Friday, January 28, 2011

sssshhhh! education happening

Some students just cannot learn in a traditional classroom. Some need to make up work, (called "credit recovery"), some just are such discipline problems that cannot deal in classrooms.

I have one such student. I think he thought he would get out of class and work. I think he honestly thought this trip to coventry would be fun. I have complained "look he's all in the halls, he wanted to go there, if he has a temper trouble he should not be associating with the other students." On that issue, Oh Well..

The reason he is in the halls is, he can attend some classes then go to his exile. He comes in for labs in my class, but still I am required to be with him to help him work. I send the lessons and assignments in to the office for him. I still get the "I don't understand this." So I'm spending my entire planning period with him today to help him catch up. I am not cutting him any slack. I will not give him the answers, he had to read the right pages to me, answer the questions etc. All the while maintaining my professional and helpful demeanour. Finally he puts his head in his hands. "maaaan I don't get this, my head is starting to hurt."

"Good," I reply, "that means you're learning."

Later when I talked to the teacher who runs our little brig, her comment was "I heard you and thought I was going to loose it right there at the desk."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

its a battle of wits, you are unarmed!

Fifth period is a social group.

They just picked up their graduation invites.

They will not shut up.

A few lucky talkers got detention with me in the morning.

One student, "I can't be in that early my mother doesn't arrive that early."

Her mother works at the school. Relax I say I can email her.

Now my letter to the mother was the most helpful of all, full of how can we make arrangements, what time.

Kiddo did not think I'm going through with this. Another said she had a doctor's appointment. I can see the attendance of the other classes. If you are first period and not with me I will write you up.

First kiddo though is spoiled. Constantly trying to get out of class to "talk to my mother". Seems put out when I finally started saying "no, if you have a problem talk to the office first, your mother has a job to do also"

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Its okay, no its not

I teach a science class which is really a dumping ground. It was intended by me as a middle ground between the hard science class I teach and an easier class which another teacher does.

This is the beginning of a new semester. Two students were moved from the class. One directly over my head by the school, because he needed another class to graduate; the other with my permission so this struggling student can be in smaller core classes. Since my class is not required to graduate I have no problem.

A third student comes to me with a drop slip. Now this student has been saying all week that he is leaving the class because it is too hard. He gives me the drop slip with the add slip signed by the other teacher. "Why do you want to take this class?" I point at the class he is trying to take.

"I want a completer." he says gesturing to his neck. We have a career training program and if he takes this other class he can get a cord around his neck at graduation.

"no" I say firmly. "You want out my class because I make you work. A high C is not an option to drop mine and if you did the the work you are fully capable of B or even A work."

"but.." he starts. I take a deep breath and remind myself of all my professionalism classes. "no, the principal's office is that way." I point. "you can take it up with him." Sparky goes and sits down and sulks for the rest of the class claiming that his mother is going to fix everything.

Oh dear child did you not think I'd do an end run. I call his mother that night. I use my best "I am here for you child routine." assuring the mother that her son is fully able to get an A and that I would do everything I could do to help him. We end on a positive not. I call a few other parents.

Next day, Sparky's buddy was also a household called. Same story, bright kid, personable, still a kid, capable, but not able to get control of his work. Not even lazy, just not able to get his work in on time. Buddy comes to me with a drop/add slip already signed by other teacher. "why do you want to take this class." I ask. No harm in getting the story.

"Right here" he says triumphantly pointing at the checked "does not meet career/college choices".

"hmm, I see, but you are not going to be a nurse or such and my class can't hurt you, no."

He starts to argue. In my best teacher's voice I tell him, "I have a class to teach, I will talk to you at lunch or my conference period or even an the end of class if all the work is done,. You have two choices, sit down and let me teach; or go to the office and talk to the principal, in fact he was in the hall just now."

Buddy scoots off to plead his case. I start class. He comes back in with his slip. "he said it was okay for you to sign it." I laugh and shake my head.

"no he didn't, he can sign it himself."

"you have to sign it." Now his classmates are all giggling. The current class is not the one he wants to drop. This is a more advanced class, we are currently in. They are all laughing at him. He gets me twice, poor kid. "no, I don't. The principal can override me, in fact he already did once, but he cannot make me sign."

"get to work and join your group Buddy."

"he said its okay for you to sign it!"

_no, the principal said it was okay with him if it is okay with me_ He backs my plays.

Also as I pointed out, my life would be easier if these two clowns were not in my class.

Monday, January 10, 2011

No school

Like most of the country, we have the snow.

School closed today, school closed tomorrow.