It happened to me last week in a 6th grade class. I’ve worked with this class before when they were 4th and 5th graders. Nothing has changed. If anything it’s gotten even worse.
This class behaves as if every school day is a party day. That’s not to say that everyone in the class behaves this way, but when a good 80% of the class is in full time party mode, the other 20% disappear in the chaos.
After several attempts to get them into the mysteries of bar graphs and histograms for the math lesson, I gave up.
“I see we aren’t going to get much done today so…the text book page for today’s Math is on page 221. Read it yourself and figure it out on your own. The homework assignment is on the board. If anyone has any questions, you can come to the back of the room where I’ll help those who are motivated to do so. I’ll let your teacher know that she’ll probably have to repeat this lesson tomorrow since it isn’t happening today.”
With that, I went back to the teacher’s desk in the back of the room and sat down…waiting to see what affect that had on the class. None!
Not one student came to the back for questions or help. In detailing the events of the day for the teacher to review, I included a note that she would probably have to redo most of the day’s lessons.
“Sorry I couldn’t do a better job for you” was my closing line on the end of day report.
I met the teacher in the teacher’s lounge a couple of days later. She apologized to me for her class and said they are like that for her also and it’s not just an act they put on for subs.
In asking why the school hasn’t tried to break up this group into different classes, she told me that ALL the 6th grade classes are like hers if not worse.
At least I can take a day off after an experience like that. The teacher isn’t so fortunate.