assigned seat
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
sick sucks
been sick since sunday. this isn't fun. if i didn't have monday off, i may have actually considered taking the day off.

tomorrow the student who repeatedly threatened to beat me up returns (on a day by day basis). that class has been "fun" enough as it is. i was rather perturbed when i found the stack of work for him still sitting in the office. i'm sure he'll work on it quietly and without problem while the rest of the class takes the test for which that they didn't feel like reviewing today. (side note - does anyone else have problems with students paying attention during review days? what about starting homework if given five mintues at the end of class to do so?)

the girls in the school were ridiculous today. i did like the student who told me that the principal had told her that she could go to lunch with another class. i told her that until i was notified by the principal, she didn't have permission to leave. of course she then told other teachers that i told her she could go to lunch. i ended up having a colleague cover the class. she actually tried to explain to the principal why she had lied and said the principal has said she could go to lunch early. that was fun to watch.
Tuesday, January 13, 2004
my dog skip
well, one of my students promised to not walk out of class anymore. i forgot to ask her if she'd just skip the entire class. only got the answering machine this time. what really pisses me off is that she skipped a day which was totally review. i was trying to make sure the students started out with a good grade so that they won't just give up after 2 weeks. (yes they will do this.)

on a related subject, absenteeism is getting ridiculous. suspensions, sickness, truency, skipping, pregnancy have combined to shrink my classes to the point where the students seem to think they're doing me a favor to show up. i keep hearing things like "why do we have to do all this work if we're here?"

i ran across a link to a story about bulllies on andrewsullivan.
Dr Juvonen's research found that bullies were admired by their peers, and thus felt good about themselves. Bullies are popular because their dominance earns them respect among the general student population who tend not to sympathise with the victims, the study found.
this fits with what i've been observing. the bullies (and i think we may have more than 7%) seem to be the most self-assured and sure of their self-worth.
Sunday, January 11, 2004
snow job
friday was ridiculous, but was rather nice for me (ignoring that i have set topics to cover before the end of the semester).

i woke up, and - immediately upon gaining my senses - i remembered the impending snow. i opened up the ibook and looked at the weather report. it didn't appear on the radar that snow was falling (there is no window in my room, smart alecs). i figured that we would have school since the buses (i spell it with one s to keep one from inferring anything) would already be rolling. i then went downstairs and noticed my car was covered in white, and it was still snowing - lightly but constantly. i called the central office, but there wasn't even a recording. oh well.

i arrived at school, and it's still snowing. i go through a myriad of errands/todos during my first period planning. the principal announces that any changes due to the weather will be relayed over the intercom. as i start teaching (i'm ready, feeling good, and we have work to do), i realize this is not going to be too productive. i think the students have already gone home in their minds. after about 30 minutes, the intercom crackles to life. the principal announces that school will be cancelled at 11. half the school is sent to lunch immediately and the rest follows minutes later.

the students leave the classwork on their desks. i'm just confused by this decision. the ground is still warm from earlier in the week. while the snow is piling up and covering the roads/sidewalks right now, it will be clear (or at least much, much better) when school is scheduled to end.

instead, the kids are rushed through lunch and shuttled onto buses in a wild confusing torrent.

the other teachers are complaining "do they not care about us?" when we're informed that the day is to be a full teachers' workday for us. i'm quite pleased. i have work to do, the roads should be clear then, and we get paid for a full day. all in all, a rather positive occurence.

i do admit that my prediction as to when the snow would end was about 90 mins too early, but the roads were fine when i left around 3:30 (though pretty much everyone else left earlier). i also found it's much tougher to stay awake when you're not walking/talking but sitting/typing.

i hope we get a few of these "casual fridays."
Wednesday, January 07, 2004
just walk away
once again a pretty good day. i did have a few students decide to walk out. this is not uncommon at the school. (i know since they knock on the my door when they've walked out of other classes.) it's a rather inauspicious way to start the new semester. i made a few parent/guardian phone calls today. i was seriously slack in doing so last semester. we'll see if this makes an impact. the principal is really pushing phoning home. at least this way on the discipine referral forms i can check the yes box next to "has the parent been contacted?"
Tuesday, January 06, 2004
feels like it's been a week already
like an idiot i didn't get a full night's sleep. (on the plus side, i think i'm now back on schedule.) i was dizzy and lightheaded at times today. that's not normal or fun.

i think it was a pretty decent day. i did get a rather surprising amount of teaching in. the students did a surprising amount of work. there were questions and volunteers. that was good stuff. even in the midst of this, there was the following:

Incident Details:

During the class change, I stood in the hallway as usual. I checked students as they entered the classroom for dress code violations. As Firstname entered the classroom (tardily), I reminded him that he needed to tuck in his shirt. He did not do so.

As I started the general overview of the class, Firstname was still standing up/leaning on a desk. I told him that he needed to be seated in a seat. He stated that he would. I continued, but he did not sit down. So several minutes later, I reminded him. Once again I reminded him to sit in his seat. He mentioned that his knee was hurting. I told him he could stretch it out in front of him if needed. Yet he still stood, and later on I had to remind him to sit down one more time before he did so.

As I reviewed class policies, he kept interrupting me. Each time I told him he needed to raise his hand to ask a question. (The one time he did so, I immediately called upon him, but he'd forgotten his question.) He did not respond positively to the class policies. I started the class material for the day and then passed out a worksheet. The students all completed it, and we reviewed it. This went rather smoothly. Firstname was engaged, but was also somewhat "overly engaged" as he would shout out that I should not review certain problems. I reminded him that he needed to raise his hand.

Firstname voiced his displeasure that we would attend the late lunch. He repeatedly stated he needed to "talk to the honeys." After lunch, I gave the students about 10 minutes to complete the worksheet that was distributed just prior to lunch. Firstname completed nearly all of it and then started humming and drumming on the desktop. This was both a distraction and made it much harder for the other students to hear the answers as we went over the problems. I told him he needed to stop making noise and start the last problem. Firstname did answer questions along with the class but was not responsive to follow-up questions. He continued drumming/humming.

When the class had reviewed all but the last problem, I continued asking the students what answer they'd found for the problems. One student asked for more time. As I waited, I once again told Firstname he needed to stop drumming and find the last answer. He haughtily asked in response if I was "his daddy." I stated I was not, but I was his teacher and he needed to finish his work. He then repeated "oh, so you're my daddy?" a couple of more times. He seemed to become increasingly upset and said that I stated that he had not done any work since he did not do the last problem. (I may have said he needed to complete his work, but I never stated he did not do any.) He then started swearing., (fuck, fuck, fuck...) and said he would knock me out (or something close to that.)

I told him that was enough, and it was time to leave. I stood by the door as he slowly came - continuing to utter similar threats. As we walked down the hall, he walked quite slowly and even stopped to talk to a couple of students and stated to them that he was going to get me. I stopped each time (as I was ahead of him) to ensure that he would continue following. Several times he called out for me to "come on" and said he'd take me out. When he finally made it to the end of the hall where I'd been waiting, he feinted as if to strike me. I just turned to continue and told him to keep walking.

He kept talking aggressively and I passed Mr. Scienceteacher in the stairwell I asked him to escort Mr. Lastname to the office. I then proceeded directly to Ms. Principal.
if any of you are students, please don't believe that your teachers enjoy writing you up. at least this one can't stand it; it's the most annoying waste of time. (although for readers it does provide an easy post.)

i intended to call a couple of parents tonight, but i left the list of numbers at school. annoying. if i hadn't had to type up that crap...

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