Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
The Boy Who Cried Poop
Well, it happened yesterday. That inevitable moment in the life of any teacher. I was responsible for a child pooping his pants.
Now, I've got to say up front here that I'm not what I would consider directly responsible. I mean, I didn't feed the kid a laxative; I didn't lock him in a closet for five days; I didn't jump out from behind a tree and yell, "Boo!" Also, there's a decent reason for my having done what I did.
The child in question is one of my younger students. (But not that damn young. Nowhere near young enough that this sort of thing should even kind of enter the picture.) I think he might have developmental issues that have somehow not been addressed by, say, reassigning him to a small-class setting. The kid does nothing in my class. Other kids are writing a scene or rehearsing with their group, he's in the corner, playing with blocks. He's never written anything for me, he's never completed an assignment. And it's not as if I'm the only teacher who's noticed this lack of...mental acuity.
Every day, I see him wandering around the hallway. Or running. Sometimes, he runs. He spends, I swear, a good third of the time in the hallway. His classes just don't hold his attention. Superman arm-wrestling Jesus on the back of a dinosaur couldn't hold his attention.
And every time I have his class, he's on me from the moment I walk in, asking to go to the bathroom. If I say yes, it's pretty much guaranteed I'm not going to see him for at least fifteen minutes. Sometimes longer. Every once in awhile, I get fed up and I say, "Don't bother asking me for the next week, because I'm not going to be giving you any passes." And then he asks me and I give him a pass and I don't see him until the end of the period.
So yesterday, I'm having the kids write and the class is fairly quiet and most everyone is concentrating. I'm calling my students up one at a time and going over my gradebook with any of them that are in danger of failing my class for the marking period. I'm sitting with a student when The Wanderer comes up and asks to go to the bathroom. I tell him that I'm with meeting with somebody at the moment, so no. He goes away. He comes back up a few minutes later and asks again. This time, he's doing a bit of a dance.
Let me say, I haven't been a teacher for all that long, but I've been one long enough to have caught on to the fact that kids are very adept at faking a potty dance to fool you into letting them out of the class. So I looked him right in the eye and I said, "I'm sorry. But you ask me to go to the bathroom every single class. And you always say it's an emergency. And today, the answer is no."
And he went back to his seat. And ten seconds later, I was proved completely wrong. Which is when I sent him.
At that point, though, the barn had burned down around the horses. He carried the smell around with him the rest of the day, even after another teacher sent the kid to the nurse, who gave him some clean pants, but didn't have him clean himself.
So now I'm the dickhead who made a kid crap himself. I love teaching.
Further reason why I admire teachers, nurses and anybody else who deals with people and kids in such a direct way. Sorry this happened to you too. In marketing, I get B.S. sent my way but not real poop.
I've got this 'internationally reknowned' hand gesture for my students to ask to go to the bathroom. They raise their hands and 'flush'. That saves me the chafe of walking all the way to their desk only to find out all they want to do is shit.Post a Comment
A couple weeks ago, Gilbert raises his hand.
Gilbert - Can I go to the bathroom?
Me - No. Aren't you forgetting 'the sign'?
Gilbert - But I gotta throw up.
Me - Go! Go!
At this point, Gilbert makes a dash for the door, putting his hand over his mouth, frozen like a goddamned deer in headlights with f*cking eggs shooting out between his fingers.
Me - Gilbert! At least stand over the garbage can.
Ahhh... the joys of teaching. Now let me tell you about encopresis.