Wednesday, April 06, 2005

generation tool

although i like to write about my day, i'm always wary to write about distinct events that might single me out as teacher X at school X in city X. meaning, i don't want to expose myself. then i think about how much i've already exposed and WHALA. i am here to spew.

I will not ramble off the litany of words I'd like to use to describe my stupid fucking sociology classes. I'm so fucking tired of dealing with them. I've got two classes, one of mostly APers and another full of these brain dead loonies. My first period includes four boys who think they rule the fucking world, including my classroom. Yes, you are smart. You are probably way smarter than everyone in this stupid class but here's the catch: I don't give a fuck. You are still 17 years old and, although you are graduating in May, you have not graduated yet. So sit the fuck down and shut-up. I'm so tired of their bullshit. I should add that this is partly my fault because I haven't discipline them appropriately.

(Madhatter, down on her knees). Will I ever master discipline? I thought I was doing so much better and, yet, my sociology classes are gaining on me. Why can't I get this down?!

I've got half the class bored and half the class lost. Half the class likes my class and half the class really doesn't care because it's an elective and they got put in there by a counselor. I haven't figured out how to balance my class yet and I really don't need these boys spitting out insults to me and the other kids in the class.

And my afternoon class. Good God. I think they went around the school and picked out the most apathetic, low-level, self-centered children and put them in my class. It is a terrible mix of kids. Okay, I'm just frusterated. Let me give you an anecdote to describe some of these kids.

I assign a jigsaw over minority groups in America. Instead of working, a group of girls are looking at a magazine. I walk over and find that it's a Seventeen magazine opened to a story about teenage girls sentenced to prison for various crimes. There are six pictures plastered across the pages with captions. The girls in my class are reading the captions and talking about what they would do to a girl who tried to "front on them" like that. I take the magazine up and one girls protests, "Ms, come on. Well, if you are going to take it, will you at least read it to us?" "You haven't read the article?" I ask. "No, it's too long. I'm not gonna read all that crap," she said. I stare at her. "This article is too long for you?"I ask. "Yeah, look at all those pages and shit. It's too long. I want you to read it tooo meee," she whines.
I know that you're wondering if this girl is a good reader and possibly thinking about reading strategies. Let me tell you this: This student is not a great reader nor a terrible one. She should definitely be a better reader, given that she's a senior and graduating in May. However, she's a smart kid and fully capable of reading a freaking two page article in Seventeen magazine.
So here we have a group of girls who are captivated by the storyline but too fucking lazy to read an article in Seventeen. It's not like this is academic writing. For fucks sake.

And it goes on from there. I'm so tired of my elective class serving as a dumping ground. I love sociology but I'm seriously considering not teaching it. Because these kids are unhappy no matter what I teach and I'm so fucking tired of their egos. Grrr.


Blogger Polski3 said...

Somewhere, someplace else, some other teacher is having a crappier day/class than you! As Robin Williams once said, "Reality, what a concept !"

With Sociology, have you swerved off the usual h.s. sociology textual path and done anything with deviant behaviors? (ie: School shooters, female teachers boinking male students, etc.) This might capture their little minds for awhile?

I have heard this current generation of kids refered to as the "entitlement generation". They whine, don't want to workl, don't understand why they should work and generally want everything handed to them. You should hear some of the stories I hear from my mother-in-law, who is a couselor (the sort to listen and try to help solve problems; not scheduling or career paths), tells about the spoiled rich brats that attend the college where she works.

Hang in there!

9:01 PM  
Blogger leesepea said...

Just 'cause I teach language arts, am a stickler for correct spelling and grammar, and am a general pain in the ass, I thought I'd add this:

"WHALA" is not a word.

What I assume you are saying is "Voila!" which is French; though the literal translation is simply "veiled," we most often use it as an exclamatory to mean "Eureka!"

All that aside, your class sounds remarkably like the eighth graders I teach who seem to think all they have to do is show up to get an A. Not only is this the entitlement generation, it is also the instant gratification generation; they can't see the big picture, have no idea how any of this information will be useful to them in the long run, and have been known to use the phrase "What's in it for me?" on a regular basis.

They also have the attention span of gnats. Use that to your advantage. Remember kindergarten, where every experience lasted less than 20 minutes? It seems that the best way to keep things moving is to reinstate that aspect of the curriculum; 20 minutes of this, switch up, 20 minutes of that, switch up, 20 minutes of the next thing. Whatever isn't finished is homework. Keeps 'em on their toes.

It sounds crazy, but it works for me. Good luck to ya!

7:14 AM  
Blogger Mad Hatter said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Mad Hatter said...

okay i'm having posting problems. so hopefully this one will go through...
thank you leesepea for the correction. i guess that's what i get for spelling phonetically. do you pronounce the v? because here in texas lots of folk pronounce it "whala." lol. it's kind of funny when i think about it.

thank you polski and leesepea for the advice. i do the fifteen minute thing (they told us to in Teacher School) but my kids complain about two many activities. it's irritating because i'm planning all these activities to keep them captivated. complaining is the nature of the beast and i guess i should get used to it. i guess.

in sociology i spend time on deviance and lots of cool topics. after reflecting on my previous classes, i think it might be this year's kids. my previous classes loved the units on deviance, ethnic and racial minorities, gender, sports, and family. this year the kids seem to hate everything. my mentor tells me that there are "good years and bad years." perhaps this is a truth of the trade that i hadn't realized yet? with that said, i'm thankful for advice and suggestions because i don't think the problem manifests only in the kids.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Pigs said...

Maybe to avoid extra planning, you should teach 5 topics for the week and do parts of each each day. Jumble it up.
They sound like a bunch of freaks to me, but I know they're actually probably normal teenagers. My hat's off to you! I can't handle 'em older than about eleven.
AND I think it's ridiculous that they aren't interested in sociology. That's GOT to be an interesting class compared to what they have to take! I never got to take anything like that.

2:53 PM  
Blogger EdWonk said...

Good News: Summer Vacation is just a smile away.

Bad News: Kids think that it's already here.

Good News: It will come.

Start counting the days!

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ma semblable, ma soeur!!

I, too, feel as though my last hour class was randomly selected from the pool of kids "who don't really care where they are". I teach an elective during the hour we have athletics, so my class is a parking lot for students not involved in a spring sport or off-seasons. In fact, my last hour is meant to be an introductory class from which I can recruit students for my own, non-athletic, extracurricular activity. But from the choosings in my class at the end of the day, the future, she's not so bright!

6:36 AM  

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