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Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Yesterday’s 4th grade class was a great group of kids. For their earned free time, they played games like chess and checkers while others played the piano.

What a difference a school year makes. All three 4th grade classes last year were a pain in the ass. I know, because I subbed all of them at least once. This year the same kids, at the 5th grade level, are driving the teachers batty. Needless to say, I try to avoid 5th grade assignments at this particular school.

Every teacher (and substitute teacher) has had or will have a “bad” class if you stick with it long enough. But what about an entire grade level?

I haven’t been subbing long (this is my 5th year), yet this is the second school (different districts) where I’ve experienced the entire “difficult grade level” experience.

Interestingly enough they were 4th graders both times I experienced it but the principal at the previous school said it was that way since her particular group of kids entered Kindergarten. Attempts at breaking up the “core troublemakers” had largely failed. There were just too many of them.

Now I know that not EVERY kid in a “bad” class is a jughead, but I wonder just what the critical ratio of jugheads to “good kids” determines the overall “character” of a class?


Anonymous said...

I was just talking about this very problem this week.

I noticed that all the 5th grade classes I ran into last year were quite awful. Some tried to explain it away as "just being 5th graders". I'd known many of these kids for years and it didn't start in 5th grade. They were a wave of obnoxiousness as they moved up the grades starting young. My theory is that there was a bad batch of shots for them all as babies. Some people say mercury in the shots causes autism. I say that something in the shots must cause brats! There's just too many of them to be anything else.

All I know is that you couldn't pay me enough to sub for 6th grade this year. I know what's lurking in that pit!

The Vegas Art Guy said...

The 8th graders at my school have been a pain in the neck since they were in 6th grade. Sometimes you just get a bunch of blabbermouths all at the same time.