Friday, March 04, 2005

anecdotal list

i'm running on one hour sleep and i think i've reached delirium. and what's the best activity for when you're delirious? blogging!

things that happened this week:
1. i asked the kids to write two things they like and dislike about my class on the back of their tests. the two things they disliked had to be realistic, ie. i don't want to do work is not an option, and then they had to offer suggestions for improvement. i was prepared to get chewed up and spit out (mainly by my first period, which was the reason behind the activity) but the kids were really sweet and encouraging. once i dig up some of my favorite responses (and there's a mean streak in me for writing this) i might post them. what made me laugh was the consistency of their "dislikes" in my class: no seating chart and more videos. the third runner up was more group work. the seating chart is here to stay but i'm working on finding more interesting w. history videos. any suggestions? and the group work...i reminded them that i love group work but the work they were turning in was such crap that i abolished group work for a few weeks. also, fourth period was so social it became a chore to drag work out of them. so, i manipulated, if you guys can produce work that doesn't suck, i can incorporate group work back into the curriculum. really it was their behavior coupled with the crazy time restraints due to testing--aka, teaching to the test. but they don't have to know that.

2. my first period is beginning to drive me crazy. as a group the kids are mean, always picking on each other and throwing tantrums. i tried a review game with them and it was a DISASTER. talk about sore losers. the thing about first period is that two kids are the driving force behind this meanness: a boy and girl bully. both of them do not have working relationships with other teachers and i guess i pride myself that i can get them to come to class and, for the most part, produce accountable talk and work. however, lately i've been letting comments slip and it's definitely building up. god. i really have trouble with that. anyway, several students have approached me about one particular bully and basically asked me to shut him up. i feel like i've been nominated for "Worst Teacher of the Year" because i've let him slip out of control and he's driving other students crazy now. not just me, but the class too. also, i recently learned that he hit a kid on the back of the head. i'm like, what? what the fuck happened? i don't think so. you will NOT hit other kids in my class. so, i'm through being nice. i didn't realize i was slowly giving up until this week. it takes so much freaking energy to work with him. but i'm not letting my class go to hell on account of his crazy ass.

3. i went back to the doctor and they instructed me to get back on my crutches. I HATE MY CRUTCHES. it's impossible to monitor and move around the classroom. i can't go anywhere with ease. and now the kids feel responsible for ensuring that i actually use my crutches. everyone is "reminding" me. even the custodian. and she reminds me in spanish. muletas..or something like that. usar them. i'm sorta hard headed but goddamn. i hate my crutches.

4. i threatened to call the mamma of each student who failed the test. only five kids failed the test in first period. that's my lowest leveled class. i usually have at least 14 kids fail the test. i was ecstatic. why didn't i think of that before?

5. i thought someone stole my coke. i was really pissy and ranting about my coke and how could someone take away my caffeine source when it's clear that i'm an addict? then i got in my car to go home and found it on the front seat.

6. i had another talk with one of my favorite students who basically admitted he's dealing drugs but wants to go to college. he talks about bettering himself but i know he's caught up in gang activity, etc. i don't know. i have a feeling he's going to break my heart.

7. i told my first period i was going to regulate. i don't know where the term came from but i didn't realize i was "speaking their language" until they started hollering and singing a tune by warren g. um, hello, that is from MY heyday people.

okay, i'm off to bed. i can't stay up any longer. over and out.


Blogger American Psychopath said...

pretty good stuff -woody

your blog has been read and considered for a review by woody pulps of, a biting, satirical blog about the media and, a biting, satirical podcast about everything, both of which are under development, but will be up and running as soon as dr. pulps can steal $1,000 to pay his probation fines. in the meantime, dr pulps posts his blog at he invites you to drop by and do something significant, like leave a comment or send some money. 

7:56 PM  
Blogger Polski3 said...

Hi...this is my first visit to your blog. Thanks for visiting mine and I'm glad you left me a comment. Come back soon!

I am teaching world history to seventh graders in California, so we basically cover Rome to Age of Enlightenment, plus China, Japan and some of the Early American Cultures. IF you are teaching HS, is it a survey class of the history of the whole world or just a certain time period? If you like, I can point out a few video resources for what I am teaching. What do you have the kids do when you watch videos? Mine, being seventh graders and often in their first history/social studies class, usually have a worksheet to complete as they watch the video. As they watch, they just circle of check the answer(s) to each of the questions. I tell them not to worry if they miss a question or two; we go over the questions in class and then, they are assigned to turn their questions into cornell notes (notes, study questions and a summary statement). This is not easy for some of them, especially the ELLs and mainstreamed RSP kids, but they need it for when they get to hs. Contact me via my blog, I am usually happy to try to help.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Polski3 said...

Re: Videos I know what you mean about some of those history videos. Maybe what would work best is video clips: for example, during Napoleonic Wars, show a clip of a fight scene from one of the Sharpe's series. Discuss the life of a soldier fighting for Wellington or Napoleon. The Crusades series hosted by (?) AH, my mind went blank on me....a dude from the Monty Python group.....anyhow, that is pretty good. Medieval: Brother Cadfel series (he was a crusader, now Benedictine monk, specializing in healing and solving mysteries....but they show LIFE during the time) British Empire: ZULU, Breaker Morant, There is a lot of good stuff for 20th Century: All Quiet on the Western Front, Lost Battalion, Gallopli.... a ton of WW II stuff (ie: WWII on eastern front: show clip of Soviet assult on German trenches from CROSS OF IRON, Soviet assult in ENEMY AT THE GATES, the one where the political officers set up MG to shoot anyone from their own side who wouldn't assult the Germans),
DAS BOOT.....Battle of Britain,.....

Is there a department head to help you? Does your local county office of education have an online service for teachers to find images and stuff for use in their classrooms?

Let me know if any of this helps.

As for blog ettiquette, who cares. IMO Communication is communication. Teachers need to talk to each other and share ideas.

8:53 PM  

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