I'm training my class this year with a dog clicker. Yes I said it, a dog clicker. Conditioned response is the name of the game. I click, they stop talking. Yes, it's all about the response. Speaking of which, here are some priceless stories so far this year.
Like the kid who came back from recess to put his coat in his locker only to discover a lacy blue thong had fallen from the sleeve. Not initially noting their original location, he proceeded to swing them around on his index finger indignantly asking " Who did this?" Who put underwear on my coat? "Mrs. Ross' did you do this as a joke?"
My immediate response was to rack my brain as to how a 7th grader lost her underwear in our room, prior to coming to my senses and the more likely mishap of a mom doing her laundry with her kid's coat. A discrete drop in the backpack and a call the next day confirmed that those in fact were hers. And for the record when it happened I did what my friend Erin likes to call "lost my shit". I laughed hysterically. The sight of an 8 year old boy swinging a thong around on is finger trying desperately to determine it's owner was more than I could take and I lost it. I can't help it, it was hands down in nearly 8 years of classroom experience, the most funny moment ever.
Or the birthday party that happened today. Birthday parties are normal at school, however usually they involve only a parent sending in treats. It is rare that the parent actually shows up to deliver the goods and pass them out and clean up. And then there was today. Both parents showed up along with both sets of grandparents, and about a dozen cameras to boot. It was like a freakin' family reunion. "Oh so sorry, don't mind us 3rd graders trying to conduct a class here". Ironically it was the same family. Sean asked if she brought more underwear. I of course thought in my head "yes, panty favors for all".
And then there is my daily battle with two different kiddos on opposite sides of the mental health spectrum that makes everyday a joy because much like the box of chocolates...you just never know what you are going to get.
Oh, and the kid in my PE class who wants to be a boy and is pissed off that people have figured out she isn't. This revelation occured after the the big argument about how kids were being mean to "him" by saying "he's a girl". "Well, she is a girl" was my response. No "he's" not came back at me, followed quickly by "when did Mrs. Ross become a meanie, she used to be so nice."
And finally, for the record, if you ever get into a battle of the "my dad is stronger than your dad"variety between 3rd graders and it seems there is no end in sight, I've found the trump card. The exchange in my room went something like this:
"Hey Mrs. Ross, my Dad can lift like 750 pounds of weights, can your dad?"
(boy 2) "Duh, because he is too old"
Boy 1 " oh, well then can he lift like 200lbs"
"jeez, can your dad lift any weights at all?"
Kid-"he can't lift any weights at all? Really? Why isn't he strong at all?"
Me: "cause he is dead, my Dad died a few years ago"
Kid: "Oh man mrs. ross- that sucks!"
me: Tell me about it.
Normally I don't allow the word "sucks" in my room but it did seem appropriate here. Harsh, yes, but damn it was funny. And somehow I'm betting that my old dad got a kick out of that one too!