Thursday, March 17, 2005

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

That was Class B yesterday.

So I became one too, snarling and spitting and hissing all over the place. But only because they told me to! I feel like I'm always yelling and stuff, but guess what? I'm still a 'nice teacher', because I "don't do anything" when kids are doing something wrong. I'm honestly not sure what I'm supposed to do, in their view; I can't send a kid out of the room every five minutes (and trust me, that's how often someone bugs someone else), because then I look bad to the admin. Am I supposed to just yell at them? Make them apologize? Isolate them?

Because of course, as soon as someone tells me that so-and-so did something wrong, so-and-so pipes up, "No I didn't! YOU did!" and it just becomes a lying/yelling match. I'm not down with that.

So I got nasty. I took away the fun mini project. I made them write two pages about respect.

The semi-decent kids that I had to yell at (because otherwise I'm 'nice') looked uncomfortable and scared and nervous. On the one hand, I was happy that the nasty act was working. On the other hand, I felt sad and bad for acting that way and making them feel uncomfortable. I don't want to be that teacher; that's one of my biggest worries. Acting that way is one thing, but actually being that way is another.

Anyway, so that was yesterday. Classes A and C did very well, all engaged in the planning of their skits. Neat.

Today was pretty decent. I had Class B first and second periods. Now, normally they are good when I have them in the morning, so I don't know if today was an accurate 'reading' of the effectiveness of yesterday's newfound nastiness. I was nasty this morning too, even before they entered the room. I heard one kid go, "Geez, Ms C" when I snapped at the boys to straighten up their line. But holy crap, they sure did straighten up their line. No back talk or anything.

Today was definitely the Nasty Act. It is tiring but effective. Knock on wood, but the patience and put-upon faces seem to be working okay with Classes A and C. I still have bouts of the Nasty Act to make them shape up or whatever. But it seems like Class B needs it most.

So last night we had class. They were very small classes because most of the elementary folks had parent-teacher conferences. The classes were still boring. The reading teacher insists on treating us like fourth-graders, handing out a sheet and then reading it to us. For god's sake, what a complete waste of time. Grr. Social studies is a total farce. We do nothing. It's all just talk about stuff. Mostly about the teacher. Everyone else was all charmed and impressed last night when she talked about the celebrities she knows and the hiphop connections in her family. Blah blah blah, I was bored.

I was very productive though. At the beginning of the day, I had nine sets of homework. After class was over, I had less than one. Whee! That felt great to get caught up.

I really liked reading these sets, too. All this week's homework has been using fairy tales to explore the effects of setting and character. The kids have really impressed me with their creativity. This one girl wrote like six pages about ghetto Cinderella. She talked back to her evil stepmother and told her to clean her own damn house. The "ball" was a dance party at school. It was awesome. One kid told a very clever version of Little Red Riding Hood in the desert. I meant to copy it here so you all could read it, but I left it all at school.

Alright, I'm out. Will leave to work out in 20 minutes. Yay!

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