Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Second Week Starts Tomorrow

It’s about a half hour before I want to be asleep on this Sunday night. I’ve done all my lesson-planning, I’ve bought some candy and treats for the week ahead, and I’m ready to commit myself to a second week teaching in Brooklyn. Let me take a deep breath, because last week took a lot out of me.

Let’s start by saying that for every disappointment, there’s a ray of hope, and for every tear-your-hair-out moment I saw some real ambition in my students. After assessing for reading I found that my 9th graders read at level 3 through 7, and I learned you cannot physically keep kids in your class…they’ll leave if that’s what they truly want. I received several hugs from students on Friday afternoon, and spoke on the phone with some guardians that left much to be desired. When they actually spoke English. I had horrifying outbursts, and I had students who refused to remove their head from their desk. I also had hardworking students and a 7:45AM call from a parent concerned about her son when he lied about his homework. Some of the phone calls I made were positive and left me with a sense of pride, even though only half of my class passed their first Bio quiz. I’ve gone through a whole bag of candy, half of my patience, and about 5 hours of sleep a night.

I have found that I can’t shut up about teaching, that it’s the center of conversation with whomever I can rope into a chat. There’s always a thought in my head, or maybe the plans for a solution for a student-problem. I’m always planning, thinking ahead, looking to the future where I’ll have all my students actually stay seated through a whole class.

After a week I feel positive, and I feel a little more down to earth. Othello isn’t going to work with these students when they cannot sit through a 10 minute read aloud without breaking into chaos.

Classroom behavior management, then Shakespeare.


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