Wednesday, March 23, 2005

not a joke

i have to share this story. one of my veteran co-workers told me about the time a counselor sent her a note regarding a student that went something like this:

Sally will be shortly entering your class. Sally has multiple personality disorder, with nine personalities total. Some of her personalities are volatile and there is a chance she will attack you. For example, should Yolanda come to class you need to roll on the floor, stick your hands up, and say, "You win! You win!"

the letter went on to describe her other personalities. needless to say, my co-worker expressed her discomfort working with a student where there was a high possibility of the student attacking the teacher. not to mention the dramatic solution to the problem. what a funny story.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

He aint a playa he just crush a lot...

The wierd thing about the kid who makes inappropriate advances is that he's this boygenius who is apparently silent in other classes. In fact, one day the kids in my class ganged up on him, saying "CrushAlot, you aren't like this in any other classes. Why are you acting like this in here?" So I decided to speak with CrushAlot about his lack of respect for me. I basically explained that I felt he didn't respect my position as a teacher and I used the old manipulation line, "Have I done something to offend you?" This line always works for me. Seriously fool proof (if you have good relationships with your kids). We talked and then, THEN, he says, "Nah but, wait, you can't say that if I met you on the street you wouldn't hang out with me. You know we would." My eyes got really big and my face began to contort and I said, rather exasperately, "CRUSHALOT, I would not hang out with you. You are 17. I am 25. That may not seem like much of a difference to you, but it's a huge difference. I hang out with people my age and older. I'm sorry. You're a great kid but you are a kid. Not to mention, my student."

It's a dilema that I've thought a lot about because I keep wondering, Is it something I'm doing? I'm young and I look very young. I'm 5'4, I joke around with my students, I understand lots of their lingo, I listen to hip hop (see Mr. Babylon for a great blog about this)... My point is that I am a boundary disaster. But I'm very careful about boundaries with my kids. I don't really touch them except an occasional hand shake or hand on the shoulder--even that is rare-- I don't talk about inappropriate things with them, and I really don't share my personal life. These are my boundaries that I've created within my classroom. It's not that I'm a cold person. I just know that I must set up boundaries or they'll see me as a peer instead of a teacher.

Anyway, I finally decided to go the Asst. Principal, just to let him know what was going on. I didn't want rumors circulating that I'm Mary Kay Laturno or something. He howled with laughter and very sweetly advised that CrushAlot has a crush on Yours Truly. Which wasn't mind-blowing because it's normal for teenage boys (and girls), but what gets me about CrushAlot is that he's so audacious with his come-ons. It's bizarre that he thinks he has a chance.

Monday, March 21, 2005

i'm too tired to title this...

funny thing that schedule change. i ended up falling asleep around 3 30 and got up at 6 30. yes people. that's THREE HOURS OF FREAKING SLEEP. not okay.

however, i was happily surprised to feel excited about being back in the classroom. maybe excited isn't the word... i'd say i felt a warm familiarity and congeniality with my students. and my first period lecture about imperialism was ON POINT! talk about engaging. love the opium war and boxer rebellion. of course, the moment i said opium my student's eyebrows waggled and when i mentioned the family of drugs associated with opium, well, they were ecstatic. "finally!" one notorious druggie exclaimed, "it's okay to talk about drugs!"

whew. that's about all i can ramble on about. i'm exhausted.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

diving into the wreck...

so okay, i feel better about not thinking about my kids. i'm throwing out my grandiose and unrealistic notions of a perfect teacher. i will not try to live up to something i can never achieve.

tonight i've discovered one downside to spring break: changed sleep patterns. it's 12 25 and i have to get up at 6 30 and my body is ready to party rather than sleep. i've been going to bed at 2 and 3 am for the past week and sleeping until 11. just like the good ol days.

BUT... i realized that the reason i'm so frusterated with my kids right now is that i hate the lack of rigor in my classroom and i feel like i'm regurgitating information like a mother bird to it's young and although i know they understand the content i don't think they are developing critical thinking skills, or thinking skills at all for that matter, and i'm determined to figure out how to push their limits instead of watching them get by with their veggie mind state... now that was a run on sentence and i loved it...

everyone in the house is sleeping but me.