Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Getting close...

Two more days until the three-day weekend! Hallelujah!

Some miscellany:
a. At lunch yesterday, two of the girls from Class C drew on the board: "Ms C is the BEST ELA Teacher!" Aw, how sweet is that? They are both really sweet, attentive kids.
b. Another girl from Class C seems to make a point of greeting me quietly. Yesterday, their class came in when I had a prep, so I was at my desk doing whatever, and she said, 'Hi, Ms C. How is your day going?' And I made a face and said something like, 'Is it Friday yet?' She smiled. Then, as we were all walking outside to the fence exit, she came up next to me and said, 'At least the day is over already.' She is a very nice little girl, quiet and earnest.
c. All the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition stuff this week was in the Pacific Northwest, near Poulsbo. It was beautiful, and all the people exclaimed over the natural wonders of the surroundings. Aw, I miss home!

Today was another okay day. Not horrible, not great. Like I said before, I think it's a matter of how thick my skin is, and how high my patience level is. It seems like yesterday and today has been better than Monday (some me and some the kids). By no means have the classes been good, don't misunderstand me. Class A is still rowdy as ever, but I guess I am just putting up with it better right now. Who knows.

Anyway, so I had them do a bit of copying off the overhead, because although it is manipulative and dumbing down, it is an easy way to get peace and quiet, and get them all working. I say, that's all they know how to do: copy things down into their notebooks. All the higher-level thinking I want them to do, that's why they're out of control...their hands aren't busy.

Class A actually had some moments of quiet while copying. Hallelujah! It was short-lived, of course. I kept a small group of the more disruptive boys in at lunch and had them write me an apology letter, and an explanation letter to their parents too. The Asshole kid was one of them, and of course he refused to do anything. See, after I announced that there would be people staying in at lunch, he tried to turn around his behavior. It was definitely better, but still not ideal, and hello, he does not get off scot-free just because the threat of trouble changed his mind! Anyway.
I do want to give myself props for staying patient after the bell for lunch rang. Three of the boys I told to stay in clustered up near the door, declaring with some attitude, "I ain't stayin'." I just calmly stood rigth on the doorknob and told the rest of the class that I couldn't let anyone go at all yet. In a few minutes, all the boys sat down and waited for me, and none of them rushed for the door to escape! You might remember that's a problem I'd had earlier in the year, but look how my patience won out! Hurrah!

I had Class B after lunch for two periods. They were fairly chatty during reading, and during writing too, I guess. The AP popped in for a second, and I had him stick around while they had their last chance to beat their record of getting into their project groups quickly and quietly.

Class C is getting good at cleaning. What I've done is stop class five minutes early, dispatch volunteers to work on the board, floor, and notebook collecting, and then dismiss tables to the lockers. It goes pretty fast that way. The last thing to work on is making sure they get their stuff and then get in line, quickly and quietly. But it's cool that we're making progress.

I'm really glad that I end with Class C every day, because they are the easiest to deal with. It's such a relief to get to the end of the day because of that. Imagine if I had Class A at the end of every day! God, that would be horrid.

I ran home right away, because there was supposed to be a cable-internet installation guy coming...but no one came. In any case, it was excellent to be at home for such a long time. Naturally, I did not take the opportunity to get any work done, and I just this minute remembered I need to come up with a reading lesson for the morning...erm, yeah, no clue yet what I'll do. But I'm exhausted and Alias is on, I'm going straight to bed after that. So I'll see what I can do during commercials or the half-hour before school tomorrow.

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