Oh lord, I cannot wait.
Today was actually a decent day. The lessons I did went well, and I think they were good lessons. Perhaps not the most interesting or anything, but solid, worthwhile lessons.
For reading workshop, I handed out a short sample proposal letter. The students read it in pairs and then extracted the three elements--problem, solution, expected outcome. When pairs finished that one, I gave them a newspaper editorial that also had those elements. They all got stuck on the first paragraph because it said something about sex, drugs and rock and roll. I hope I don't get in trouble for that. Anyway, the problem and outcome were buried in the second half of the article, which most of them found after I gave them that tip.
So that ended up taking most of the period, and we did not have time for independent reading. But since they did sharing reading, perhaps that's okay. I let them know that the proposal will be the project they are doing in groups, but it will be longer.
Then for writing, we revisited the persuasive essay (because the proposal is one type of persuasive essay). Ms F read them an example yesterday, and today I had them begin their own. I showed them the four square but used "thesis" and "arguments" instead of "topic sentence" and "supporting ideas." My sample that I did for them was "Alias is the best show on TV and you should watch it." Many of them reacted to that, "That's a lie!" "Huh?" and so on.
I went through my arguments and details, threw in connecting words, and voila, persuasive four square. Then it was their turn. Many students wrote about SpongeBob SquarePants being the best show. Some girls wrote about movies like "You Got Served" and "Honey." They seemed to understand the thesis thing alright.
Class B did excellently. One table of troublesome boys did no work, but other than that, the whole class worked fairly diligently on the reading thing. Yay! And the four square was pretty decent too.
Class A went well, considering. I did my best to ignore/leave alone the asshole kid from yesterday. It worked, I guess, he didn't try anything today. Except when I went to that table, asking the kids what their thesis was going to be, the asshole kid goes "Can I write about the worst teacher in the world." I replied evenly, "If you have the arguments to back it up, go for it." and then went to the next student.
Near the end of class, a fight broke out at that table and the whole class was in an uproar. Kids cheer for fights. What the fuck? Anyway, I tried to follow the two boys and see if I could do anything, but quickly scooted over to the phone. Called the dean....no answer. Called the AP....no answer. Called the main office....ten rings...I was frustrated and furious. Are you fucking kidding me? I have kids trying to brawl in the classroom and no one answers a goddamn phone?
Anyway, a bunch of them stayed to keep helping with the homework/paperwork sorting. Really, it is getting to be too many, because there's all this talking and noise, and ugh. Little C doesn't really do anything except walk around and dance. I got irritated and told him, "You know what? You can leave. If you want to help out, then do. Otherwise, you're just not doing anything. This is my free time, and if you're not going to do anything, then leave." Not too meanly, but honestly and straight. He retorted, "If it's your free period, then why are you working at all?" I said, "Ha! Like I can just sit and twiddle my thumbs! There's always work to be done."
Later on, while helping out with the piles and stuff, another kid was like, "See, why aren't you nice like this in class, Ms C?" I replied, "Because I started nice and you guys already walk all over me." He tried to deny it, but I wasn't hearing it. It was a bit of a relief to at least hear he seemed to come around to me personally. The funny thing is that I'm not terribly different during the lunch time. I'm not happy bubbly regular girl, but I do act like a normal person. The more kids in there, the more "teacher" I have to be, though, directing and delegating, and keeping the hyper ones in check.
So I kind of wish I could take tomorrow off. My 'lessons' (testing stuff) are sitting right on my desk...I would so love three days to catch up on all this work...but I'll never do it. Call in, I mean. Just one day. Fridays have come to really suck. None of my classes deal well with the testing stuff. Always whining and bitching. Instead of having an interesting last day of the week, it's always a pain in the ass. Fucking testing.
Okay, so I'm going to go and check homework. Like, three days' worth. Ugh.