So the school week ended, as it usually does, with Friday. Most Fridays find me and my coworkers absolutely wasted, with a week's worth of yelling and hollering at kids weighing down on us...but we are always happy to have two days off.
Friday was different today, we all seemed in high spirits, even with the usual suspects having been shoveling poo our way all week (these are only elementary kids mind you!). We were excited about the weekend, and the morning was set to just fly by...until I got to my first period class to teach about plant parts.
Today's lesson featured the similarities and differences between fibrous roots and taproots of vascular plants as well as the always fun phloem and xylem. My fifth graders were in a spirited mood, which is never a problem as long as their energy is focused on the learning. As I was involving the students in the lesson, there were several boys screwing around at the back, the boys who score low on my tests and whose parents always ask me why they score poorly.
I spent the last 30 minutes of class scolding them for this and that, in a nice way, more of a class counseling than really ripping into them. It was loving! Anyway, half of my lesson missed due to their not paying attention, but whatever, it's Friday!
I go into the class a few hours later for a grammar lesson and the Thai teacher has the students all stood up at their seats. She is screaming at them and even I felt like I was in a horror movie, scary chick. I stood at the back of the room with my grammar text in my hand, thinking she would finish her tirade soon...she looked up to me, red faced with almost a tear in both eyes and said "Ko anuyat Teacher? Bpep diaw!" translating to "Permission to take just a moment of your class?" I nodded and waited in the vacant, air conditioned third grade classroom next door.
She came out of the class 15 minutes later and I gave her the "what was that about" look to which she responded, "Student A, B and C are in big trouble, they brought a gun to school and were waving it around at other fifth graders." Names of the students changed to protect their privacy of course...Student A though is a kid who hates me with a passion, he bullies all the other kids in class, trouble maker outside of class, and probably one of my students with the most potential. And I treat him as such. Try to cultivate all of that potential with an occasional visit to the principals office.
Okay, so i said back to the teacher what I heard her say..."brought a gun to school?"
"Yes, uh, no, no no no! Not a gun, a bullet!"
So, I had, for a moment thought that the kids were going on a rampage or something, when really they had just acquired an M16 bullet from another kid outside of school and were showing it off.
The Thai teacher didn't think it was too funny, but the rest of the school seemed to just laugh it off. I've spent my whole time here teaching in an elementary school, so I'm not really familiar with the prevalence of school violence. But kids bringing weapons to school seems like a start of something bad to me.
The rest of the day went off without a hitch! Fridays rock!