This should have gone up as two separate posts, but I forgot about it. Oh well.
Today my 7th graders organized giving me "the silent treatment" at the start of class. They didn't say a word as they filed into class. When the bell rang, and it was time to get started they continued to stare at me, not making a sound. I know they meant it to get on my nerves, or make me upset or something... but it was amazing. I was able to get through attendance, review the project they were working on, and get everything started in record time. The magic eventually broke, but it was great while it lasted. I might need to make them mad at me more often.
Well, my 7th graders took their frustrations about how I graded their project to the next level. During lunch I was talking to the principal about ordering some paint, when he mentioned that he had been swarmed by a large crowd of seventh graders, all complaining about me. He told them that if they had a problem, they needed to calmly talk to me as individuals, instead of whipping themselves up into a frenzied mob. We talked about it a little bit more, and it became clear that I have his support.
When you're a sub, knowing that the principal is willing to trust your judgement is a pretty big deal.
I had my seventh grade class right after lunch. Not only did no one say a single thing about the grade issue, but they were all being extra sweet and nice, drawing me pictures and writing "I <3 Mr. C." on the board when my back was turned.
Granted, I don't like them drawing on the board, and they should have been working on their project, not making little drawings for me... but it is the thought that counts.