Friday, October 17, 2003

Well, so much for good intentions - I started this blog to be my reflective journal for the year but have not written in it since school started. It is now the end of the 7th week and it has been a very frustrating year in many ways. First of all, the union stuff is really getting me down. We are supposed to be under the good old work to rule business but I cannot accomplish much that way and cannot teach when I feel I am doing a disservice to my students so I have been "sneaking" in early - getting some flack from some staunch union supporters, support from others who wish they were brave enough to do the same.

Aside from all that...

The kids I have this year are very frustrating. To get them to complete even a simple homework assignment is beyond my grasp. In social studies yesterday, they tore ads out of magazine - 3 total - they had to take them home and identify each as either a good or service and explain BRIEFLY why it was one or the other. Maybe a 10 minute assignment - 9 out of 29 turned it in.I do not know whether to scream, cry or abandon ship.

The math assignment today (they started in class and had to complete at home - was a 2 sided worksheet - meant to be a simple review before our unit test next week. One side had patterns - we have done TONS of these. They did not follow directions or just wrote in numbers - the one pattern is square numbers - 1,4,9,16,25, etc... we have worked with this extensively - graphing, etc... Still many did not get it correct. The other side of the worksheet had writing algebraic equations, which we have done TONS of and they have been doing awesome at - things like writing the expression for "x more than 13" - they should have written x + 13... not real tough for 7th grade - they wrote all kinds of bizzarre stuff - they swear they do not know what sum, product, increase or decrease mean. I know they do! Even if they had NEVER learned them before, we have gone over them several times. It is like they want EVERYTHING handed to them - they do want to do anything by themselves- they wait for the spec ed teacher to come in because she gives them answers (that is another issue for another blog) -

and those were the students who bothered to complete and turn in the paper!

I can only make things so easy and I honestly feel it is too easy - they are LAZY and WHINY and driving me nuts - I'd think it was me but the other 2 7th grade teachers are not having any better results - one has been teaching for 25+ years and is an absolutely awesome, efficient, excellent teacher - the other is younger, maybe 5 years experience, but a great teacher, and me, with 10 years experience, many of those in special ed. ANd, we are all at the end of the rope with at least half of this group - Parent teacher conferences are next week and I am hoping that helps.

I have talked to many parents on individual students but for the most part, it seems to make little difference. We have several who spend half their time suspended, several other who miss at least 1 day a week, several who miss at least 2 days a week, and then the majority who just do not complete and turn in work - even things we do TOGETHER in class, I get turned in half done, or not at all from many of them. I feel like a B**CH and always swore I'd never be that teacher who lectures, but today I did ....

There are no easy answers, but it does feel good to write...

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