There were a couple issues in the morning: some of my usually well-behaved kids were having an off-day, and a girl who has some difficulty dealing with anger was having a particularly difficult time. But the morning actually went really smoothly. We had a great science lesson, the kids worked really well during math, and everyone was excited about Mr. Rich (our Ravinia teaching artist) coming in the afternoon.
Then I picked the kids up from lunch.
I arrive to find one student in tears that another student called him gay and reached under his shirt. So in the midst of dealing with this, I see three girls in line shoving and yelling at each other. So I send them to the office since we're right by there, and I've got other fish to fry. We go use the restroom which I try not to do straight after lunch because it's just a HUGE MESS of horribleness, but since Mr. Rich is here we need to do it now instead of after half an hour of reading. I'm already irritated on account of the girls and the bullying, and the kids being a mess in the hall is just too much. I tell them if they aren't good in the hall they won't go to Mr. Rich, so almost half the class is sitting in my room with their heads down instead of with Mr. Rich. Then the office pages me about the girls who I need to send write-ups down for, and since I have a volunteer in my room on Tuesdays I decide to the forms down to the office myself since my reliable students were all in a different room and at this point there's only two kids in the room (even so, probably a bad decision). When I come back she tells me that one of the girls (the one who is chronically disrespectful and disruptive) ran around the room and cussed at her, so then it was her turn to take her down to the office. I decide to hold a "girls meeting" for the girls who had been fighting, which was very productive, except that one of the girls told me she needed to use the bathroom and I told her to wait, and then she had an accident. So then I send her with her former brawlers/now-BFFs to go call home and get new pants. I clean up the mess which is thankfully not on the rug. Meanwhile, the class comes back. The student who had gotten bullied at lunch gets an early dismissal. Then the girls come back because the one with the accident couldn't get new pants brought to school in time. So I send her to the library with some books to read so she can dry off (I figured since no one but a few people saw, I'd save her the embarrassment of coming back with wet pants). Then she gets an early dismissal so I send one of the girls who already knew about the accident to go get her. All this time, mind you, I am trying to do a read-aloud. I decide that a better plan is to do some role-playing about being kind to others because it seems like we need it today, and my afternoon is pretty much shot anyhow. And then to end the day we read a little of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, which at this point I'm wondering why I chose that book, because as much as the kids love it, I feel like I get to relive the most irritating parts of my day in book-form.