Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Day in My Life

Highlights of my day:

1st Hour-Planning. Worked on my own “homework” for my Digital Natives class. I've learned (after only about 24 solid hours of trial and ERROR) how to make a movie using Moviemaker. Today, I turned it in. Watch for me on Teachertube some day down the road!!

4th Hour Kids finished up some very good parodies on The Night Before Christmas!

5th Hour Stood, silently amused, as student, Colin (having arrived at school from an appointment) ranted about how I certainly had told him that he would NOT need to do any work that he missed when he was gone, and that I should instead allow him to play on the computer. After several minutes of listening to ridiculous myths and denials, I responded, “Are you done yet? If not, get off the computer; you can sit and do nothing if you like, but you will not play on the computer instead.” His reply, “I wish I had a gun right now!” and he pointed a fake gun to his head. Funny thing was, after insulting my intelligence, my teaching skills, and my compassion level, he buckled right down and got to work. Too bad he’ll still have to serve the detentions for his tirade.

6th Hour-Lunch. (And hunting down an AWOL student.) In one hall, I stopped to talk with a gen ed teacher to ask her if she would agree to modifying a paper's requirements for a student. She said, “I understand. There’s only so much we can do. Sometimes, there just isn’t going to be any higher level thinking going on, no matter what we do.” For some reason, this really rung true to me (and also cracked me up).

7th Hour-Math Decided to never again grade an assignment in class. Too many:
“What was number 6 again?”
“What’s the answer for number six?” and
“I didn’t get number six.” (all in the same MINUTE of time).
One student missing (asthma attack at lunch). Found out later that he deliberately worked himself into this attack so that he could "have a day off from math." Nice.

8th hour One-on-one with "Tyler" (a relatively new student). Got 10 minutes of work out of him and then had the misfortune of finding out what happens when you tell him he can’t play on the computer (45 minutes of emotional meltdown)

9th hour Spent the entire hour holding my ground as Tyler tested to see if I would cave, and the other students hovered at the edges of the classroom, pretending to do their homework from other classes. His efforts included:
1) Rants about how he doesn’t understand why I took it away for tomorrow, too (as a result of his continuing to harass me about using the computer.)
2) Insults about my modeling appropriate behavior (Why won’t you talk to me; you’re supposed to be a role model! Just tell me why, and I will stop yelling! Are you stupid or something?)
3) Tears (lots of them)
4) Yelling, foot-stamping, angry facial expressions
5) Getting into my physical space. (His own is just an arm’s reach, apparently. Mine is yelling’s reach.)
6) Tipping desks and a couch (but not before making sure no one was in the way)

When the bell for the end of the day rang, Tyler was still there, crying in a heap in the beanbag chair; poor kid. It must have been exhausting for him to get himself so worked up, and all with no result other than an out-of-school suspension. Wish I could have done something to head him off (besides letting him play on the computer), but sometimes there’s just no competing with genetics.

How was your day?

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