For the third week straight, it was Friday detention duty. I asked for it. Some of the same people showed. Some new faces. I made a plan way earlier and put it into action.
"Report to Mr. S, grab gloves and bags. It is seventy out, it is Friday, and I am not going to sit around....if you are in report back in 8 minutes."
12 of the darlings came back and we drew a map on my board of the grounds, and I made some rules--no swearing, 100 feet of me and in sight, and if they are good and cover all the ground, I will let them out early.
So...we did it. We picked trash. I mostly used my Blackberry to catch up on random stuff, and they picked trash.
And someone came and joined us, not in detention, because he was bored and it was nice out. That did wonders for the morale.
Teams were practicing. Kids were on bikes. My crew had a plan and a teacher who stayed about 98 feet far away to keep it from being too uncool.
We finished 20 minutes before 4. I had them wash up. We talked about Dixfield's trash. I made all but one write me a short essay on heroes. The one that did not wrote a beautiful essay the Friday before and I was not going to make him do it twice. Instead I made him water my plants.
Something beautiful happened.
The super came in.
He said, "THANK YOU for your service to our school."
Not a word about detention, or punishment, or the fact that some of these guys can't seem to make it to class on time. Just a thank you.
Every single kid left smiling. I sat down and banged out my lit review, inspired by organized labor of the sort that just transpired. No fighting, no pleading. Choice on a sunny Friday. Do good, or come again next week.
Yeah....I love Friday detentions. Because of moments when I read, "My hero is my father. He always makes time for me." Or, "My hero is my mom. She listens to me." Or even, "My hero is my older brother. He is the only one that is cool to me." And one sappy sort: "Ms. Beane is awesome. She gets us." And my favorite. "My hero is my grandmother. She has been caring for a disabled son for 36 years. That inspires me."
Oh, I love Friday detentions. I really do. The end results usually make it worth it.