Thrown Under the Bus...
A few weeks ago I was thrown under the bus by two of my first graders. Literally. Almost.
I have two girls who ride the same bus. One of them is the same girl who got my name mixed up with the name of her bus on the first day of school, calling me Mrs. Hyena and thereby missing her bus. Shall we say that she has....carried on with her initial display of....flightiness. And the other one is not too far behind. The two of them have missed the bus together twice, due to their flightly powers combined. Now, this is a bigger deal than it may seem to those who are outside the world of elementary school. When one of my students misses the bus, I get a nice little note in my mailbox from the principal. The parents are usually pretty upset, too, requiring me to take the time to make phone calls to them. So it goes without saying that I do what I to make sure it doesn't happen again. After the first occurrence, I sat the girls down for a problem-solving meeting. We came up with a strategy, which basically took the statement QUIT BEING SUCH A DINGBAT and put it into constructive words. We agreed - no detours, no waiting for someone...I told them that when they miss the bus, I get in trouble, and they swore up and down that it would never happen again.
Fast forward to a few weeks later. The final bus had been called about 10 minutes earlier, a time that all teachers look forward to - peace at last! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.............and then suddenly...
[BEEP!] MRS. WOLFE PLEASE REPORT TO THE OFFICE...MRS. WOLFE, PLEASE REPORT TO THE OFFICE IMMEDIATELY.
You never know what to expect when this happens, but it's usually not good. I had a hunch about what would be waiting for me, and surprise, surprise! What did I see but two very guilty looking girls sitting in the front office!
Weeeeeeell, butter my butt and call me a biscuit!!
But I knew that wasn't really why I was called to the office. And I didn't have to wait long to find out the real reason. Turns out the girls co-conspired to keep themselves out of trouble when they missed the bus and decided that they would tell their parents, the office staff, AND the principal that *I* was the reason. According to them, it was all MY fault because I wouldn't let them leave the classroom when the bus was called. So I had an office worker demanding to know why I had physically prevented the girls from leaving the classroom, holding in one hand a telephone with a parent on hold angrily wanting to know the same thing, holding in her other hand a memo to see the principal immediately.
Needless to say, I was LIVID with those girls. And I was even more livid when I talked to both sets of parents and realized that they really could care less and still pretty much blamed me for the whole thing. So I did the only thing I could do: I took every single solitary fun thing we did away from them for a whole week. And I will just say that I put a lot of fun in my classroom. And I relished hearing them whine about it, because then I got to channel my mother and say:
"Well you should have thought about that before you tried to throw your teacher under the bus!"