Evidently being assaulted by a student is an excellent way to get whatever you want from the administration for the rest of the school year (and a bigger classroom with windows for the next year.) The day after John dumped his lemonade on me a rather large accident shut down the freeway, and I was a few minutes late checking in. When I walked in the secretary greeted me with, “Why are you here? We didn’t expect you to come in today.” I thought to myself: Really? I could have stayed home and no one would have thought less of me? Why on earth did I wake up early today?
They had a substitute ready for my classes, and I momentarily considered going back home. But I decided that I had already gotten up before the sun, and fought with ridiculous traffic, so at that point I might as well stay and work. From that day on my Principal thought I was the most resilient teacher on the planet. And while he didn’t stop sending me difficult kids, he did give me pretty much anything I asked for. I’m certain that I had the most well supplied History classroom in the state. (This is obviously not the same principal that banned maps. It’s too bad she had to come along and ruin things.)
A few weeks after John was removed from my classroom I was in the hall dutifully monitoring students as they left the cafeteria. The kids only get 22 minutes for lunch, so it is fairly common to see students hurriedly trying to finish eating as they walk to their 5th period classes. One kid, who was not a student of mine, was quickly working on an ice cream cone. I guess he decided that he didn’t want the rest of it because as he walked by me he stopped eating and smeared his dessert in my face. Then without missing a step he continued around the corner to his class.
I was a little bit stunned for a couple of reasons. First, the ice cream was really really cold. Second, this was some random kid. I didn’t know who he was. He didn’t know who I was. At least when John threw stuff at me he was doing it out of anger and spite. I hadn’t made the ice cream kid sit in a seat he didn’t like, or mark him tardy, or take a magazine away from him, or give him a bad grade on a test. He had no reason to be angry with me or wish death by dairy dessert on me. He just shoved ice cream in my face because it seemed like the thing to do. After spending a minute indulging my indignation, I decided I couldn’t write up a kid I didn’t know and gave up on pursuing appropriate disciplinary measures. Instead I went to the bathroom and washed my face. Then I took a stack of paper towels and put them in my desk drawer in case of future food encounters.