Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Got my ass kicked again

Damn that Class A. Holy fucking shit. There were five "worst" students in that class, but one got moved out yesterday to Class B, and apparently another will be moving to Class C. So there will still be three very problematic students. Two of them are smart, but just can't keep from getting distracted, talking, or eating through class.

The other, we'll call him "Trouble," One is...I don't know. To call him "disruptive" is a disservice to him and to me. Oh. My. God. He did not once stop talking and making noise and whatever. He is actually capable of stopping the class, single-handedly. He complained very loudly about the new seating arrangement yesterday, because I put him front and center, right in front of me. He's always saying things like, "I hate this class... and you." Which, and maybe I should tell him this, totally delights me. You're not a real teacher until a bad student hates you. It's pretty hilarious, actually. He hates my class because I tell him to sit down and close his mouth and get to work. Of course he can't stand me!

The crazy thing is that this "Trouble" is the most honest one you'll meet. I confiscated a rubber band from another one, and "Trouble" was like, well, I've got one too. So I took that one too. Then he's like, well, actually I have five. What the hell?! When I kept him after school a few weeks ago, I asked him what's going on with him. And he launched into five minutes of "I was late, and I was talking and throwing paper, and I had gum and candy too, and then I hit someone, and then I was talking some more, and shooting paper," and just kept going. And that was all from just that morning. So he knows exactly what he does wrong, has no problem admitting it, just doesn't bother to try and change anything. Stymied, that's me.

I sent him and one of the other problem boys to the Dean's office, and it did no good once they came back to class. The entire fucking class was on its way to being a complete loss, for them and for me. So, fed up with trying to get control and make myself heard over the constant din, I told the class that the A students were to move up to the front of the room. More than half the class tried to fit up front. The five or six boys that stayed in the back, the C/failing students, were so fucking loud that I could barely hear myself, let alone the kids hearing me. I told them to do their best, and I got in a bit of lesson.

After class, two of the not-worst-but-still-disruptive boys hung around for a minute. One wanted to make sure that I took home the note they wrote for me. I gave notes home to three students, and a bit later, someone gave me a note to bring home and have my parents sign. Tee hee. But anyway, so this one kid (who is really smart and does really well in other classes, but does little homework for me and gets off track sort of easily) was like, what do you expect when there are thirty kids screaming in your ear? Trying to get sympathy. And I was like, "What do you think I go through?" He shook his head and said, "You must go home every night with a big headache." I agreed with him. I like this kid, he's got a great sarcastic wit, and he can do great work, when he does the work. He actually stopped me in the hall to try and talk to me about if he is failing. I asked him to come chat after school, since we both had to get to class, but he didn't.

I had a coverage of seventh-graders, and they were the same class that I had for my first coverage, back in early October. I was pretty mean and harsh. It worked for the beginning of the period, but then there was a constant noise. It stopped when I told them that I wouldn't dismiss them for lunch until there were three minutes' worth of complete silence. Buggers. But it's good practice for my own classes. If only I'd been able to have a nastier start with my classes. Damn me and my softy side.

Class B came in after lunch, and they were chatty, but not all that bad. Ms F came in for the second part of it, and so she helped too. Her extra questions really helped guide me to help the kids understand the poem we were working with. They got the rhyme scheme thing easily. Actually, all the classes did. That was my writing workshop lesson today.

Class C did well with the rhyme scheme. I only had them one period. I'm always relieved when it's time for me to teach them. They are so much more easily managed. God help us when that troubled child from Class A gets there. But actually, I think he will really benefit from more help and more individual attention.

Tomorrow night is the "real" parent-teacher conference. It's gonna be a long night.

Next Thursday cannot come fast enough.

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