I went through on my threat to make the kids sit in chairs at choir last night, and it sort of worked. There was less running around and hitting, though there were still a lot of behavior issues. The kids actually seemed to like sitting in the chairs. But there were still enough problems that stickers were withheld (to a kindergartener, that's practically capital punishment). There was the kid who was flailing around so much when we were rehearsing in the sanctuary that he hit another kid. There was the one who refused to sing and then sang the word "poop" over and over to the tune of the song. There was the kid who picked a giant scab off her elbow to make it bleed so she could get a Band-Aid. Apparently, little kids really, really like Band-Aids, so if there was no "you only get a bandage if it's bleeding" rule, they would basically all be mummies, wrapped entirely in bandages for all kinds of imagined owies. But then that leads to minor self-mutilation among the more devoted bandage fans who don't fear a little blood and pain in pursuit of the precious Band-Aid. Even one of our usually good kids got sent into the hall for a time out (I'm not sure what he did, but his mom is the other teacher, and she was the one who made him take a break). And when when we tried to do a circle game, it had to be cancelled when they were unable to form a circle. Our little diva inserted herself in the middle, refusing to be part of the circle itself, and then two other kids refused to join the circle because they couldn't hold one of the youth helper's hands (other kids were already there). That was when they were told that they could go sit on the chairs until their parents came (five minutes before the end of class) and there would be no stickers. There were a couple of kids actually behaving well, and I hated to essentially punish them, too, but I know from personal experience that it can be bad to single kids out for doing well, and maybe there will be some positive peer pressure if the kids are the ones telling the misbehavers to knock it off instead of giggling at their antics. They're singing in church Sunday morning, and I have no idea how that's going to go. They're usually pretty good when their parents are watching. And then I get a week off, and only four weeks after that. Not that I'm counting.
I'm totally counting.
Until then, I may have to give up on much writing productivity on Wednesdays. There's lesson planning and then practicing my own music, and then there's the dread looming over me all day. I'm hoping to get back on track today because I came up with what will happen in the next scene, and it should be delicious torture for poor Sophie, who will be forced to hold her tongue and play nice. My ability to write subtext will be stretched to the max because it should be one of those scenes where the surface conversation is relatively pleasant, while everything beneath it is along the lines of "DIE, BITCH."
And I have a whole day in which I don't have to leave the house and have zero obligations. Let's see how much I can get done. I'm about a third of the way through the book now, maybe a little more, depending on how long it ends up being.