Thursday, April 17

In Teacherland

My students made that card for my husband's birthday.  Witty, no?  And while this next comment will probably detract from your overall enjoyment of the card, please note the correct usage of it's and your.  Double win!

And now, for other news.  [Be forewarned, I am foregoing segues]:

:: We hosted a ninth grade night a couple weeks ago.  We set up booths and made flyers describing the various classes and extracurricular activities sophomores could choose.  I manned the Honors English and basketball booth (that way I could tell students they could only be in Honors if they also tried out for basketball.  Some say coercion, I say adept teaching pedagogy) .  Honors students had to pick up their summer homework packets, so I had a constant herd of nervous ninth graders stopping by with their parents.  More often than not, the following exchange occurred:

Parents: "Is honors hard?  Did you take it this year?"
Me: "I...taught it this year?"

And then the parents would apologize profusely, while I reassured them that all was well.  I'd rather look young than unduly old, so no harm done.

:: My students asked me when my birthday was.  I replied vaguely that it was in summer.

One student: "Well, what's your address?"
Me: "I'm not giving you my address."
Student: "Well how else are we going to drop off your birthday cake?"

Ah, bless them.  [Though my address must absolutely remain secret because, frankly, you never know what they'll do.  And I tend to incite over-the-top pranking.]

:: My students are doing literature circles for fourth term [I give them six or so thematic book options and they choose the most appealing and read it in groups].  In their groups, I have them discuss consequences for those who don't read; most choose something treat-related.  However.  One group decided on the following consequence: those who don't read must twerk in front of the class for one minute.

So basically I have to stifle their creative ambitions, or possibly lose my job.  Choices, choices.  I'll let you know what I decide.

:: I cut my hair over spring break- just a few inches, nothing dramatic [regardless, I'm mourning the lost length].  Anyway, one of my students commented on the haircut.  Another student jumped in:

"You cut your hair?  Where?!  How?"  This outburst was accompanied by wild gesticulations at my head.

One of my basketball players responded, "She cut her hair at the bottom.  The bottom part of the hair was cut, duh."

:: One of my students ran into my room the other day and yelled, "Someone thought I was you, I love my life!" and then ran out.  Ego stroking at its best.  [But seriously.  Some of my students are so nice to me I would be obnoxiously self-confident if it weren't for the students, in equal number, who are so whiny to me.  Teacher balance, you know.]

:: Some of my students called me over the other day to get help with an activity.  I crouched next to their desks and pointed at various parts of the assignment, talking them through the steps.  I asked if that helped and they nodded, smiling.  I returned to my desk.  Thirty seconds later they start cracking up and call me back over.

"Sorry about this, but we were pretty distracted by your wedding ring when you came over.  We were basically just staring at your ring and not listening to anything you said.  Can you go over this again?"

:: One of my most adorable, eccentric students finished his standardized test early and picked up his copy of The Help.  He then proceeded to belly-laugh sporadically at the book.  It was such a joy to watch.  He was just bubbling over, absolutely loving the story.  At the end of class, he had 100 pages to go.  Later that day, between classes, he sprinted into my room.  "Did that just really happen?  That ending!  That just really happened?!" I started to respond but he interjected, "Sorry, we don't have time to adequately discuss.  I'll come in tomorrow during lunch.  Bye!"

:: My juniors just finished 1984 and we've been playing what I deemed The Great Game [self-aggrandizing title, so what].  They have to create societies, publish propaganda, take other groups to war, and build world wonders.  I wasn't sure whether they'd really buy in, but my fears were unfounded as they have gotten so into the game that whole societies now loath one another.  Some of the students have gotten downright vicious.  It's kind of like watching video gamers argue about tactics and insult other players' methods.  Battle of the nerds, if you will.  It's both lovely and horrifying to watch.  I'll have to do some love one another activities next to repair student relationships.

And...this turned into a novel, so I'll stop rambling here.  The moral of this post: teaching is a lovely, exhausting, confusing, funny gig. 

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