Rats! I’m already liking the new kids. And I already know most of their names. I’ve devised this new game where I tell them at the beginning of class that if I get their name wrong, they get a detention. If I get it wrong twice, indoor suspension. A third time, expulsion. Since they’re sixth graders, only 10 years old, they don’t know any better, and as such stare at me with terrified hope and despair as I survey the class to pick somebody to begin reading.

Actually, they’re a wily bunch, and by the time I reach the expulsion part of the explanation, they’re all laughing weakly and lolling about in their seats like mariners riding out a high sea.

I caught a lucky break today. The principal dropped by for a surprise visit, but came during my second period honors class. As such, when she strolled in through the open door, completely unannounced, she found everybody with their heads bent over their workbooks, and my lecturing them on the ‘Main Idea’ benchmark. It was the picture perfect classroom. PERFECTION WAS MINE. She walked up and down a little bit, told them to study hard, nodded at me and left. My score, out of ten? THREE HUNDRED. Also, my 8th graders gave her that petition they wrote. My reputation is solid gold at the moment. If I could sell it, I would. And then buy a small island.

But yeah. These little punks are already growing on me. What’s funny is that sixth period was spoken to me in hushed tones of dread by all the previous subs. Everybody was terrified of that group. Even the kids in previous periods warned me about them. You know you’re in trouble when eleven year olds feel pity for you.

But then! Turns out the ring leader of the sixth period is the younger brother of a kid I had in my 8th grade class. I’d already gone 12 rounds with the older brother, the result being that he was one of the kids who instigated the petition. Having heard of me, the younger brother is proving absolutely biddable and well behaved. His partner in crime, this girl who has the lowering look of a junkyard dog that carries razor blades in its mouth is taking his cue and offers to collect the homework assignments from desks. Today she even hushed another kid that was talking. A third kid that was assigned to sit in the corner by the previous sub came in today, having missed my first day yesterday, and I could see him staring around the room in confusion. Why was everybody quiet? He tested me once or twice, but it was clearly half hearted. By the end of the class he was explaining to me that he only had an F because the other substitutes didn’t treat him right, but that he’d be sure to pull up his grade now. Will he? Who knows. But at least he sounded sincere.

Which means my dreaded sixth period is my best behaved one. Weird how things work out, eh? However, not that all my classes are Victorian Sponge Cake; my fifth period is filled with kids who act like puppies infected with the Rage virus. But even so they’re still pretty cool.

Soooooo I guess what I’m saying is that maybe I’ll end up liking them after all, like my friend said I would in the comments of the last post. Who would have thunk it?