Friday, July 08, 2005

summer fun

So things came to a head today. We had been doing better, my little hellions and I. Until Curly threw a pencil across the room at Larry and hit him in the head. This pissed me off. See, Curly doesn't mean to be destructive, impossible, and annoying. He simply doesn't think before he acts or speaks. He's got a good heart, despite the self-absorbed and immature lining. At this point, I sent him out of the room. "OUT!"I shouted. "I will meet you in the hall!" Curly is pretty good at looking contrite and he walked out with his tail between his legs.

At this juncture the Assistant Principal happened to be walking by. As I opened the door to speak with Curly ,I saw the AP before me, a beacon of All That Is Good In the World. I explained to him why Curly was in the hall and happened to list off the several other things Curly had done, such as throwing a pair of kid scissors and tape, destroying classroom supplies, and rolling around on a chair that he stole during the break (he swears the hall monitor let him have it and, sadly, he could be right). Nothing terrible, except for the scissors, but irritating nonetheless. "He's a good kid, he's just making bad decisions. He's not using his head," I said. (Using his head...I've officially become a teacher. Those are Teacher Words). So Curly got Strike One in the old Summer School principal's book. Apparently Curly gets three strikes, which I think is a little lenient for summer school. But whatev. I'm the one letting him get away with stupid shit all day.

I turned to follow Curly back into the classroom to see Mo and Shemp (the fourth stooge, respectively) pretending to box. I wasn't in the mood and so I turned back around called for the AP. Mo and Shemp were sent out.

So the AP comes back a few minutes later and informs me that both Mo and Shemp are SpEd kids who can use tutoring with the resident SpEd teacher in the library. In fact, I'm running a virtual self-contained classroom because most of my young boys are SpEd. This left me with mixed feelings.

For one, I don't want the SpEd tutor to be considered punishment. But my resounding feeling is disappointment in myself. I've always prided myself on working well with SpEd kids. I feel bad that I've let them get "the best of me." Maybe I don't work that well with them. Maybe I'm too nice. Maybe kids just run over me. Maybe I'm a bad teacher.

I try to remind myself that it's summer and I know I've been more lenient. I'm also going through a rough time personally and I don't have the energy that I might have otherwise. And the curriculum. The curriculum is terrible, in my opinion. It's this mapping curriculum that is good for the first four hours, but 15 days, four hours a day of mapping is really boring. And the mapping is so easy that the kids finish at lightening speed. So I have to substitute lots of projects and such, which I don't mind doing. But there's no flow. I like flow.

On another note, I received my check for Summer I yesterday. It helped the chaos go down.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

too many hormones, not enough teachers

today i jokingly told my kids they're making me want to have a hysterectomy. then we had to discuss the uterus. then a kid said that the uterus is gross because women have cycles. i told him he wouldn't be here if it weren't for his mom's cycle. then he said, "my mom had a cycle but i was a sperm that took the place of the egg." LOL. "no honey," i said, stifling a grin, "you are the combination of the sperm and the egg."

i will now marvel at how my severely hyperactive students read an entire page in under three seconds. they were assigned an illustrated timeline that required--gasp!--reading. the scene sounded a little like this:

"Ms, who is Martin Luther?"
(Teacher frowns because Martin Luther is on the first page of the section, in bold, with a BIGASS picture right next to his name)
"It's on page 498."
"I don't see it."
"You haven't looked."
"Yes I did."
Silence.
"Ms?"
"I'm ignoring you."
"Why?"
"Idiot (substitution for real name for blog purposes only), I'm always here to guide you when you need direction. But you haven't even started the course, meaning: You aren't reading and I'm not doing your work for you."
"But I did."
Silence.
"Okay. Fine. I'll read."

i think you have to be a teacher to appreciate these moments. or a little wacked out. luckily, i am both.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

details

i told my students: "you need to check yoself before you wreck yoself." they did...for the most part. i also admitted that i take part of the blame for their craziness because i did not enforce the rules effectively last week. i like to admit fault when appropriate to show them that i'm not into powertrips or ego and to model how to accept responsibility like mature adults. that's my theory anyway.

moving on...kids say the darndest things. here's a sample of a few questions/comments i heard today:

"Ms, what's the difference between being high and drunk? How do they feel different?"
"Ms, do you want to know how many things I blew up this weekend?"
"Ms, did you if you blow chunks against the wind your vomit will hit you in the face?"
"Can I give myself a mohawk with these scissors?"
"I need a sword."
"Can you give us some time today to just play? Like the leave room and let us hang out?

most of these questions did not merit responses, if at least from me. some of them are perplexing, like the suggestion that i leave the room to let them hang out?? oh, and at the end of the day this kid goes, "ms, thanks for letting us have fun today" but i have no idea what he's talking about. it wasn't a fun day. i worked them to the grind. that particular kid admitted that he's so bored at home he likes summer school. if i wasn't getting paid mad cash for this gig, i'd be pulling my hair out strand by strand. it gets pretty tedious.