Leavon was a big kid last year, when I had him in 7th grade. This year he's grown another half-foot, and stands about 6'2". He's tough as nails too, and he's got a nutty disposition. Many teachers can't deal with him at all, but I have a rapport with him because I used to wrestle him from time-to-time and tease him in a good-natured back-and-forth. He's got an insane temper,however, and once went after the school cop and dropped him on his neck and said "that's right, I'ma cut you you come at me on the street!"
This morning Leavon snuck into my class during homeroom. He's an 8th grader and I teach sixth now, so I told him to get out. Then he gave me attitude. Typically this means he wants to wrestle. He's got no adult male in his life, so I obliged by tussling with him a bit, but then he got serious. We swung each other around in the classroom and I put him down, at which point he sat on my counter and said he wasn't leaving, and I made a big mistake. I grabbed him and pulled him up and spun him around and backed up toward the door. It's never a good idea to back up while pulling someone unless your feet are set right, and mine weren't because I was moving. He shifted toward me and sent me tottering backwards clinging to his bookbag straps, leaving me two choices: go down and fling him over me onto the floor, or go down and concede. I'm not keen to injure a child, or injure myself, so I went down forward on my knees planning to give in, and he quickly jumped on me. I hooked his right leg and was going to lift him but he grabbed me around my head, smooshing my D&G glasses, so I let go.
News travelled fast around school: Leavon dropped Mr. G on his neck! Mr. G got beat up by an 8th grader!
All day I had wanna-be's dropping by trying to break in my room. I twisted many an arm, put many a young man on his back, all because of a moment's silliness. It's OK. Leavon can have his moment in the sun. All others will learn the hard way...
In better news I had a surprise visit during period 1. Administrators came in to observe and my kids were ON POINT, taking turns reading aloud and making connections and predictions and it was awesome. This momentum carried over to 2nd period as well. 3rd period the girls were removed for an anti-violence assembly, and I had only boys. We did some vocabulary work and subject-predicate stuff before I let them do some drawings. Then we had a rad dance party!
I feel chilled and weak. Wonder if it has something to do with the 8th grade girl who came up to ask me a question before homeroom and coughed a sloppy wheezy mess all in my face. I could hear junk rumbling around deep in her lungs, too. Yuck.