Wednesday, November 14, 2007


...for all the ranting lately.
Wanna know a secret? A bloggy secret? I wasn't really as angry as I wrote about yesterday. Obviously, I was angry and very irritated, especially on the day I discovered the mess. But yesterday, after the initial shock and disgust, I set to cleaning and mostly stopped thinking about it.

Here's something about me: I'm nowhere near the neatest person you'll ever meet. In fact, I can drift toward downright sloppy at times. But when a mess gets significant, I love to clean it and straighten it and make it look nice. I think it's a mental satisfaction thing--the before and after are so drastically different. Who doesn't love that?

So let's see, there are some other nice-ish things going on. Sort of. I think I have not mentioned here yet my class size this year. The largest class, my afternoon bunch, whom (is that right? who?) I shall dub The Herd, has 30 students. The morning class, henceforth named the Greying Bunnies [because they are sweet but sometimes a little slow], has 25. The middle class, the Tame Roos [for their quickness, niceness, but sometimes the wildness appears], has a mere twenty kids. Their small size is part of their awesomeness.

Shh, don't tell! I don't want to ruin it!

We all know that class size makes a difference, but holy crap. When the room has thirty kids in it, it's crowded, louder, and more likely to get rowdy faster. Even a difference of 5 kids makes the room feel bigger, more open, calmer. And a difference of ten kids, well, wow. I feel like the luckiest teacher ever. I can easily see every single child in the room. There is plenty of space to separate kids if they are distracted or distracting. They can easily gather around the computer when it's time to watch Grammar Rock, and everyone can see. The room is so quiet and easy to get around. It almost feels more like a family sometimes than a classroom. I can do something that only book-teachers get to do--sit with a kid for more than thirty seconds and do some meaningful work with him or her. It's fantastic and amazing and they are my favorite class.

So take it from me--class size really does make a difference! Shocked, aren't you. ;)

Another positive thing I wanted to share was the ESL kid in The Herd. He does now go to an ESL teacher for one of a double period. And lately, the rest of the class has been reading or doing tests, and I can sit with him. Last week or thereabouts I went to the 99cent store and found some primary workbooks. I've been going through them with him, practicing vocabulary and sentences, and questions and answers. "Which is faster, the bicycle or the car?" "The car is faster than the bicycle." That kind of thing, orally and written. I have no idea what I'm doing, obviously, but I feel good about attempting to help him.

Oh, on a personal front, I've worked out twice already this week, so I'm proud of myself.

Also exciting is the NCTE conference this weekend! I'm volunteering so I can go for free. Can't wait to meet some new folks and learn some interesting teaching things!


Nancy said...

Are you coming to the Nuyorican on Friday night?! Bring the boy!

miss brave said...

Do you recommend Grammar Rock? I've thought about showing it to my kiddos (first and second grade) but I think they might be too young for anything beyond nouns and adjectives. --