Well... I wish I could say integers are going better but in reality, things are much the same. I truly wish my math classes were tracked. If I had those top 25 kids all together, we could soar. Then my middle group would plod their way through slowly but steadily. And last... the group who really does not place much importance in much of anything we say or do. I wonder if I had just those 25 together, could I somehow reach them? By moving at a slower pace, could they then keep up? It is so easy to blame them.. blame their lack of homework, their lack of attention to the lesson - but in truth, I know that somehow I am responsible for their not learning the material but I am truly at a loss as to what to do. In years past, I have had the few who seem to not care but it was an obvious few, a very small minority. This year, it seems to be almost half.
The discipline problems with some of the chronics are wearing me thin also. I've always prided myself on being the kind of teacher that kids behave for because I relate to them, understand their age, try to make learning fun... give them opportunities to work with each other, be active, learn new things... but there are these boys this year who, as the language arts teacher said, have the impression THEY are in charge. Just when it seems I am making gains with one, another surfaces to replace him. Or worse, a group of them gangs together - spitwads, rude comments, bullying behaviors - I am just frustrated and at the end of my ropes. After sending 7 to detention yesterday, I have to admit today was better - but I HATE sending them to detention during class - they need to be in my class LEARNING.
ahh.... but tomorrow is Friday... and then next week will be a nightmare... with school Monday, in-service Tuesday - and me gone to MAMSE the rest of the week. Then I can maybe get things back on track - with PTC that week, and hopefully an opportunity to talk to more of the parents I never seem to get in contact with. After the report cards go home with so many D's and E's... I fear my table may be a popular one at conferences.