Friday, February 09, 2007

If one word was to describe this week, it would be frustrating. Given two words... extremely frustrating...

We started the week with a snow day on Monday, which I will admit was a pleasant surprise. But that seemed to set the chaotic nature for the rest of the week. This was my first week back to teaching all 3 sections of math after my student teacher was done with her first stint. She is taking a few weeks to focus on science and will then come back to teaching my classes. Her time with them was tough for me. She has many great ideas, fun ways to get the even most boring of topics (what can be worse than sorting real numbers??) across to them. Unfortunately a lot of her planning was lost on the kids. Her classroom management needs work. I think she will "get it" but in the meantime, it is so frustrating to watch her struggle to find the magic. Overall, I was terribly disappointed in my kids. I trusted them to be more respectful and attentive, simply because I know that know how to be that way. Sadly, they saw her newness and inexperience as a chance to be rude and disruptive causing her many problems she was not yet equipped to handle.

This week was a starting over with them and me. I "cracked the whip", made new seating charts, did not allow working with a partner, put on my teacher face... a tough way for me to teach, but it did rein them back in to where they were before.

All that coupled with the ongoing winter storm all week, the changes in schedule due to a variety of happenings, me being gone part of the day Wednesday..... made for a tough week.

I feel the weight of mid-marking period grades on my shoulders as I look down the list and see that 30 of the just under 80 students I have for math currently have either a D or E in math. I am sure some of that can be attributed to the student teacher... but even the section I teach had lower than usual grades. It seems a majority of the kids and their parents are simply not concerned about grades. Personally, I do hate grades, preferring to teach so they learn, not so they get a grade, but as parent, if your child were failing, wouldn't you be concerned?

I have a significant number of students who come to class daily without their book, with nothing to write with, don't complete assignments, are much more concerned with writing notes, going to the bathroom, etc... than math.

We had an assembly in the auditorium Thursday. Our policy when we take just 7th graders there is to seat them in every other seat. Partly, for their comfort.. but it is a discipline issue as well. We have WAY fewer issues to deal with this way. However, one girl spoke up and asked couldnt they VOTE to see if they wanted to sit that way or not. Really? Give me a break... School, life, work.... rules are there for a reason.. everything/every place is NOT a democracy. You don't always get a say!

Add in the crack down on the dress code. Girls with their chests bursting forth. Guys with their boxers hanging out... we have decided as a staff to make a concerted effort to change it. I told one young man to pull his pants up - I didn't want to see his boxes. His response? Why were you looking anyway? Thank goodness when I called home, his father, mother and step mom were all totally supportive.. agreeing his comments were disrepective. He came to school today with a new subdued attitude. I wish it were always so easy to nip those things in the bud.Too often when we call parents, we get the same attitude as the students have.

I am glad it's Friday... very glad... Monday will be a new week... I know I still love them all, love my job..... I am just frustrated.... **sigh**