Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The writing assignment for today’s class of 6th graders was to: “Write a letter to a 5th grader about your Science Camp Experience”
Seemed like a pretty straight forward assignment. No additional explanation needed right? Not so with these less than motivated 6th graders. This is the laziest bunch of kids I’ve run into in quite a while and I’ve still got two more days with this bunch.
Whine: “I don’t know any 5th graders!”
Reply: Then address it to: “Dear 5th Grader going to camp”
Whine: “I don’t remember anything about science camp!
Reply: Try and remember or ask your friends what they remember.
Whine: “I don’t get it!”
Reply: (…eye rolling look)
Whine: “Do we hafta?” and “Why do WE hafta do it?”
Reply: Yes and because your teacher said so!
Whine: “How many sentences does it have to be?”
Reply: If you want me to set a minimum limit then I’m going to say fifty! Do you WANT me to set a minimum limit? Na, I didn’t think so.
Whine: “How many paragraphs do we gotta do?”
(See previous reply)
Whine: “What do we write about?”
Reply: Write about what you did, what you liked, what you didn’t like, did anything unusual happen, did you go hiking, swimming, sing songs around a camp fire. Stuff like that!
Whine: “I didn’t go to camp last year. Do I still hafta write a letter?”
Reply: Yes! Either ask someone else what they remember or write about how it was to miss going to camp.
Now that I had pretty much covered all “How little can we get away with” questions, most were grudgingly complying with the exception of one wise ass boy.
WA-boy: “You said we could write about anything that happened at camp?”
WA-boy: Well one kid in our cabin was sitting on his bed and playing with himself…
WA-boy: But it’s TRUE. Just ask…
Reply: Nope, I don’t need to ask! Let’s just keep it to “camp” activities, ok?
Saturday, September 29, 2007
My week long assignment in 6th grade is finally over. It’s been a long week to say the least. One kid, who was MIA most of last week and this, showed up on Wednesday.
Just my luck, he’s part of the clown crowd of the previously identified “Beatles” (John, Paul, George and a 4th whose name isn’t Ringo but DOES end in ‘O’) and the sassy girl.
I swear, if these six aren’t already diagnosed with one of those popular 3-4 letter acronym mental syndromes, I’d offer to make a case for this one: ADAH (Attention Deficient A$$ Holes).
It’s draining to repeat the same phrase over and over and over all day long.
“(Insert ADAH kid name here)! (Insert one of the following)!”
· “Sit Down!”
· “Stop talking!”
· “Stop Interrupting!”
· “Leave him/her alone!”
· “Why are you wandering the room?”
· “No, you can’t eat Froot Loops in class!”
· “Stop throwing that!”
· “Get off the floor!”
· “Clean up your mess!”
· “Get your book out!”
· “Start working!”
· “Get back to work!”
· “No, I don’t have an (extra pencil/ paper/ paper clip/ eraser)
For the final writing assignment, I had them write a personal letter:
Dear, Ms. Teacher
We are glad you’re back! Let me tell you what’s been happening the two weeks you’ve been gone…
Most of the letters were of the “compare and contrast” styles of the four substitute teachers they’ve had these last two weeks.
The worst of the ADAH “Beatles” kids wrote (and I’m paraphrasing with intentional misspelling here because it’s true)”
Dear, Ms. Teacher
We are glad you’re back! Let me tell you what’s been happening the two weeks you’ve been gone.
We’ve had four subseetoots and it was real noisey. The wors one was Mr. Homework. He is really mean. Please, please, please, never, never, never, never, (repeat another 10-15 nevers) have Mr. Homework subseetoot for us agan!
Sinserly, (The worst of the Beatles)
For the first time this week, kid I totally agree…
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I got a late call, half day assignment for 6th grade this afternoon. I wasn’t too sure I wanted to take it because it was for one of my least favorite schools. I’m not sure what it is about this school but I haven’t had much luck with classroom control here. But Monday was a holiday and I hadn’t had any luck in picking up a class yesterday so I took a chance today to see if my bias was still valid.
The principal was running the class when I arrived. Twenty girls and ten boys. I was to be with them for only about two total classroom hours today.
Right from the start, one boy, S---- was in my face, bouncing off the walls, interrupting and interacting with other kids in class.
He was literally absorbing, extruding, evacuating and sucking all my attention and patience to just try and keep him from disrupting the whole class.
Early on I learned not to let students leave their seat to ask me questions. Unless they are seated and raise their hand first, I don’t acknowledge them. If they approach, I cut them off with: “Is this the proper way to ask me any questions? Back to your seat, raise hand and I’ll come to you when I can.”
It sometimes takes two or three repetitions to get everyone onboard but it’s necessary. If I don’t, I discover myself surrounded by kids firing endless questions while the rest of the class is walking around the classroom all day.
S---- literally could not perform this simple instruction.
Whenever he would shout out some inane, off topic question he was always walking half way to the front of the room. Each time I would make him walk back to his seat and only address his question when his hand was raised.
An hour later I was happy to escape to the teachers lounge while they went to lunch.
One of the other teachers asked how my day was going. I told her it might be a lot better if I could just get rid of one kid. She knew right away who I was referring to.
She clued me into this kid’s problems. He has ADHD and Asperger’s syndrome. He has a one-on-one aide to be with him in class. He has a whole slew of stuff he’s allowed to do in class that the other kids aren’t. He’s allowed to chew gum to help him concentrate and use a special mechanical pencil so he doesn’t eat the wooden ones. It seems that S---- has a long five year history with school staff and everyone except unsuspecting substitute teachers know about his condition.
When I commented that I hadn’t seen the aide in class today, she told me he’s only with the aide for two hours…in the morning.
None of this information was in the special instructions on the sub assignment line or in the lesson plan. Coming in, I’m thinking this kid just has a mongo case of WAS.
After lunch, I tried a bribe. I had a recent issue of Car and Driver magazine in my backpack and offered it to S---- to keep if he could sit quietly for just five minutes so I could go over the instructions for the science test. He indicated that he could, but within two minutes he’s literally banging his head on the table and barking like a dog. I called the office for someone to get him before he hurt himself.
He resisted leaving but finally left while loudly protesting to the office staff lady that it was everyone else in class that got him into trouble. “It wasn’t my fault!!”
Twenty minutes into the science test, the principal calls to ask for two of the boys to come to the office relating to the S---- situation. It seems that S---- is making claims that these two were responsible for getting him into trouble.
When I asked if they could come down after the test, he said “No, they need to come down now.”
No questions for me about how this kid was acting in class? This school will remain on my “least favored” list for another year.
Monday, December 18, 2006
We returned home last night to five missed calls for subbing jobs for Monday so I wasn’t surprised with this mornings call for a half day afternoon 4th grade assignment. It seems this last week before the Christmas break is a busy time for substitutes.
Lesson plan is minimal and easy.
1. Go over answers to the math exercise they were doing when I arrived.
2. Lunch (40 mins)
3. Make sure they pay attention while Parent/Volunteer reader reads the story.
4. Cursive writing exercise (20mins)
5. Social studies – 6 pages
6. Clean up, Pack up and Go home.
Total class time 2.5 hours! This should be an easy day!
It’s such a short amount of time that any one student shouldn’t have had enough time to find that button that really ticks me off.
This kid has NO impulse control. Whatever thought sails through his head detours out the mouth, hands or feet. Sometimes all three at the same time! Constantly!
Hopefully my report to his teacher will allow me to have the last shot as he spends 20min of recess time on the bench tomorrow.