Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Reading Logs and Fecal Bandits

"Why didn't you turn in your reading log?" I asked the first child in line.
"Reading log? Oh! I left it in my locker!" smiled cherub #1 sweetly. "Want me to go get it?" I nodded slowly and deliberately to emphasize my inconvenience over the delay.
I turned to the next child. "Why didn't you turn in your reading log?" I tried again.
"Oh, I had soccer," the child nodded knowingly as though this explained everything. He turned and began to walk back to his seat, as though somehow excused by Soccer. I reached for him and guided him back into place.
"All week?" I asked searching his eyes. "You had soccer all week?" I raised my eyebrow and tried to get a reaction as I gazed quizzically at the child. His forehead furrowed as he tried to remember if he had, in fact, had soccer all week.
"Noooo… I had soccer last night," he explained slowly, his teacher obviously quite dim. His tone had a distinct practiced "duh, lady" condescending quality to it.
"You are allowed seven days to do five entries in your reading log. Since last night wasn't a good night, perhaps you should have planned ahead, huh?" I tried to charm the little guy punching him playfully in the shoulder as I recorded his zero.
"But it's not fair! I had soccer last night!" he argued. I sighed and gazed at him sadly, shaking my head to show my great disdain.
"Here's mine!" Cherub #1 charged back into the picture waving her reading log valiantly in my face. I opened it, looking for an example to show Soccer Boy, only to find hers blank as well.
"I'm sorry...why did you not do your reading log?" I asked, detecting a slightly crazed quality to my voice.
"My mom said I didn't have to, because I'm already a good reader," she grinned charmingly, waiting for me to heap accolades upon her for her Master Reader Status.
"Sorry, what?" Surely, I had misheard this last comment. I leaned in. "Your mom said what?"
She began to twirl her finger in her hair. "Well, see, Mom said we were too busy this week. I had Girl Scouts on Monday and church on Tuesday night. We had story night. This one lady…she got up on stage all dressed up as a….Hey! Hey! Courtney! What was that lady at church dressed- What?" She caught my look of distress and rushed to my side. "Do you need a hug?" she put her face directly in front of mine, her eyes searching for signs of life. She reached around and squeezed my shoulders. "Want a back rub? My teacher last year let me give her backrubs all the time." She began to rub my shoulders, so I gave up on her and went on to the next child.
"Why don't you have your-" I began again.
"I forgot." He stared back at me. Just stared. Direct eye contact. A dull, lifeless, unaccountable, uncaring gaze.
"Looks like you forget last week," I queried, checking my grade book.
"Uh huh." More stares. Blank ones. He's clearly concerned about his future as a reader.
"I'm going to have to call your mom, you know," I semi-threatened, throwing the eyebrow.
"'Kay." He shrugged and trudged back to his seat. I watched him go with mild interest and momentarily enjoyed my shoulder massage. I began to drift…just let the reading logs go…relax…enjoy the free massage...DING! I jolted up in my chair, startling my masseuse, who went scurrying back to her seat, now free of reading log burdens.
DING! My email was insistent. I had just received a red flagged email from the principal entitled "#2 Patrol." This had potential. I clicked on it with interest and began to read.
What a delightful subject, I know...but we need to all be on "poop patrol." We had an incident yesterday in the boys' bathroom next to second grade. A not very nice word was spelled out on the wall with feces..yuk...I know......Also, the same kind of thing happened one day last week in the boys' restroom near the gym. So....for now...don't make a big issue out of it with the kids, but we do want to catch the culprit....more so because this person obviously needs some help. If you have any "suspects" please monitor their comings and goings closely, but discretely. Just give general reminders to all kids about treating our building respectfully, which would include keeping the restrooms and hallways, cafeteria...clean. Thanks for your help!
I stifled a giggle and looked around my room to see if any of them looked suspicious. Perhaps the Fecal Bandit was in my class! The day suddenly became more interesting. I began to eye my students signs of banditness. Best to abandon the reading log quest for the week. I'm bringing out all the bells and whistles on Monday, so until then I'm going to be the school's best Poop Patrol. How important are those reading logs anyway? It's not like the kids get grades! Who needs that headache every week? This is much better suited for me. In this endeavor, I know I can really make a difference!


girlfiend said...

That's hilarious. I hate collecting reading logs, but at least my kids are toilet trained.

katielady said...

Fecal Bandit, HAH!! Ha, ha, ha, ha!!!! I love that one. It made all my teacher-friends become cult-followers of your writing, by the way.

Monkey said...

it was me. i smeared the feces. im sorry just don't tell my parents.

Dex said...

So this is a new Fecal Bandit? I'm confused...

Der Tommissar said...

I'm feeling so much better about homeschooling now. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

God, I wish my daughter's teacher had a blog too now!
I love getting an inside view of the classroom from the TEACHER'S perspective, especially of gems like this!