Thursday, October 5, 2017
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Later, during the student presentations on deserts, I watched one boy pass a sheet of paper to the first student I confiscated the Poysinus essay from. I confiscated that paper, too. Well, actually, it was two papers. It was the Poysinus essay, completed, as well as math homework, and a spelling test all belonging to a fictional student named Fred. Apparently he is 5 years old.
When class ended, I was able to look at the papers. I present them here for your enjoyment and have transcribed them below in case you can't read the pictures.
Thursday, September 7, 2017
1 six-limbed fidget spinner
5 magnets of varying sizes, all round
Minutes of silence: 6
1 half finished comic style drawing
2 books (Captain Underpants and The Lightning Thief)
The smart watch phone part of a smart watch
Most of the math homework
3 class dollars
New Pet Peeves:
Getting in a fight with an inanimate object. And losing.
Forgetting someone was coming to my lesson to help out.
Things I graded:
All of them.
Things I am grateful for:
The student in charge of the calendar remembered his job.
The back row of desks did not move further back during the day.
My instructor (teacher's aide) watched my class while I took two students to finish their tests.
The Dean of students (assistant vice principal?) gave me constructive feedback for the part of the lesson he observed.
We got to the read aloud today. Students even asked for it.
Two of my students changed my schedule for me.
Planning tomorrow didn't take as long as it usually does.
The upstairs printer is working again.
My students read the instructions on the whiteboard and follow them.
I remembered a water bottle.
"Miss Maddox, you have something sticking out of your hair, not your pen."
It was a bobby pin.
Running back up to the workroom just qbefore recess ended, because, despite having already been there, I'd forgotten to get posters. Which is why I went up there.
"Brexit! India! Stop flirting."
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
"Here, Miss Maddox, I made this for you. It's Catwoman."
"Thank you, [name of small child who has spent who knows how much of the day recreating Harley Quinn and associates on small pieces of paper]." Do I remind you of Catwoman?
At least she got her homework done.
Making Miss 7th Grade Math cry because I said she was running when she probably was just walking fast. We were playing a game at the whiteboard where they had to write the name of the continent or ocean on the correct continent or ocean. Don't worry, I knew she was fine when she laughed at the antics of a short boy who jumped to try to reach the top of the board so he could write "Arctic Ocean".
Drawing a world map on the board, freehand, because your computer crashed again right before recess.
Making your students pronounce Pangea correctly, because if they're going to insult your world map you've just drawn on the board, they had better say it correctly.
Wondering why there are students in your class who are supposed to be back in their homeroom at that moment.
Making the new student think you're crazy because you're hyped about reading "Frindle." And you're doing echo reading but your reading is WAAAAAY over the TOP! So she's super confused why everyone is excited about reading.
Trying to plan for the next day even though you want to go home and sleep.
Taking down the "Fidget Spinners for Sale" sign from a student's locker and having a conversation with the student that selling banned objects at school is a bad idea.
Observing another teacher's lesson at the beginning of prep so you can teach better.
Changing the schedule only to have your students point out that it's wrong.
Way more papers on the ground than have even been passed out.
"I'm cleaning under my desk, because I was putting my homework away and I realized it's a big mess down there."
At least he also finished his homework.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
When I returned to the front of the class, this student (Sir Talksalot) was not moving at his desk. His head was resting on his fist. The students in his group told me the thought he was asleep. He mumbled out a taciturn reply letting me know that he wasn't asleep and he was very, very upset about something. (It was one word. It was half a word. The other students had no idea what was happening.)
"Sir Talksalot," I said, "what's going on?"
"THEM!" He said, not bothering to whisper. "They won't stop talking! I was supposed to read the question but they won't stupid listen! It's so stupid! They're being so stupid! I know what teachers feel like! They can't hear me! They won't stupid listen!"
Oh. I thought as I listened to his rant. A light bulb went off. Lightening struck my brain. Oh. They wouldn't stop talking? It was frustrating him? It was frustrating him, the student who would not stop talking from the moment he stepped foot in my class? The student who was only in my class for math and because of whom I gave my small math groups my class money?
OH. This was indeed good information to have.
"How does that make you feel, when they're talking when it's your turn?" I asked him.
"It's so annoying!"
"Yeah! And frustrating! They won't know what to do because they won't listen!"
"Ok," I said, "are they the only ones in your group who are to blame for this problem? What I mean is are there more people in your group besides them who aren't listening?"
He thought for a second, "Yeah."
"Ok. So there are ways that are effective and not effective for helping people pay attention. And you've seen that, right?"
"Yeah, like asking them doesn't work. Like I say for them to shut their pie holes and they don't do anything."
"Right. Ok. So I'm going--Can I give you some advice? Is that ok? Ok, so one thing that works really well is complimenting the people that are listening. So if someone is paying attention, thank them for it."
"Ok," he said.
"And another thing is making sure to be the example. So if you're always paying attention then that's going to help them pay attention, too."
"So do you think you can do that?"
"Yeah," he nodded.
"Alright, head on back to your seat."
Tomorrow's math class might look the same as today's. It might look the same as yesterday's. It might look the same as Monday's. But he listened just a little bit more today after that. He sat up just a little bit straighter. He worked just a little bit harder.
And for me, really, that's a breakthrough.
Monday, August 21, 2017
There's a scene in a Toy Story movie where a toy tells Jessie, "Jessie! Remember your training!"
To which she replies, "But I don't have any training!"
Today felt a lot like this. And the only trouble is, I've had training. A lot of it.
But tomorrow is a new day and I can do better then. At the very least, I'll have remembered my training. Or, you know, some of it.