I took the chocolate bar. He protested briefly, but when I told him I would be happy to check in with the nurse to verify his needs, he only muttered into the collar of his jacket and scuffled away.
Now, Batman, one of the most useful side-effects of being a teacher is the adaptation of a pretty stellar bullshit detector. I don't always call a kid out on it right away (which, admittedly, is greatly due to the fact that I just love creating an escalating sense of drama before a kid gets his or her comeuppance). Billy, for example, only tasted my wrath a few hours later, after the following events played out:
- I reported him to the school nurse, expressing a healthy blend of concern for a child in such a perilous medical condition and bemused skepticism of his honesty.
- She called Billy's mother. Billy's mother rarely answers the phone, so it was somewhat magical happenstance that she picked up at all.
- Billy's mother used some very choice language to express her opinion of her son's choice to lie bold-faced to his teachers in order to simply eat chocolate, confirming my theory that her kid was utterly full of it.
- The school nurse reported back to me, and I crafted the most guilt-inducing condemnation I could possibly cram into a twelve-year-old's ears.
- I lay in wait until Billy traipsed back into my room, blithely requesting that I return his medicinal chocolate.
- I lovingly and with an expression that firmly stated "this hurts me, too" tore Billy a new one.
My point, Batman, is that if you're ever going to lie, make it believable! One of Billy's friends who I will call "Stevie" pulled a good one on me today by telling me that he had to go to the nurse to have a "rash" looked at. Worried for the sanitation of my classroom, I asked him if he'd touched anything in the room that morning to which he could have an allergic reaction.
"Not with the part of my body where the rash is," he told me, averting his eyes to the floor. Of course I let him go to the nurse, and when I found out that his "trip to the nurse" was really a trip to the athletic office to beg a football off one of the coaches for him to play with at recess...gosh darn it, I was so impressed that I let it slide.