One thing that annoys me is when late students pound on the door, demanding attention. Of course they know it annoys me, so they do it.
Five minutes into seventh period today, a kid who has had terrible attendance lately decided to knock loudly while shouting something to his buddies down the hall. While I was trying to read a poem to the class.
I walked over, violently pulled the door open, and practically yelled, "Do you have your cell phone?"
"What?" he asked. His cell phone was hanging off a chain around his neck.
"Good, you have it," I said. "Get in the back of the room and call your mother. When she's on the line, hand over the phone so I can tell her about you coming in whenever you feel like it."
"Man, this is my first time late," he said.
"Maybe," I said. "But that's probably because you haven't been here in a week. Now go call your mother."
"No way," he said. "I'm not burning my minutes calling my mom."
I had to laugh. And it broke the tension.
I said, "Fine, today you don't have to. But if you're late tomorrow, or any other day this week, you're calling home."
As he headed to his desk, I said, "Can't believe you won't burn your minutes on your mom."
It was his turn to laugh. "Whoops," he said.