Thursday, April 29, 2010

Budget Blues and Angst

Our district (like many in the area) has posted the beginnings of where they are planning to cut.

People (teachers) are beginning to speculate: who falls under that definition? Oh, he coaches - he'll be safe. She is the only one with this skill - she'll be safe.

And then people start snapping at each other: I grade harder than you - my expectations are higher than yours, wy should I be let go? I support my family - you are single, I should stay.

It is going to get SOOOOOOO ugly.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's a small world after all

Funsucker was her sucky self today.

The class has senioritis - whether they are seniors or not. I was trying to get the to do the review for tomorrow's test and getting no where.

So I asked her to let them fail: do not mention it again. And she spent the next thirty minutes going to each student asking them to do the review.

She mentioned that she had started as a social studies teacher at a school - and she named the school. Hmmm. One of my best friends (from years and years and years) is in the social studies department at that school. So I called her = and got an earful about what a disaster funsucker was as a teacher five years ago. (didn't take roll, couldn't discipline, didn't grade work, etc.) So she was let go after 6 months.

What an insight I have.

I shared it here. But not with fs......

Yes, we can improve with age - but funsucker hasn't and doesn't see anything wrong with what she does.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

You need to learn to speak Spanish - not

A lovely little girl told me today that I need to learn to speak Spanish (because she is struggling with English).

I looked at her, smiled and said: "Meine Grossmutti and meine Grossvatti kommt aus Deutschland in auchtzen hundert neun und sechzig. Naturlich, sie sprechen Deutsch. Und ich spreche Deutsch. Aber, gluchlich for Sie, I also speak English." [OK, it's fractured German: my grandmother and grandfather came from Germany in 1869. Naturally, they spoke German. And I speak German. But, luckily for you, ich auch Deutsch gesprechen.]

Monday, April 26, 2010

Four more dropped out

Four more seniors dropped out today. They were tenth day students - came in ever tenth day so they don't get dropped. But coming that seldom means they don't really learn and their grades were awful. So, they finally figured out that unless they really knuckle down, they won't graduate - and maybe not even then.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Grading papers - some get it and some are a waste of air

I am grading papers. The grades should be high. I mean, I give easy instructions. I walk them through classwork.

Some are too lazy to do work, or apparently, to think. Did you know that if you buy a $40,000 car at 10% for 5 years, you'll end up paying $200,000 for the car? That isn't how I taught them, but what the heck.

How do you make them care?


* student, in response to MY objecting to her foul mouth: "Well it would be different if I was being PAID to put up with it. Then people could say stupid things to me"

I so cannot wait until these kids are out in the real world.

* Student was outside my door carrying a large pillow. My first reaction was that he had detention today and had come prepared. Turned out I was right - at least, he thought he had detention. He ended up carrying that pillow around all day. He is not as cool as he thinks he is.

* We had a faculty meeting this week and the Hulk was doing his usual job of reaming us out - and pointedly picking on the sweet young thing he is chasing out. Well, it was pointed if you knew he charged her with sleeping with her students but he can't prove it (because she didn't) so he kept making references to "getting too close to our students".

Then all of a sudden he gets nice.

Turns out 2 people from the district showed up. When they left (except they just went out of his sight) he got mean again.

Oh, well. If the district won't do anything about him, how can we? [One of those district people has been at the school a dozen times, and each time has spent a class change at my hall, talking to the kids.]

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Outstanding students

Wow. Can you imagine having these three in your class? Any class?

The first thing that I noticed about these three ladies is that their father is a professor at Emory.

Do you think their parents made education a priority?

Merit Pay 3

My buddy POd says that I am worried about Merit Pay. Worried isn't exactly it.

I read a lot. I study all kinds of things (oh, the blessings of a liberal arts education and a curious mind). What I see is a lot of pie-in-the-sky promises that are unsustainable. I mean, we are going to make this a better place, and reward great things (when we all know it is so hard to measure those great things) but, oh, yeah, we are either going to have to lay off 5% of our staff or you'll have to take a 5% pay cut.

And how long will it take me to make that 5% back?

In the meantime, they will put more kids in my class, but I'll manage the discipline. They will expect me to teach without books, but they will but back on both the paper they give me and the amount of copies they let me make. Kids don't bring paper and pencil or write things down? I'll manage it somehow.

When businesses start down the road of major layoffs, they seem to fold in a few short years. The layoffs cut deep enough the companies bleed to death.

What happens when the schools bleed to death?

Merit Pay 2

Please read the posting before this one as well.

I sent a note to our local state senator (who shall remain nameless, not because he deserves it but because I do).

I said:

I teach.

I work very hard to teach math to juniors and seniors who are not particularly good at math.

They would never show as brilliant mathematicians, but they work hard as well.

Who do you think would want to teach this level of math if merit pay was in place?

He replied:
Thanks for your email. Thanks for all your hard work. I understand that the Gov's proposal would apply only to new teachers.

Um, excuse me? Because it will only happen to new teachers, that makes it right? I didn't address nincompoopery, assininess, or any of the 1000 other reasons this is a stupid idea, but you think because you can force this on to new teachers it's ok?

I love the general public who say "but everyone is graded like this - you get rewarded for your work." That's right, and I don't mind being rewarded for MY work. Or for work I have any control over.

But for me to be graded on, say, the senior who comes every tenth day (and has for 2 years) and cannot graduate in 6 weeks because he hasn't put in an effort, no thank you.

Merit pay

A student assaulted a teacher because the teacher wanted him to work.

Yep, merit pay is the way to go.

Six Word Saturday

Good or bad, life goes on.

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Administrators from hell

Sometimes it would be easier for the rest of us if they would just go into their rooms and shut the door.

* A student came to me today laughing and showed me a picture of 2 of the APs loading wood from a recent construction project into their vans. Um, stealing?

* I was trying to determine a girl's name (she cussed me out and I don't know her). An AP asked me why I didn't just take a picture of her with my camera. Man, I could see so many problems about that.

* Why lie to kids - at least why lie without telling the teacher? I can't follow the subterfuge if I don't know you're lying.

It's for you

I can tell this has been an - um - interesting year. I asked one class to do work today. One nincompoop said he had an A and didn't have to. (Reality check: he's failing.] I had just talked with his mom during lunch to tell her he COULD pass but he needed to work = so I got out my phone and hit redial. I explained the situation to mom and asked if she would like to talk with him. And then I handed him the phone.

My class got so quiet (they were all trying to hear everything). Yes mam, No mam. He almost threw the phone on my desk - but he did the work.

So did the sweet young thing next to him when I pointed out her mother was next.

I explained I will treat them like adults - but with less than two months, I need them to WORK.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Non-renewal - will it continue to mean the same thing?

The AJC reported today that Gwinnett, the largest school district in the state, appears to be using non-renewal to thin the teacher ranks rather than "lay-offs" per se.

I don't know how it works in other states, as I have only worked here. We have no union, just two lobbying bodies. Normally, if you really screw up (that is, cannot teach) you are given the option of resigning rather than getting a non-renewal of contract. When you apply for a teaching job, you are asked if you have ever not had your contract not renewed (non renewal) or if you have any ethical violations.

Most resign, rather than get non-renewal (read the beginning of this blog - and I am not alone in my school. Principals have an obscene amount of power over people's lives.

But, I started thinking today. If Gwinnett (and Cobb and DeKalb And Fulton - the BIG boys among the districts) start non-renewing to thin the ranks, then non-renewal loses its dark power. And that might be a good thing.

BTW, someone who signed themselves as "Georgia teachers" wrote:
Folks who are not teachers:

I understand you do not see the reason why 1-3 year teachers being “non-renewed” for “performance reasons” is such a big deal to a teacher. It basically ruins a person’s career.

Every single application I have ever filled out for a teaching position in this state and in others have all asked: “Have you ever been terminated from a contract or not renewed for a contract?” Once you check yes, your application is then deposited in the circular filing cabinet.

I understand the district’s need to lay teachers off, but be upfront and tell the teachers we just don’t have a job for you. Don’t put that blemish on their record.

The end is coming!

There are students whose parents I am emailing daily to point out the kid isn't passing and therefor will not graduate unless he gets off his butt and does the work I have now given him 12 times. Ok, I don't word it exactly that way.

There is a student who was in my room calling his mommy to tell her he will not graduate because he failed a required class last semester and this and oh, two other classes so he cannot finish until December. I have emailed mom (they aren't my classes) but she didn't have time for a conference. He comes every tenth day and has for 2 years.

Gave a group test yesterday so that the slower kids (who are not trying) can get out of my repeater class. One refused to work in a group. Oh, well. He was one of the reasons for the decision to do a group test.

It goes on and on. Had to pull a kid out of another class (with the teacher's permission) so that he could copy the information off the board before I erased it. He was too busy playing to do it in class and, yes, is a senior failing my class.


And funsucker got into a screaming match with one of the special ed kids (so very professional, don't you think) and he retaliated by cussing, thus raising the intellectual level of my class. And there is nothing I can do about either one.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

You are not a nice person.

Darkling - here and here started in on Sweetie again today. Another boy waited until Sweetie left the room, turned to Darkling and said "You're mean. You are not a nice person."

I hope that resonates in Darkling's heartless soul for a very long time. But I doubt it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Many a truth is said in sarcasm

I wrote about the darkling jackal and said he had no heart. I was, of course, being sarcastic.

I was apparently telling the truth. Today the class was talking about someone who OD'd and was rushed to the hospital. It was said several times that she may not make it. (She, name unknown, is unknown to the members of the class)

Darkling listened for awhile then said "Her family should hurry up and divide her belongings." Stunned faces turned toward him. "What? You said she wouldn't make it. I wonder if she left any money and who gets it."

I repeat: she was unknown to anyone in the class. It isn't as if Darkling would profit from her death.

On a positive note, one of my other (normal) students managed to get some work out of sweetie. It only took a little bribe. I am proud.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Doncha Hate it When You Get Called on Something?

A student asked me if I liked that class. I said I like the students, but collectively I think there is a lot of disrespect.

They talk all the time. They won't even do minimal work. Their language is awful. There are a couple of bullies who just wear me out.

The good kids are really quiet. So it is really easy to forget that there are good kids in the class. And the drama queens rule. There are four kids in that class (male and female) who are constantly emoting. But, Miss - I wasn't here to learn this! (understand I JUST DID THE WORK ON THE BOARD AND EXPLAINED IT BUT THEY CAN'T HEAR ME BECAUSE THEY ARE TALKING).

I hate writing kids up. But I am going to have to get some of these kids OUT so I can teach the rest. It may mean that they don't graduate. (Yes, it may mean that they do not graduate) but they aren't working and they are hindering others.

I need to recharge and somehow change enough in the next month to learn to ignore the creeps.

I hear this echoed by Mamacita here.

So what am I doing?
* writing up the language (they do not disappoint and are always willing and able to give me a contribution to the write up list)
* reward the quiet ones by encouraging them to finish their work and then go the library or other place that is a reward for them.
* Trying not to resort to verbal sparring with the half wits. After all, they are not fully armed.

Right now I avoiding grading late work. But I really need to get this done.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Unreasonable Expectations

I found out this week that I have unreasonable expectations for my students, all of whom are older than 16 and have been in school 12 or more years. I cannot call them Juniors and Seniors, because not all of them have reached that point in their academic careers.

* I expect them to come into the room before the bell rings, sit down and be prepared for work.
* I expect them to bring a pen or pencil and paper.
* I expect them to not talk while I am instructing.
* I expect them to be quiet when I ask them to be quiet.
* I expect them to stay in the room.
* I expect them to do work.

I expect that some of these children are in for a rude awakening.

On the upside, a student asked me a trig question (proving a trig identity) when I haven't done trig in - oh, call it 7 years. And I got it and could explain it - it was so much fun to do something in mathematics that was not arithmetic.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Six Word Saturday

Beauty exists: let the sun shine!

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

Need Advice

I teach a handicapped boy. What the handicap is, is irrelevant. He is really sweet and likes to get up and dance. And normally, I don't care. But I am aware that there is a big difference between laughing with someone and laughing at them.

There are two jackals in this class. It is obvious they were born handicapped as well (no hearts) and prod Sweetie into dancing so they can laugh at him.

Sweetie doesn't see that it is bullying (for which I am grateful). Talking to the jackals does no good as, like most bullies, they twist what you are saying and make what they are doing sound so reasonable. (I talked with a couple of the other kids, ones I know will work with Sweetie and help him - they agree with my assessment. The jackals only help themselves.)

None of the moms will be any help.

Sweetie's lives in the Valley of Denial.

One jackal's mom is a handwringer. The other will attack you if you suggest her DARLING boy did ANYTHING less than perfection. (I mistyped Darling as Darkling - it is closer to the truth.) I will not miss either jackal when this year is over.

I feel like I should write the jackals up - but I cannot see how to do this as they are not overt in anything that they do. I don't want to rock Sweetie's boat.

The jackals are so good they don't even use vocabulary that will let me get them under the radar.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Don't get it

* Girl lets a boy run his hand up her leg in class, knowing I can see, and shrugs when I reprimand him.

* Another girl had a boy put his hand on her breast in the hall. (I cannot make this stuff up). I called her mother - who put me on speaker phone - and the kid denies anyone touched her today and said I was hallucinating. I don't know the boy anc cannot write him up.

I am an old time, forever, down to my soul feminist. I have seen women come so far since I was that age and this irritates the crap out of me. Who are these girls to cheapen themselves so much that they permit these jackaninny boys to act like this? I don't get it.

* while I am teaching, preparing for a test, I have one student walk up during my lecture to say that he needs to talk to me (not now), a girl interrupt me to ask where I keep my paper (not now - and why didn't you bring some?) and then go back to sharpen a pencil WHILE i AM TALKING.

I don't get it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We don't have another vacation for 2 months

And yet, the kids are acting as if this is the Friday before Spring Break. Check calendar - no, I'm right. It is time to settle down to work. Instead:

* Won't-work-for-anything asked me if I was planning on giving him another packet of work at the end of this semester so that he can pass. This as I was passing out TODAY's work. I asked if he was planning on completing a packet of work. "Nope, I'll just keep it to use when I work on my GED"

* GirlA's boyfriend was arrested for possession. Apparently he was showing it in school. She was devastated and basically unable to function for the rest of the day AFTER the AP told her.

* GirlB's boyfriend broke up with her. At lunch. At a table for of bulling boys. Who unfortunately are in my class with GirlB. Who is too dumb to figure out they are bullies. And the bullies were not taking my hint to shut the heck up.

* Funsucker "cannot eat in 20 minutes" so she comes back from lunch when the spirit moves her. What I cannot fathom is that she is still at the table with administrators WHO KNOW SHE IS TEACHING (and I use this term loosely) WITH ME WHEN THEY SEE ME LEAVE THE LUNCHROOM AND SHE IS STILL EATING. FOR 15 MORE MINUTES. This impacted my being able to find GirlA who had run away when she got the news about her boyfriend.

* I emailed progress reports to the kids who are failing, not coming, and I have emails. Unfortunately there are another dozen that I may end up mailing progress reports to.

* and then a girl asked if she should invite her mother to her graduation. [she lives with her father] This led to a discussion about being the adult (the girl) and doing the right thing. I told her we don't usually regret the things we do, but the things we have left undone. I told her she had one mother and one high school graduation. She mused out loud about what she could talk about (I pointed out it's graduation, you can keep talking about that). But I almost cried when in a very small voice she asked "and what if I invite her and she doesn't come?" I pointed out that she would have done the right thing and we have no control over whether the other people do the right thing or not.

* They furlough 3% of our time last year. They are talking about furloughing another 5%. Or taking 12% or our pay by making us pay their portion of our health insurance. Or shortening the year. But the state is planning on building a $10,000,000 sports hall of fame.

Seven more weeks.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Too funny

1980's style video games (like tetris and pong) take over NYC!

The future of education

This video gives a cynical view of what education could become.

They are proposing cutting teacher pay another 5% (in addition to the 3% they cut it this year). I hear rumors they will cut our benefits also. Need to sit down and figure out what that means.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Six Word Saturday

Home is where the heart lives.

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I see rude people

Several bloggers have been writing about rude people. Both Jane Goodwin and Pissed Off Teecher have written recently about their encounters.

I saw this article today. It's not just teachers, folks. We as a society need to get a grip and become nicer.

Off with their heads - what is my part in throwing out the life preserver?

I feel a little guilty. I have offered advice to one of the playing cards, but he/she doesn't want to take my advice. Maybe I'm wrong - it is what worked for me when I was under the gun. It may not be the right advice. Then call an attorney.

But to argue with me or try to make me feel guilty. No. I don't deserve that.

I need to observe the teacher and write an observation. I told him/her to get several teachers to do that as a tool to use in the job search.

I think he/she thinks that it is possible to talk the powersthatbe into changing the course this is taking. I have never seen management change once they have decided you are a liability.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Who do you teach?

Do you ever look at the statistics for the kids you teach? My school is about 20% minority. I teach 1/3 blacks and 2/3 whites. I teach 1/3 female and 2/3 male. Only 1/3 live in a household with 2 adults (parents) who share the same last name as the student.


And there is always a but: 46% of those no longer in the school are black. 50% of those no longer in the school dropped out, 17% are incarcerated, 29% moved.

I have written that fewer than 10 of my students are driving me crazy. When I was running the numbers, it is actually fewer. One who has major issues (cannot follow the rules), one who is a bully, a few jackaninnies. Really only the two.

Does Race Influence Who Gets Suspended?

From today's AJC: Does Race Influence Who Gets Suspended?

Really touchy subject.

Buried in the comments in one that says: "Come and spend they (sic) day in many high schools and you will see that the problem that schools are are now dealing with is an entire generation of children who really believe that they can do whatever they want to do with no consequences."

I have kids tell me that I cannot ask them their name, I can't talk to them, I can't tell them what to do. I don't see it as a color issue as much as a cultural one, one that, in combination with the language these same students choose to use, is divisive and not conducive to effective public education.

Racism is an easy charge to make and a difficult one to disprove.

When I stand out in the hall, I ask three things: Take off your hat, pull up your pants, watch your mouth. I have explained (usually to the leaders, as this has been more effective) that I do not want to have to find out their name and write them up. Please find a different vocabulary or a different location.

The language is getting better (except for the girls who refuse to change), the hats whip off their heads when they see me (I always say thank you), and the pants, well, you pick your battles and I think the language is the major one.

I had a meeting before break about one student who seems to be suspended more than he gets detention. I am not the one who selects the punishment. I just know that this child cannot make it to class even when he/she is standing outside my door 30 seconds before class starts.

Do I think the powersthatbe apply punishment equally? No. Each of the APs have kids they like (who skate) and kids they hate (who are punished harder). The kids have even set up a facebook account deriding one of the APs.

I try to deal with the discipline in my classroom by myself. The students do not always make this possible.

Act however you want at home. Come to school ready to learn - or stay home.

How hard is this?

Monday, April 5, 2010

I don't get it

I am grading a test. This was a complicated chapter so I wrote the work for the review on the board.

I told them to copy it.

I let them use the review sheet on their test.

One student wrote: "Sorry. I just haven't been able to concentrate a lot and I'm going to be honest: I have no idea how to do this. So I'll take the grade and just work harder after break"


There is no time for me to retest on this if I am to cover all of the material left by the end of the year.

BTW there were 2 numbers written out of 15 (with the work to support them) and they were wrong.

"I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying. It doesn't matter if you win as long as you give everything in your heart."
--Michael Jordan


I just deleted my blog list! And I had blogs listed there that I don't have listed anywhere else (how stupid was that? Well both parts. Deleting it and not having redundancy)

I have added it back If you notice something missing, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell me and I will find it again.

I also added it to my dashboard.

Whatever It Takes

I found Whatever It Takes on line and watched it. Well worth the hour that it takes.

I have several questions. One, Sharifea didn't qualify to take the regents exam. It would be lovely here if only the kids passing were permitted to take the end of course test or the graduation tests - it would certainly raise the scores. But her, if you are in the school on that day and are taking a course with an end of course test or you are a junior - you take the test.

There are some we know cannot pass it - but they have to take the test.

1) Why would she not qualify?
2) Why did only 27 out of the school take the regents? That's about 25%, which means 75% don't.

Sharifea reminds me of a child I taught. My Sharifea was a girl with a lot of potential who could not behave. She is in school to socialize. She is rude, disrespectful to teachers and doesn't apply herself. When I met with her parents they announced that she wanted to go to Agnes Scott College - this is a very good school in Atlanta with high expectations. And I told her then that it was possible if she would make different choices.

I see her in the hall now. It is no longer possible: she cannot pull her 76 gpa up to the standards that Agnes Scott requires. But she is still acting up in the hall. She is on the suspension list at least once every two weeks. And she probably still thinks she can get there.

This is a child with parental backup and (in theory) expectations. But the unwillingness to change her daily choices will close that door forever.

I was struck by the blank expression on Sharifea's normally expressive face during the parent teach conference. If you have seen The Blind Side, you see that on Michael's face a lot as well.

I liked the principal's goals: discipline, commitment, responsibility, perseverance, service, excellence.

I was also struck by the idea that he has 108 students to be a principal of. I have that many to teach, an hour at a time. My results cannot be the same. But what could we accomplish with them if we could divvy them up into small schools like this and really teach them?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter! Happy Passover!

Different religions. Different promises.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

One of my best friends has died

He was not in good health. It has been expected. He went well. It is still not real.

And there was still so much to talk about and yet we are comfortable in the silence.

I will miss you.

You have to wonder about some people

We went shopping today. Son needed shorts and Kohl's was having a sale.

I hate shopping.

So, while he tried on clothes. And tried on clothes. And tried on clothes. I got bored. There were all kinds of clothes dumped on racks near the changing rooms, an obvious sign that the economy is not good. There aren't usually that many and I will bet they have fewer employees to put them away.

I mentioned I was bored, didn't I?

So I gathered up clothes and played the memory game, putting them away where they belong. If I couldn't find the correct rack, I had to bring it back (and that only happened with one dress). My son even got in the spirit. He must have been bored as well.

I must have put away about 30 outfits in addition to the ones son didn't want when I see a woman pulling the extra clothes off the rack where they had been stashed and dumping them on the ground. I guess they were in her way.

It didn't take very long for an employee to show up with an additional rack, and the customer KEPT DUMPING THE CLOTHES ON THE GROUND EVEN WHEN SHE WAS POLITELY ASKED NOT TO.

She has to be related to the mother Jane Goodwin observed at KMart.

Happy thought: as we arrived a nice gentleman called us to his car and gave us a coupon worth 15% off (he was leaving). See - there are more good people than crumb-bums. (I count myself as one of the good ones and son as well).

I am stealing the label from Ms. Goodwin because it is too perfect.

I am striving to be nice, to focus on that side of life. I am feeling like the masculine bovine soil enrichment of human behavior is becoming the focus and I am losing sight of the daffodils.

WHile I am a work in progress, sometimes I think I giving God too much to work with.

Bully for you!

Bullying is in the news a lot because of the recent suicide of Phoebe Prince. Even the NY Times has advice.

The first story, Mark at, has a comment about teenagers having two tools that they use when bullying that make it hard to police: superhuman situational awareness and social intimidation.

What do you do when it is the adults who are subject to the bullying?

I am watching two situations unfold among my students where the teens are targeting two separate school employees with false claims in an effort to punish them for perceived failing on the part of the adult.

One has claimed that the adult was arrested and charged with a felony. Luckily this is a provable lie. But it is still complicating things.

The other is being more subtle and complaining to the principal about things that have led to the teacher being told he/she will not be returning.

I am not afraid, but I am being careful as I teach both teens. And I recognize bullying behavior in both.

I can report what I hear to thepowersthatbe, but there is no way to stop this insidious behavior. What I find amusing (in that sick sense of humor that is me) is that I think the reason for the second one is grades. The student earned a C and thought he/she should have had an A. That student has an A for me (because I have so simplified my classes and procedures, not because he/she is a math whiz) but the only other As he/she has earned have been in PE. Since I teach Juniors and Seniors, if this has been your history in this school, why would you expect more? He/she is not what I consider an A student - a scholar. I have some.

The other? It comes down to jealousy.

Maybe it does in both cases.

I cannot get my students to stop saying the "N" word, to stop using Jesus Christ and God as punctuation, to drop the low-level cuss words (shit, crap, ass, etc) to say nothing of the bigger ones (like the f bomb) - how am I expected to keep them from slandering adults they are angry with? Or to even see how it is wrong?

These are probably the 2 worst of the dozen students who are making this year less than fun. I know other people have bad classes - I have a few in about 3 classes. (and we all know it only takes one in a class to disrupt it).

I am counting the days til the end of this term. I am looking forward to never thinking of these two again. And several others.

I have also been blessed to have met several wonderful kids who like me, respect me, seek me out, have changed their behavior because of me. (I had the joy of backing down one's bad behavior in front of one of my toads by telling the good kid "Look, we respect each other. I respect you, you respect me, and I want you to stop XXX" and he said "Yes, Ricochet" and did. Toad would have asked for justification on WHY I thought I had the right to ask that.) I've never had kids come to a MATH class to escape another class. But I have had several this year.

I need to turn a telescope on the dirty dozen (you know, make them appear to go far away and vanish in the distance) and turn my magnifying glass on the ones who are making this year a joy.

I need to laugh more.

I need to get through the next 2 months.

Six Word Saturday

Spring Break: rest, reflect, recharge, relax.

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

Friday, April 2, 2010


I hate the language my students use. If it isn't ghetto where it sounds SOOOOO uneducated it is just foul. I hate the n word and the other words that proliferate.

Today someone said bullcrap. I said watch your mouth. They said it wasn't cussing. I said you all have so perverted the English language that you miss the richness of it. So much of what they say is just common and I want some variety.

I wrote up my best write up ever today. It was just for a phone, but the drama was awe-inspiring. She threw herself on the floor and kicked her heels, she whined and wailed, she had to be dragged out of the room (really!). I told the class I may have to write her up every week just for the entertainment.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

what a day

* kid who has been suspended returned today. He is failing my class. I went to talk with him about taking a test today to raise his grade: he cut my class instead.

* so I wrote him up - he confronted me in the hall, livid that I had done so.

*Next class: a girl I am having other issues with pulled out her phone and video taped me. I gather I was supposed to be thrilled - I am offended that she so flagrantly flaunted the rules.

* Next class: (by this point I am out of sorts and recognize it) They came in whining that they wanted to go to an assembly - I am giving a test tomorrow and had a great deal of trouble getting them on task. Who knows how they will do.

*Next class: girl friend of 1st kid came in announcing that I was a snitch and she wasn't talking to me and leave her alone and she HATES this class and doesn't want to be here. I accommodated her by having her removed. She is not passing my class either and needed to work on a project today.

There were some bright moments but these overshadowed them. I want to call in sick tomorrow.

Can you tell that we have another break coming?