Friday, December 10, 2010

This Week in School

I felt like bullet points today.
  • Every day this week I arrived at school before the sun had come up. Monday and today were especially unfun, because the sky was completely overcast and dark, and it was raining. On a Monday morning that's especially depressing.
  • I managed to get all my photocopying done before the first bell two days in a row, although I forgot about the photocopier that does two-sided copies until I had made one set of copies that could have been two-sided, so I wound up stapling said set of papers during first period one day. But this means that students who are missing work now should have access to all the handouts they need to get caught up. (This is a big feat. Either the copy machines don't work, or other teachers usurp them and make 4,762 copies. Bastards.)
  • Yesterday, one of my fourth period students came to hang out before the first bell of the day had rung. She said she had nothing better to do, that she didn't really have many friends, but then proceeded to tell me about her mom, about the dance assembly that she was taking part in later in the day, asked me if I had any kids, and why not ("Because I'm not married yet."), that I should hurry up and get a husband ("I'm getting married in May, kiddo."), that I should bring my fiance to school so that everyone could meet him ("He'd be terrified." "Why?" "Large groups of children scare him." "It does? Why?").
  • We had a dance assembly yesterday afternoon, which means the last hour of my day consisted of watching students dance. They were good; some of them were really impressive, doing flips. (Item of possible interest: Every single performer was female.)
  • I wrote up my first student this week; R. left class before I dismissed everyone, and wouldn't come back after I told him to Get Back Here, so I asked another teacher what the school policy was, to which she replied that a referral was in order. 
    • I kinda screwed up a bit and wrote up the wrong kid. There are two Hispanic boys in the class, both with Hispanic hyphenated last names. I tried looking at their school pictures to ascertain which one was which but one kid was missing a picture, and the other picture was pretty bad. Fortunately the kid I did write up told the Vice Principal the name of the kid who should have been written up, and the kid who should have been written up got a detention. (The kid who should not have been written up was really good about it and was totally down with accepting my apology, which was a relief.)
  • I made a friend in my 8th period class. One student isn't doing especially well but is a voracious sci-fi and fantasy reader, so because I'd expressed interest, every day this week (except for today), he's approached me at the beginning - and sometimes at the end - of class to ask if I'd checked out any of authors he'd recommended. I don't have the heart to tell him I never really got into those genres; fortunately, Ed is interested in those books and knows many of the authors mentioned, so I brought in a book so the kid will think I support his geekery (which I do).
    • Of course, today was the only day he didn't approach me before class to ask if I got ahold of any of those authors.
  • A student begged me today to raise his grade so that he could play in tomorrow's big basketball game against a rival school. I couldn't do it - the kid has a 17% and is missing most of his work - but he spent more than half an hour trying to convince me that if I'd only raise his grade to a 60%, he'd be a model student, he'd hand in all his work by next Friday, I could even write a note to his coach saying he could watch the game but not play, he'd even give me money. There was some major cajoling but I was unbreakable. I felt genuinely bad for the kid, and if he had had a history of really working and trying hard I may have been convinced, but he's missing 17 assignments (he's handed in one assignment this quarter). I offered to stay with him after school so he could make up his work, but apparently there's a basketball practice. (Oh, the irony.)

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