Somehow, one of my classes learned that it was my birthday.
It was all very cute. When my back was turned, one of the students crossed out the "do now" and wrote "Happy Birthday to Mr. Benjamin." When I started the lesson, I turned to the overhead (no using chalkboards - frowned up) and began to read the "Aim/Objective/Learn this, Damn it!" and the kids broke into an extremely loud rendition of "Happy Birthday." All 28 of them. At the top of their lungs.
Very sweet. Lovely kids, I thought. I was all smiles.
Then they all became very squirmy and chatty (this I don't care for at all). I asked for order, which was generally ignored.
I came to decision this year that I'm not repeating myself more than once (except for the kid with the receptive language problems, which requires a BUNCH of repeating and rephrasing). The new school's culture is strict. There isn't a lot of tolerance for off task behavior.
So I gave them lunch detention because almost none of them completed their independent work. I did feel some pangs of guilt about this (particularly as I don't believe in group detention), but they did managed to produce some excellent work during this time.
I guess the lesson is this: Woe to the child that reminds a (gay) man that he has hit his late thirties.