Thursday, August 24, 2006

lets put it into context

Today was such a better day. I still feel like I'm walking around with some form of the plague (and my nose is so red I'm concerned about what the parents are going to think of my extra-curricular activities), but I got to teach today. It wasn't amazing, I still had some pacing issues and the kids definitely have transition issues, but we're getting there. It just felt so good to be doing something other than shushing kids and answering questions about the scantron. Today we learned about using context clues to define vocabulary words. My kids were pretty darn good at it. One of my classes is very chatty and they were less good at it, but we'll fix that tomorrow. For those of you non-teacher blog readers let me fill you in on a little check for understanding we use. It's called an Exit Ticket. Exit tickets can occasionally make or break your day. You'll feel like you've just taught the best lesson ever in the world and then you'll give an exit ticket (usually consisting of 4  or 5 questions to test the skills or knowledge learned that day) and the responses will be completely off base. Or scenario number two, you'll have the most chatty class in the world and you'll hand out an exit ticket and the kids you spent all hour quieting will be the ones how have no idea. Scenario two is my issue right now. I love my fourth hour. They're not my third hour. It's a small class. They're babies and they really are quite fun. But the NEVER STOP TALKING. And it's not just Tony and Isabel, it's Alejandro and Jorge and George and Saul and Osvaldo. I've got to come up with some good trick to break them of this. Tomorrow I have to reteach context clues since all my talkers think an appropriate answer for "The thought of eating a rat is abhorrent to most people. What does abhorrent mean?" is C)delicious, tasty. Um, no.

I had my first homework detention today. Five kids didn't show up. So not smart. Tonight is our open house. The worst day to not show up for a detention is the day your teacher is going to meet your parents. Most definitely.

The ones who did show up had to write an essay about why homework is important, why they didn't turn it in and what steps they're going to take to turn in their homework in the future. I'm so that teacher. It was actually kind of fun. Freaking kids, the first homework assignment was a parent survey.

I also put my first kid on behavior contract today. Brian is such a challenge. He's really a sweet kid deep down, but he's a 15-year-old 7th grader who just got out of boot camp and he just can't take this seriously. He met with our assistant principal today and she told him if he didn't shape up he would be sent to the alternative school. I hate that he's being fast-tracked to CEP already, but this kid really knows how to push buttons. I'm going to do my best to help him, but I worry what happens when he leaves my classroom. Hell, lets be honest, I worry what happens when he's in my classroom. It's hard to be non-emotional every day of your life. Kids are so unpredictable.

Tomorrow's another day... but now I have to clean my room. The parents are coming!

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