so badly that it was all I could do to tell the kids the show was over and get back to work.. Which they did because, quite honestly, they were a little bit afraid of Temper boy. They ignored him. I ignored him. He sat there glaring for twenty minutes until our timer went off for our restroom break where we headed into The Building. The other kids lined up at the door, waiting to go out. Temper Boy did not move.
I went over to him and laid it out in pretty simple terms. "Look these kids have been waiting for about an hour and a half to go to the bathroom, walk around a bit and get a drink. If you refuse to go, I have to stay in here with you and that means they don't get to go because there's no grown up to keep an eye on them. And they will all HATE you forever."
That did it. With a huge, dramatic sigh, he decided to join the line and head on in. And down the ramp we went, walking through the fluttering pieces of his write up blowing across the ramp and sidewalk.