Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Sort of a crap day

I can't tell if the students are getting rowdier, if I'm losing effectiveness, or some combination of both. I'm pretty sure it's me.

I finished up doing the interim assessment that we got on Monday. Class B was a disaster; a good half the class did not have numer 2 pencils. That's ridiculous, first of all. And then it took forever to rummage around my collection, sharpen and distribute my pencils. Stupid. Took a few minutes to get them to quiet down. Read the first part of the instructions and then passed out the test booklets. We were two booklets short. I was like, are. you. fucking. kidding. me?! Called down to the office, told them I needed two more. Told the class to get out their reading books and read. Some did, but quite a few talked and goofed around. Sent down two kids to get the booklets; they came back a few minutes later empty-handed. They didn't find the office. Sent another pair down. When they brought back the booklets, they said that whoever was in the office insisted I'd been given 40. I said flatly, "no, I wasn't." I got a big envelope containing three bags of answer sheets and one sealed package of (I thought) 30 booklets.

Anyway, so it took the entire 90 minutes to take one stupid 25 minute assessment.

In happier news, in Class A, a kid that does so-so produced a fantastic comic strip today in class. I talked to them about accountable talk, and then they were supposed to make either a poem, short story, comic strip, or Venn diagram, explaining or giving examples of accountable talk. Most of them started writing any old poem or short story. But this one kid made a picture comic about kids floating in the ocean. It rocks. I will try to scan and upload it. I am so proud of him, and that at least one student understood the assignment and made an exemplary product.

After class, I asked one of the little troublemakers from yesterday if he wanted to stay and help clean up. He likes to do that, and I guess I want to encourage that. So he agreed to, and four other kids nearby immediately wanted to stay, too. Hey, cool. So they picked up the notebooks, most of the trash on the floor, and even wiped down the desks. Sweet.

Class C pissed me off today, because they kept being chatty. I really tried to be patient and not take it personally. But combined with feeling like none of them listened to the assignment about fucking accountable talk, having to repeat myself eighty times about "write a [poem, short story, Venn diagram, or comic strip] about accountable talk," and then after school, it took twenty minutes to get them out of the goddamn classroom. I went back and forth between irritation at them for being so chatty, and angry at myself for not being able to prevent and control the chattiness. Again, I'm sure it's both, but really, it's me. I kind of suck.

There was other stuff that happened today, but really, I can't process everything at once. Ranting is healthy.

And with that, I am tired and will go to bed.

Wednesdays are my most tiring day. Tomorrow is Thursday, which means it's almost test prep, but also that it's almost Friday! And that means the weekend, time to sleep in, time to map out my project lesson plans, and time to just chill out. I hope I can see a friend or do something mildly fun. That has to be an improvement over mildly melancholy, right? At least let's hope I'm not majorly melancholy this weekend. Or right now. Harrumph.

TWO WEEKS TIL BREAK. Oh god, just let me get through it. That's really my main goal every day; just get through it. Grit my teeth and deal with it. Isn't that terrible? But see, look, some of them like me. Maybe that's progress? Maybe they'll start listening to me in January or even March? I don't know. I could go on like this for a really long time, and right now, it's just getting me riled up and I really should have been in bed forty minutes ago. GRR.

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