Sunday, September 07, 2008


School is going really well. Open House was last week and I got over 40 parents, which for regular seniors is a huge amount. Most of my kids I like so far. Most of them like me so far, although I've already gotten "Why you getting attitude with me?!?" That was in response to my saying... nothing. I kid you not. She had to leave class early and she's already told me so she signaled to me and I nodded. I was reading out loud to the rest of the class. Hello, Miss I-don't-have-classmates. We talked the next day and we're cool now. And then I talked to her parent at Open House, so it'll be fine.

Mainly it drives me crazy when kids interrupt class. I have another one who flamed out of AP. I'm not sure of the story. She missed the first few days of class and I tried to help her get caught up. I told her to get notes from someone. She comes late every day (they start the tardy policy tomorrow, yay!) and misses the first 5 minutes of class. I do a lot of explaining in those first 5 minutes. I believe in rewarding the kids who are there on time. So, Princess walks in late and I've already explained and given them a handout and so she says (while I'm turned around), can I have one of those? Like, why don't I have one? Um, because you weren't here? So, I ignored her for a few seconds because I don't respond to that. And then I did my best to not go all "you talking to me??" on her. But I did say that in the future if she wants to talk to me, I have a name. I got an eye roll and a teeth-suck for that one. Good times.

Ex-AP students are sometimes really delightful. As seniors, it's sometimes just that they wanted an easy last year. But... we read a lot of things that they read in their junior class and to that I say, it will be even better the second time. Most are okay with that. But then there are the ones who are angry. Every day. And they vent that anger on me. I didn't make whatever decision was made to put you in my lowly class. One of my best moments was last year after the AP test and one of my parachute kids came to me and said, "Miss! That book we read was on the AP test!" Ha! And let me tell you, that kid had been a pill and a half all year. Ya know, there is some thought behind what we do in class. Just a little.

And then there's my special class. The really messed up kids all put together. As far as I know, only one has an actual diagnosed problem and he's really sweet as long as no one heckles him. The question is how to acheive that. I have two kids that I was warned about beforehand, which was very helpful. I wasn't flabbergasted the first time one kid screamed out in class, "Is that a rotisserie chicken?" and then "A rotisserie person?" when he saw a picture of a bog person. Much tamer than the almost legendary story about him shouting questions about anal warts because he'd seen something on TV. I'd also been warned to separate him--physically--from everyone else. Not fast enough--"Miss, ________ gave me a wet willy!" High school seniors. I told them I'm not certified to teach elementary school, a comment that usually embarrasses kids.

And tomorrow is their test of their summer reading book. All assignments have been turned in and I am done fighting them about it. My favorite was the girl who had a teacher friend of mine last year who remembered telling her the assignment. She said there was an email going around to all of the senior English teachers saying that we were giving them extra time blah blah blah. Um, first, "the senior English teachers" is four people, myself included. One person doesn't check email, so only three of us would be emailing, which doesn't really count for "email circulating." Plus, the four of us talk to each other almost daily--informally. So... nice try. And tomorrow--tomorrow--it's all over for this year.

Next up is writing college essays. It's a whipping for me because it's at least three essays per student, including revisions, in quick succession that I have to grade. It's obviously a very useful exercise for most of them, though, and they tend to be fairly motivated to do it. It is always a fun glimpse into their writing styles, which are mostly abysmal. No, you can't use text abbreviations in your college essay. You can do that l8r once u get in.

So, that's my thrilling life. Trying to keep my head above water as I get acclimated again, get to know 150 strangers, try not to freeze to death, find some time to run, go to choir practice, etc.


dmd said...

Have I told you that my smallest class has 39 students in it? Yeah. That's right. I'm the only APES teacher and the only Repeat Bio teacher. They hired someone to take either one or 2 entire classes from me and then split the rest. I can't wait til she gets on campus. Until then I have 86 AP 2 classes. Good times.

Kate said...

Holy crap! That makes me want to cry, just thinking of it. And that room is not large to begin with--is there even enough floor for them to sit on? I'm so sorry! That woman can't come soon enough.

AlaneM said...

K, this may sound dumb but what is AP & what's a parachute kid? I just hope the answer is not totally obvious. :)

Love your school stories, brings back so many memories.

My teacher loved me cos I would read the assigned book in about 2 days & then ask for more. But she also hated me cos I never did my homework. (a'hem)

Keep em coming!!

Mary said...

For the first time, I missed Open House meet the teacher night. But the campus is huge and I can't waddle good enough to run from classroom to classroom in the allotted time... so I skipped it. And my daughter is a senior, almost went to all of them! Almost!

Good luck with your classes!

Kate said...

Alane, I never answered-- AP is advanced placement--above honors. My class is decidedly BELOW honors or AP. So, I call the kids who get kicked out of AP "parachute kids" because they come flying down out of the sky into our poor, sad class. And then they get mad when it's not challenging enough.