Another story about Amanda from my elementary days. It was my first week of teaching and I had the principal come into my classroom and ask if I wanted a gifted student. I don’t know of any teacher that doesn’t want to work with the best and the brightest. I didn’t realize at the time that I was being set up. When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. This was no exception. I have told the stories of Amanda on the playground and reading Hamlet. Here is another little story about the challenges that kids bring. She had been having a bad week and didn’t want to come to school. We were working in class and I was being observed by the principal as a part of my induction program. Nothing out of the ordinary and I was working with a small group on reading and others were doing their SSR or Silent Sustained Reading. Amanda came up and asked if she could go to the bathroom. Since we had a restroom in the class, it wasn’t a problem and I said she could. I am teaching and I hear the echoing of traffic. My room was near the busy street of Montview and the only time we could hear the traffic was if a window was open. It came to me in a flash that she had opened the bathroom window. So while I was still teaching I got up and moved to the door and opened it up and saw Amanda half in and out of the window. I turned to the principal and told her to watch the kids and that I was going to stop the jailbreak. I come back into the room with a child over my shoulder and set her down and we had a long talk about not making a break for it!
That story is important because it paints a fuller picture of Amanda’s mindset. She was bound and determined to do things her way. We finally had to come to the agreement that I was in charge and that she needed to let me know if she felt the need to undertake the Great Escape. Now I can tell you about how I got my gifted escape artist. I walked over to the teacher that had her the year before. We normally kept the kids for 2 years and Amanda should have been with Jana. I asked Jana why she wasn’t going to have Amanda in her class this year. She told me that Amanda had a stubborn streak and she was always going to find a way to get what she wanted. The day before the principal came to me Amanda had been at Jana and didn’t want to be in her class anymore. She did the one thing that would guarantee her release from Jana’s room and on to greener pastures. She pooped under Jana’s desk and didn’t tell anyone until later in the day when the smell got to be too much. The only pleasure I drew from this is the image of Jana going to each student to find out if someone had pooped their pants and the look on her face when she realized it was under her desk. The good news for me was that Amanda never got that mad at me.