Thursday, January 13, 2005

So,'s not Friday yet?

Dagnammit, I kept thinking it was the weekend now, instead of tomorrow!

Today was another day. Heh, I meant, another "meh day." You know, it's just a day, nothing good, nothing terrible.

The group of kids that comes to my room at lunch has gotten pretty big, and a bit out of hand, so today, I demanded that everyone leave the room and stay out in the hallway. I gave them all a lecture: "If you're in here, you're doing something. You're not running, yelling, spilling. You can help clean up, you can do homework, you can check the newspapers, you can play one of my games. But you have ONE CHANCE. If you run, hit, yell, whatever, BYE."

So today's lunch was quieter. They love Apples to Apples. I'm glad, because I love it too. Also, there are great conversations. The first couple times, I led the thing and judged, but now kids are doing it, and they do well. I love their rationalizations and discussions. (God, if only I could get them to have that kind of talk in class!) About the category "huge" and the subject "rainbows": "Aw, you've been watching too many Skittles commercials."

So we started with Class B, and they were quite chatty. Big surprise, right? Actually, yeah, sort of; when I have them first period they are normally rather quiet and well-behaved. Oh man, Big D is such a pain in my ass, I can't even tell you. He does no work, and doesn't even pretend about it most of the time. No notebook, no reading book. He yells at people, he calls inappropriate names, he hits, throws, and otherwise endangers other students and himself. And frankly, I've had it. I was irritated, so I decided to put on a little show for him. I bent down to his desk, so I was kind of in his face, and I yelled at him, and slapped the desk loudly for emphasis: "Listen! I am going to talk to the AP and principal about you--I am going to get you OUT OF THIS SCHOOL! Clearly you don't want to be here! I have HAD IT with your behavior! IS THAT CLEAR?" He answered meekly, "Yes, ma'am."

It was kind of awesome.

The whole class was noticeably quieter for the next two minutes, probably in awe of my display of anger or whatever....but then they went right back to goofing off.

I forgot that I had Class A right after Class B, whoops. That felt weird, I sort of felt ill-prepared.
Class A was okay. The Asshole and Little K made a concerted effort today; both of them actually sat in their assigned seats. For the first time since this new seating chart. I made sure to notice and tell them that I liked that. Yesterday and today, for some reason, I have been high-fiving kids that do something good on random occasions. So, The Asshole got one when I told him I noticed about the seat he took. Little K got one when he answered a question correctly, using big words. One of the normally-talkative girls from Class C got one yesterday when I noticed how quietly and well she was working. It's kinda fun. Maybe I'll make it my "thing."

Anyway, so Class A did okay. I already said that. Oh, wait! When we did the moving to project groups, they did it quietly!

Have I already talked about how I do that? I start counting, they start moving. I keep a little chart on notebook paper on the board; it has the number of times it took, how long it took, and what the noise level was. Last week, I made them just keep doing it if it was loud. Now, I only give them three chances to get it right. It's kind of neat, because they motivate each other and themselves to get quiet so that I'll start counting, and then they're all, "No, we can do it faster! Do it again!" I must start finding more things like that where they can take ownership of their own behavior and have fun too. Because they totally think this is fun. And good lord, that part of class could potentially be a nightmare. I'm glad this is working out this way.

Had lunch, with the aforementioned lecture and game, then the one prep all week when I have my classroom all to myself. I spent it figuring out the book order stuff. There is already $80 worth of orders! I am totally going to buy stuff, because it's cheap, and I so loved book orders when I was a kid.

Class C did pretty good. There was an assembly eighth period, so I did writing workshop during seventh with them. The second time they moved into their groups, they actually did it quietly, but not with very good time. So about half of them wanted to try it again, and they cut down on their time, but they were loud. For the work period, most of them were not really working. I knew that would happen, I obviously can't be standing at all six tables at once, so I just did what I could and made note of the students not even attempting to do anything.

Ms F gave me a ride home. That's cool. I was all, "oh, I'm going to actually be productive tonight! After not doing shit all week, I really need to get back into the game of, you know, working. But um, now it's been more than an hour and a half, and I'm still goofing around on the net. Ahem. Not a nerd.

Actually, I've been indulging in some Ameri-blogging. Found a livejournal message board about NCCC, and so all the comments/posts are by alums or current corps members. I found one site of a guy at the DC campus right now, with pictures, and I just felt such a sense of loss and longing. Seeing anyone in those khaki trousers and gray shirts feels like seeing myself and my old friends. I suppose that's what the "brotherhood" of the military and Greek system is all about. It feels like I know them, because I know their experience. What an experience.

Fire 4 Schmire 4, I miss you!

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