Every class I have came at me today. I have had rougher days in my career, certainly– much rougher, in fact– but this was still a pretty goddamn rough day.
My 7th hour is my toughest class, by a longshot. They are also my last group of the day, which is not a bad thing for your worst group of the day to be. I had to start each of my 8th grade classes reading them the riot act about an epidemic of cheating and copying assignments that’s been going on lately, and went from that directly into the lesson for the day. Honestly, it was going well, not just “going well for 7th hour” but actually going well, until one of my kids randomly decided to lose his fucking mind because he thought somebody threw something at him. The big problem with this class is that they’re always on a razor’s edge and the slightest little thing can throw the room into complete chaos, and by the time I got the mind-loser out of the room (cussing and swearing the entire time) I literally had five or six of them on the fucking floor laughing.
So, more riot act. Amazingly, they more or less pulled together again, and even some of the floor-rollers came up for help on the assignment and actually paid attention while I was explaining what they needed to do and corrected a couple of misunderstandings. Like, I’ll take it, right? I had to toss somebody from damn near every other class I had today; if I get through my roughest group with only one kid out I’ll call it a win.
And then someone asked to go get some water. There’s a drinking fountain immediately outside my classroom so so long as I’m not actively instructing the answer to this question is almost always yes. I tell him he can go get some water and move on to the next thing, and the next thing I know there are five kids clustered around the door for some reason.
“The door’s locked.”
“The door doesn’t lock from the inside, guys. Quit screwing around, and everybody who doesn’t have permission for water go sit down.”
“No, really, the door won’t open.”
So I go check. And I discover two things: one, no, the fucking door won’t open, and two, the kid who I sent out of the room and thought had gone directly to the office has instead gone outside of the classroom, sat down, and started quietly doing his assignment, like, when the hell did you calm down? And at first I think he’s sitting against the door or has a foot in front of it or something (there’s a window in the door, to be clear) but he sort of backs away and holds his hands up and he’s obviously not doing anything.
I call the office.
“You’re gonna love this,” I say. I hear a pained sigh from the other end. “I’m in my classroom, and–”
I get interrupted. “Let me guess,” the person on the other side says. “Your door is locked and you can’t get out.”
“I have many students in here with me,” I say, temporarily suppressing my urge to say how the fuck did you know that. “Please come rescue us.”
They dispatch a custodian. Who is unable to extricate us from the room. He starts popping the pins out on the hinges.
You can probably imagine what the kids were doing.
The bell rings. We are unable to go anywhere. The hinges are unpinned but we still can’t get the door open.
One of the kids suggests calling 911. All of them have goddamn cell phones. I squash this idea with a quickness.
It is ten minutes past the bell. There are now multiple adults outside trying to get the door open. Everyone in the room is now massively late to class and I am waiting for either a fight to break out or someone to decide that they need to pee.
(Honestly, it is shocking that “I need to pee and I am the center of the universe so my need to pee is the only thing anyone can discuss” is not part of this story.)
And then– after this has been going on for twenty minutes, and I have repeatedly vacillated between this is actually kind of hilarious if you think about it and bone-shaking anger, and while I am finding myself genuinely grateful that I decided to go on brain drugs when I did, there is a new ruckus. A ruckus happening at my desk.
As the door between my classroom and the science room next door, the door that I had utterly forgotten about because I put a cart with my printer on it in front of it and it is never used for any reason, the door that the janitor had also clearly forgotten about, the door that none of the 30-some-odd kids in the room has noticed, as that door opens up, shoving the cart and my printer out of the way, and the science teacher, with a giant shit-eating grin on his face, sticks his head into my room and says “Hey, guys, whatcha doing?”
And then there was a stampede, and I’m pretty sure no one died.
I have a stupid job.