Does the literal interpretation of
your my words preclude you me from punishing Jimmy?
Yes....well, actually it doesn't preclude me punishing Jimmy, just using corporal punishment, not that that would bother some teachers, who might react like this:
"Take it out, then get into the hall and while I get the paddle. You're gonna get an extra swat for being impertinent as well as two for chewing gum."
...or perhaps with some reference to my earlier words:
"Yes, but I didn't think anyone would be so stupid as to think of chewing gum until tomorrow. Obviously I was wrong. So, spit it out, and then wait outside for the paddle."
Of course Jimmy is testing me. How far can he push it? How much can he get away with? Can I take a joke? Can he flout my authority with impunity? And also, am I going to to ignore my own rules whenever it suits me? I want to avoid doing the latter but still establish my authority.
Here is one response that is still possible and in keeping with my earlier words:
"That's right Jimmy. Starting tomorrow that would get your butt busted, today you only get a detention. Just as bad a way to start school."
Though, as I would rather not punish, corporally (should that be 'corporeally'?) or otherwise, or the first day, especially not the first hour as it would be a rather sour start to the student-teacher relationship - something which also would not bother some teachers - I would add the let-out:
"...Unless you spit it out right now and keep your mouth gum-free for the rest of the day."
However, I would favour a response that makes corporal punishment available even on the first day.
"That's right Jimmy. Today your get the chance to spit it out instead rather get paddled. So, dispose of it properly right now."
It is when that has been done and everyone is back in the places would come the sting:
"Well, Jimmy, you have managed use a whole day's grace in just a few minutes. As far as gum is concerned for you tomorrow starts now."
Joke's over. If Jimmy tries that trick again, or gets caught chewing gum today he will get be his butt busted. Finally, at the end of the session I would add something like this:
"Oh, Jimmy? Great joke with the chewing gum earlier on but be careful, not all the teachers have as good as sense of humour as I do."
I suspect that however I respond, even if I let him get away with it completely, especially I let him completely get away with it, there is a fair chance that Jimmy will be joining (or renewing his membership of) either or both of the "detention on the first day" or "spanked on the first day" clubs.