#10. You Can't Make This Sh*t Up.
Let's pretend that's the title of a book of teacher stories. What would you include?
This could garner some of the more potentially interesting responses so far! And, we could probably point to just about any entry in Teenagers Are Ridiculous. For me, it would probably be a tale from my first year (of course!) of a young man in my sixth period - we'll call him Ned. He was a little strange (a teacher neighbor warned me that he was suspended his freshman year for coming to school in a skirt. Willingly. No dare. No prank. Just felt like coming to school in a skirt. And fishnet stockings.) He obviously had some issues - you'd look at him and think goth-metal kiddo. But then he opened his mouth and he was so soft-spoken and sensitive. Maybe gay? you think then. Ultimately he only made the gaydar flicker, really. So, no, not gay. You couldn't quite pin it down, but he was just... different. Weird. The other kids steered clear of him for the most part. He had a few friends, just not in my class. Ned was the class loner. He was in and out of ISS for various behavior issues, but I never had a problem with him...until The Incident. I was pretty sure I'd seen this a week prior, but had suspicions definitely confirmed one day when we were reading out loud in Animal Farm. I called on Ned, who wasn't quite ready to be called on. The momentary pause and response "Huh?" gave me enough time to look up and see him pulling his hand out of his pants. I enabled Teacher Mask of Unconcern and told him our spot in the book, making a note on my podium that OMG YES TALK TO PRINCIPAL.
I don't think he was doing...THAT exactly. From the little I had caught the week before, he wasn't really DOING anything. It was like a comfort thing. You know, in lieu of a blanket or thumb-sucking, just put his hand down his pants. After that class - last of the day - I practically sprinted up to the assistant principal's office to explain. They knew Ned's name immediately and sighed a little. Then they laughed with a mix of amusement and horror when I told them exactly what I needed to report. I had stopped in one of the female assistant principal's office, and one of our male APs happened to be nearby. She turned to him with a smile and said, "I think YOU need to take this one." He covered his face with his hands.
What would you include in an anthology for teachers titled You Can't Make This Sh*t Up?
[Conclusion] Ned was assigned 10 days in RISE, which is where our EBD (emotional/ behavior disorder, for any non-educators) students go instead of ISS. There is a special education teacher in there who is great with them, and instead of getting stuck in ISS & having a suspension on record , they can be in RISE (actually, I'm not sure if it's an acronym or not, but I assume so) with a teacher who can handle the issue at hand, not just punish them (even though most of these kids already have some kind of suspension on their record anyway, but hey at least they're in school and getting work). He returned to class for about another month or so after that and then I think he transferred shortly before the end of the year.
source: my scarred memory, picture credit lolcats