Be the hero

I expected it to be a quiet week at school. It’s a new year and the kids seem to be pretty calm. There aren’t many kids in the office when I arrive before lunch. Not like the numbers last year as the school year was finishing. I haven’t had anyone to talk to on the “naughty bench” outside the principal’s office.

On Wednesday I hadn’t been on campus for more than 10 minutes when the fire alarm sounded. It was a scheduled drill to get practice evacuating the buildings. The principal announced that the kids cleared the classrooms in three minutes. I stood with the first and second graders on the field until the all-clear bell sounded. By then it was lunch time so I went off to the cafeteria to again encourage the students to eat their fruit and veggies.

Today I sat down on that bench outside the principal’s office and chatted with one of the home liaisons who has a desk in the area. Before long two boys came in and sat down next to me. They looked to be fifth or sixth graders. I start questioning them about why they are there and they tell me they were singing.

“I’m assuming it wasn’t in a chorus class?”

“No.” Giggle, giggle.

The second boy chimes in, “The sub didn’t like our song.”

“Oh, you have a sub and you weren’t being nice.”

Giggle, giggle, “yeah, we turned off the lights and threw paper. I guess he got tired of it and told us to leave.”

Oh, brother. Substitute teachers have a rough time and they need kids to be on better behavior than these two rapscallions were giving him. I told them that they needed to be the hero in the room and behave better and encourage the others to do likewise. They are two very good looking and smart boys, and I’m sure they are leaders. We talked about better ways to do it the next time and what they should tell the principal they would do differently. Then I went to the cafeteria for lunch with the first graders, leaving the two miscreants to face their fate.

While standing outside, greeting the first and second graders as they came for lunch, I see the two boys from the office coming over with the vice principal. She  put them to work helping the first graders with their lunches, much like I do, unwrapping the packages and clearing the plastic wrap from the tables. They did a super job, stepping in to take handsful of wrappers from me a couple of times. They were kind and considerate to the little kids. I told them how much I appreciated their help. They said “thank you.” I think they decided to be heroes.



9 responses to “Be the hero

  1. Good advice to those naughty boys!

  2. All kinds of good stuff here. I assume the boys were working in the cafeteria as ‘punishment’? However, they were able to practice those leadership skills you suspected they had, and interact positively with adults.

    • I don’t know if you would call it punishment. The vice principal has cafeteria duty and probably decided that since there was no one in the office to watch these fellas, they could go with her to the cafeteria. While there, they were put to work.

  3. Never a dull moment at school!

  4. Delaine, you are the best thing that happened to that school. You have given such calm, wonderful advice.

  5. I agree with Kay. You give that school real class, and it’s amazing to see how much you can do with just a few words. I suspect the fact that you communicated love and tolerance to them rather than sour disapproval helped immensely! 🙂

  6. Congrats on turning a negative into a positive!

    • Thanks, this time it seemed to be okay, but we have to see how these fellas respond to the next sub they get. The school struggles with getting and keeping substitute teachers. I’d like to turn that around.

  7. Rapscllions. miscreants…love your word choices. Good you could be a positive influence in the classroom and out of it.

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