Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I'm discovering that things around school don't get any easier as we get closer to vacation. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I haven't posted in a while because there have been so many "incidents" in my classes that I have been overwhelmed with frustration thinking about how to put it down into words. If you see me over the Christmas break, remind me to tell you the full version of these stories. For now, let me leave you with this teaser: 2 screaming/cussing fights involving a pregnant girl, one physical fight between 2 guys that I almost ended up in the middle of, and countless administrators, resource officers, and school police officers in my classroom (all at the same time one day...) This is all just in the last 2 weeks.

I am constantly amazed at the aggressiveness and combativeness of this group of kids. They seem to gain strength from cursing, screaming, and totally ignoring any and all authority.

In other news, my geography class is completely hopeless. I hope they forget my name so I won't be blamed in the future when they mistakenly identify "Afghanistan" as a religion (like one young man did today). I just finished making their final exam. It will focus only on vocabulary terms and identifying major geographic features (like North America).

Today, my co-teacher pulled one student out of class due to her constant disruption, foul language, and absence of any work. After spending some time with the student and another special education teacher, my teacher came back and informed me that he had "figured out the problem" with this student. She can't read. He said she couldn't even recognize some basic words. No wonder. No wonder all of her work is copied from her friends. No wonder she acts out every day during our school-mandated 20 minutes of silent reading. No wonder she talks and goofs off during classwork. So sad. She is in 10th grade. She was in special ed for behavior disorders, but I guess no one ever figured out the main problem. This is what happens when we aren't allowed to fail students. Maybe she could have benefited from another year of 1st grade.

Wow. I am so ready to take a step back from all the madness for a couple weeks. Christmas break is almost here. In the words of Pat Green,"just 3 days." (3 long days)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Home Stretch for 1st Semester

Before leaving school for the fabulous 3-day Thanksgiving break, the whole school (well, everyone that decided to show up the day before a break) assembled in the gym for the "Thanksgiving Program." Every homeroom class was supposed to assemble a basket of canned foods for needy families to present during the program. My kids brought in a whopping total of 2 cans. Thank goodness Kenneth took me to stock up a few days earlier, and I filled the basket so it didn't too pitiful.

Someone at the school is in the Christmas spirit. There are big snowflakes all over the walls, light-up reindeer in the lobby, and ornaments hanging from every intersection of the ceiling panels in the front hall. Whoever hung the ornaments was probably trying to show a little school spirit by choosing only blue and silver decorations; however, to the untrained eye, that color scheme makes it looks the the Hanukkah aisle at Target.

I can't believe I have less than 3 weeks left in this semester. Praise the Lord for carrying me through this far. Things will be extra hectic these last couple weeks, but it helps to see the light at the end getting a little closer. There have been many moments this semester when I sincerely did not believe I would make it to December.

Here's an intriguing question that one of my freshmen asked me today: "What would you do if you accidentally killed someone?" From the way he asked, I knew this wasn't just hypothetical. I decided it was probably my responsibility to make sure that he hadn't actually killed someone, so I had to find out where this question was coming from. He didn't give too much information, but from what I could tell, he and his friends had been involved in a practical joke that caused another friend to pass out, which scared them all. It seems that everyone is fine now, and hopefully a little more cautious with their jokes too. Oh dear.