Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hot Peppers... and other Vignettes.

at 7:42 PM
As my students were working on their warm up and writing in their agendas, I hear a disturbance coming from the right side of my classroom. Now, generally, when I hear my loudest girl's voice, a simple "quiet down" restores the peace. This is my best class.

Instead I see one of my students with something in her mouth. She isn't chewing or swallowing. "Don't swallow it!" a student calls out. At this point, I assume it's paper.
"We don't eat or chew things in my classroom. Go spit it out," I direct.
"Oh, thank God!" she says, as she runs to the trash can to spit. Chatting and comments, "that's so gross!" ensue.
A stoic student turns in a bathroom pass. I sign it and let him go.
The girl is asking to go to the restroom to rinse out her mouth. I look over at her again. She's waving her hands and breathing short. I let her go.
Then a student points out to me that another boy is rubbing his eyes. "I need to go to the bathroom. I have something in my eye..." he whines. "You're not supposed to touch your eyes! Like when you're making salsa... don't touch your face!"
At this point I realize what has happened.
Hot peppers.
The students return from the bathroom, with newly bought water bottles they are both downing.
"What did you give them?" I ask my loud one. "IT WASN'T ME! He gave them hot peppers he picked!" She points to another student.
"Alfie, you're going to the nurse." "No, no no! I'm fine." "If you got pepper in your eye, you are going to the nurse."

15 minutes, a lecture on not eating in class, and not daring their peers to do stupid things, and class finally got back on track.

This is just a typical day in my class this year. Oh 8th grade. Always more stories to tell. Which is actually why I've been so busy lately, and haven't had time to update.

I am now teaching 8th grade English at a school in Salinas. I have a wonderfully supportive district and school. And every day is a new, interesting day! From escaping turtles, to broken security cameras... I am never bored.

So far this year I've written students up for death threats, exploding desks flying through the classroom, and a homemade crossbow... (that one was pretty ingenious! And took some planning too. I wish I had a picture. The kid glued two pencils together, and then cut a pencil sized hole through both of them. Attached a rubber band and aimed a sharpened pencil across my classroom)

I have a student who wrote his "I Am" poem at the beginning of the year as if he were Link from Zelda.

I have another who can illustrate letters like the priests of Chaucer's time.

Despite our uniform policy, plenty of character shines through.
I'm fighting a constant battle against white-collared shirts that are see-through. I don't know the policy on shoes! And belt's drive me crazy. "But it's GREEN!" "'s not PLAIN."
On top of that, Admin's changed their policy on grey speckled sweatshirts 3 times. So I just pretend I don't see those sweaters.
And why my students wont take off their sweatshirts in 90 degree weather I have no idea!

I have a period that questions every procedure. And another full of students who can't sit still. Surprisingly, they scored the best on our first benchmark. My quietest class is the one with the pepper fiasco. My loudest class makes me laugh the most.

We have a rotating schedule, so I never start or end the day with the same period. It's a love-hate relationship.

I have a student who has to sit on his desk to do his warm up. I recently moved him to the back of the classroom, and switched up everyone's partners. Today, he realized his partner was no longer next to him in a time of need and while the class was working quietly, we suddenly hear "Flor! Where arrreeee yoooou?!" in a sad-puppy voice. Being the shortest in class, he couldn't see where she sat. Circling the classroom, he finally found his lost partner, asked his question, and returned to his new seat.

I have a student who is afraid I'm allowed to ban him from sugar at school.

And another, who, when told she was interesting, responded to my remark with "my mom says that, too! ..I don't know why..."

I have a boy who plucks his eyebrows in class, and another who believes that boy is the reason for my allergies. "Well, he wears makeup..."

Did you know 8th graders are pros at falling out of chairs? I'd heard it. This year has proven it. 6 in one day was the record. 2 yesterday.

I'm at school almost every day until 5:30 or later. Add BTSA on top of that, and I have no life.

But I'm teaching my favorite stories from when I was in school! "The Monkey's Paw," "Tell-Tale Heart," "Flowers for Algernon," "Diary of Anne Frank," "O Captain! My Captain!" 8th grade standards include a poetry unit and a unit on figurative language!

And guess what?! We have TEXTBOOKS! The district has a pacing guide for the year! We have a scope and sequence! I know... most teachers hate when told what to teach... but after last year with no textbooks or curriculum... I'm ecstatic! I'm so excited to be sent to trainings. My district is paying for BTSA and my support provider is awesome.

I'm making new friends with my coworkers, and I'm really making my apartment my own.

I love my new job.

And the Halloween dance in on Friday! I'm helping the leadership teacher with some art projects. Yay!


Post a Comment


My Life in Limbo Copyright © 2010 Designed by Ipietoon Blogger Template Sponsored by Online Shop Vector by Artshare