Thursday, January 19, 2012

Room 25 UNRAVELED Today

    I don't know if it's ironic or sad or just true that this post should follow the previous titled "Why I LOVE My Kids", but today was bad.   I usually just post the happy stuff, how great teaching is (and it is!), how much I love my kids ( and I truly, TRULY, do!), and I usually avoid writing about the bad days, but today was INcredible--I was driven to the verge of tears.   And all of this in like the last hour of school, just try and imagine the following.

   To set the stage, yesterday two kids, K and J, got on each other's nerves enough they ended up exchanging choice swear words about each other's families, and so got sent to the office.   Also, while I was taking care of that craziness, J and V starting fooling around during the test and talking.   So I'm already a bit on edge coming into today.

   Then today C and V threw pretzels at a kid during lunch, so I had to figure that out and dole out consequences--it's not on my watch, but they're still my kids and I expect better.  J couldn't focus in math and distracted some other kids.  A is talking out of turn a lot.  Then I find R with his pen light laser, which I confiscated yesterday.  When I approached him about getting in my desk, he clammed up, wouldn't talk or move, and stayed out in the hallway--he refused to come back inside.   So I'm trying to keep an eye on him, and my class. Back inside, K openly defied me when I asked twice for silence, so he went to the office for the second time in two days.  By now I'm distraught, overwhelmed, and completely frazzled.  Then I realize that C isn't in the classroom.   I can't find him, and I start to freak out.   Since he had gotten in trouble for the whole pretzel-throwing, I was like, what if he stormed out?  So now I'm freaking out and calling for someone to watch my class, trying to find him.  Turns out he's just in speech class--he forgot to tell me he was going.

  So if this isn't enough, my whiteboard markers and pencils are disappearing, books from my library are missing.   I got two new students this week, so besides now 29 bodies to keep track of, I've got the new people who don't know what's going on at all, and that really messes with the culture and the procedures.  So all this pressing down on me, and then 10 minutes to dismissal, there is a blasted FIRE ALARM!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!  So my almost-autistic student freaks out per the usual with hands shaking and shoved down his ears and I escort him, shaking, and my entire class outside amid the chaos of dismissal procedure. NOT. A. GOOD. DAY. Not a good day.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Why I LOVE My Kids

1.  During Read to Self I sat in a corner reading with one of my students.   In order to model appropriate expression, I read one part of the text as almost a scream, and a little too loudly for our quiet center time.  As we returned to our seats, A chastised me for disturbing his and the class's quiet working environment.  I quickly acknowledged him and apologized.  I love it when students advocate for themselves.

2.  Months ago, Student R gave me 990 x 990 on a piece of paper as a seemingly impossible math problem to solve.   I returned it to him with the answer.   Now that I've taught them double-digit multiplication and how to multiply with zeros, he came to me the other day and said, "Mr. Allsop, you did it wrong!"  He proceeded to write me a note detailing my incorrect answer and the actual correct way to solve.  He was right.  I was wrong.  And I was smiling the whole time because I was so proud of him.

3.  "V, you wander around like .... like...." I searched for a word to describe the aimless meanderings of my student who cannot stay still.  He supplied this response: " I got a cockroach in my pants?"