I have an extra special skill in life. Some people have gaydar, some can tell who the next genius will be; I can spot a troublemaker at 100 paces.
The first week of term is when I really come into my own. Meeting all those sleepy eyed students, who haven’t seen nine am for the last month and a half. Most of them are accepting of being back at school and most Year 7s too scared to raise their heads but NOT the bad eggs. They cannot wait to reveal themselves and I am ready for them.
I use this term loosely and with some affection. Stereotypically, my bad eggs are boys although I’ve had some crazy female eggs over the years (“I’m going to find out where you live and put a brick through your window!” was def a low point). These bad eggs range from the cheeky chaps to the “you’re a fucking bitch” charmers. Never offended, often amused and embracing the challenge, I root these students out straightaway.
You’ve just got to know what to look for.
Lots of bad eggs are very popular, they are incredibly confident although not always academically talented. This social confidence compensates for the lack of academic success and is displayed as a front of ‘I don’t care’ or ‘I’m not bothered’ which disguises their insecurity.
The physical manifestation of this is in the walk. It’s slow, deliberate, there’s a movement of the hands which is interesting, fingers are together, hands move in a kind of scooping motion. The leg/ foot movement is almost like dancing, a jerky gait accompanied by a head on a permanent 360 degree rotational scan to see who is observing this ridiculous sideshow.
The bad egg craves attention and wants to distract everyone around.
Call it how it is – no one’s looking at you kid, everyone else is working, we know you purposely made a late entrance so all could admire the walk, I see through your little game bad egg! Sit the fuck down and stop looking around. Thank you.
Bad eggs love to smirk, normally while they’re looking around. Something is obvs hilarious, private joke, right? Nothing to do with your lesson, in fact nothing to do with it AT ALL because the bad egg has not been listening or taking part in your carefully planned lesson in any way. The smirk is a fucking insult, that little shit is giving you and your work the two fingers.
Wipe that smile off your face right now kid. No smiling in my room.
The incessant hum
Bad eggs LOVE to talk, they will not shut up, providing a running commentary to your lesson in a distant but irritating background noise that you can hear constantly. Again they are trying to take your lesson out. You can ask politely a few times – please do not talk at the same time as me/ other students but they do not listen and will just carry on.
Stop everyone else, apologize for daring to speak at the same time as him/her – how rude of you. Glare it out – the teacher death stare. Just stop and glare. Stare out the window, at the clock, to pointedly mark the passing and wasting of time/ your life. Make it awkward, who’s the first to blink – not you because you are the champion of the bored stare! Don’t even bother entering the competition, bad egg – you’re going down.
These are my fave types of bad eggs, they’re not even bad, just a bit fidgety, desperately wanting to be laddish but actually they are still very immature. I’ll sort them out, help them grow up a bit. It’s my job – I will win and they are welcome. And actually they are my favourite kind of kid. I get what and why they are doing it, of course, but it’s not happening in my classroom.