Sunday, August 21, 2005

the run down

This year I moved up with my kids, meaning I'm teaching 11th grade instead of 10th. Thus, I have some of the same rugrats from last year. It's awesome.

My classes can be temporarily categorized using a color-coded advisory system, but instead of the rainbow connection I'm employing a traffic light theme. One class has earned the RED label because of the potential drama that may ensue in my classroom. I have four girls in there with major anger problems and who hate each other. One girl talked mess on the first day, "I see someone mean muggin me." Lord. I laughed and playfully said, "Girl you crazy. Nobody's even lookin at you," while praying she'd shut up before the other girl heard her. This particular jewel, we'll call her Sunshine, was testing me, and I mean testing, from the minute she arrived in the classroom. My strategy with these kids is to kill them with kindness while consistently enforcing the rules. I know what happens if I let shit slide thanks to my first year of teaching.

My next class is a green. All the way. It's a humongous class but the kids are really fun and bright and ready to be there. After lunch I have two yellows and a green. The yellow classes are full of kids who absolutely hate school and look like they consume or sell drugs regularly. I mean, lots of kids at my school take drugs but they don't look like they've been leanin for the past 48 hours, slumped over on the floor of their buddy's apartment. My yellow classes are full of long silences and pauses where I'm waiting for a response. Some kind of response. Anything. We'll get there.

I'm also sponsoring the Key Club this year. Apparently the club fell apart two years ago and the members and sponsors are working on putting it back together. I'm going to do the best I can. That's all I'm going to say about that.

I must continue reading. I have to develop lectures for next week because they won't give us textbooks. Apparently it's going to be another week or two. It's difficult to ask kids to read or participate in group work when they don't have a book. Instead, they will hear my lovely voice crooning to them across the room.

2 Comments:

Blogger Megan said...

Croon on sista! You are too cute. I wish I could sit in on one of your classes. Looks like there's going to be some fun blog material this year!

11:05 PM  
Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Thanks for your comment at my blog and for referencing it on your blog! I'm new at all this stuff.

I would be glad to share US history stuff with you.

You are absolutely right not to dummy it down. It's a fatal sign of disrespect.

I like to give my kids-- regular and AP-- a new vocabulary word or two every day which I have used during the course of our discussion-- so far, in one class, we've discussed confluence, euphemism, determinism, autonomy, and exceptionalism. I use these words as extra credit on quizzes, and I give points for using them correctly in written responses.

And the kids like it. For the last 4 years I've had kids at the HS that I had at the middle school, and I used to make them learn etymology as part of their study of the ancient world, and the kids I had still actually remembered good quantities of it. One class I had last year-- I called them The Island of Misfit Toys-- spent a good fifteen minutes discussing the meaning of the word "recidivism."

Good things happen to those who push for it!

6:55 PM  

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