It was one of those moments when you just reach your damn limit. I teach most of my classes in the library, using a mobile interactive whiteboard with an overhead projector. This means that sometimes there are other students in the library, often wander across in front of the whiteboard (as do teachers!) and often students enter the library to collect printing from the central photocopier.
Friday afternoon, I had my year 8 class settled and doing some silent individual reading, I mean what else can you do during the last period on a Friday afternoon?
Two senior girls came in to collect printing, one chewing gum which is banned at our school; at any school in Australia I would say.
Well, first they had to restart their laptop and send the print command. This is something they could have done in the classroom as our school is wireless. To accomplish this the girls thought they could just settle themselves down in the middle of my class. (Even though it is wireless, students still think they have to sit within one metre of the printer for some weird reason. Yeah, the wired generation!)
The quiet was arguably disturbed more by Mrs FD announcing, “Excuse me, but you are in the middle of my class!” They appeared to think I was apologising to them that they had to be in the vicinity of my students. I repeated myself.
They stood, bewildered as to where to go next, though 70 percent of the library was vacant. One girl was particularly offended, and obviously the effort of moving was both too exhausting and too vexing to deal with, so she walked to the edge of my group and threw herself onto the floor, much like a toddler throwing a tantrum.
Red rag to a Flamingo Dancer.
I walked over and threw myself down in the same manner beside her. As the other girl was carrying the laptop I eyeballed Miss Throw Me Down and politely asked, “What are you contributing to this operation?”
“I am going to show her how to send it to the printer.”
“Oh, you are the brains of the operation, then?” I replied. “Go back to your class room.”
Before she got back, a call had been put through to her teacher. He took it from there…
The most rewarding part of all this was that I was able to rise again from the floor without any assistance from my students. It may not have been elegant, but it was accomplished!