I went into school this afternoon to work, and I lasted all of an hour. Apparently they scheduled the heat to be turned on in September...today it is 80 degrees outside. My classroom felt like a sweatshop, can't wait to get teenagers in there tomorrow and smell them. Some of them have recently discovered cologne, and I wish they wouldn't have because they are bathing in it.
Back a few months ago when I was in college and student teaching no one warned me that my student's first writing assignment of the entire year would be horrible. I do continually remind myself to not expect college writing, but some of the things that my students are missing are elementary school mistakes. And I am also going to blame texting/IMing. I am by no means a perfect writer (my mother already informed of typos in my last post), but I just can't imagine a student turning in a formal piece of writing as horrible as the ones I have been avoiding for the past seven days. Seriously I have one student that has passed it so far.
The school I am at determines a lot of things by these assessments (there is either a writing or multiple choice assessment every three weeks). Students that score a 75% or below on the assessments are placed into a remediation class. So most of (like 99%) of my students are going to be in a remedial writing class two days a week during homeroom. This will include the students that failed to turn in an essay at all. I am a little heart broken by the high failure rate. So like an Purdue graduate that went through their teaching program I find myself reflecting, and wondering what the hell went wrong.
I know a few things that went wrong that were completely out of my control. One being that I had three weeks to get them ready, and it is impossible to get students back into the habit of good writing in three weeks, and of those three weeks I have to follow their lesson plan model which needs some tweaking (there isn't enough time for me to go into my issues with this). Two I had no idea what type of students I am getting. I did not have the eighth graders as seventh graders and the seventh graders are coming to me from the elementary school. I am new to the area so I do not know the educational background of community.
I am going to have to deal with the fallout of this assignment. I do not know how parents are going to handle their students getting Cs and below in my class, and Tuesday is midterms so there is no way I can muster enough points to get them to bounce back. There are students that are being retained with the option to be moved up to their proper grade that will not be able to. I figure that these students that should be in a grade above should be able to write way above their classmates if they are truly ready to be put where they belong. I have like 10 students that are retained, and I don't think will be able to move any of them up at the twelve week mark.
I already told one of my students this. He did not take it well, but I wasn't expecting him too. Part of me felt bad, but the other part of me knows it is for the best. Besides I think deep down he is okay with this. He seems happy to not be at the high school just yet. No one likes to hear that they are failing.
I am making a little bit more money now because I am tutoring a student that is homebound (he got kicked out of the junior high, and the alternative school). He comes in every Tuesday and Thursday after school to work with me. There is another student that does this, but works with Lukas. They are both good kids one-on-one. My student is hoping to come back to school in four weeks, but I am not sure if that is going to happen. I also don't know what is required of him to be able to be readmitted to the school. I think I am also going to "coach" academic super bowl. Finally my chance to be like Alex Trebek! And the other English teacher, Karen, does Scrabble Club. Hello geekgasm! (Yes, I just made up this term. And yes I am giving you permission to use it.) We are doing this on Fridays. I already have a tshirt idea in mind.
Actually this past Friday my students and her students played Scrabble. I am hoping we can do it again. The principal liked it so much he did our first observation on us, which made my day because there wasn't much of me teaching.
Finally I am getting to do things with the students that are not classroom related. There are not any clubs (with the exception of the two mentioned) at the junior high. I am hoping to remedy this because the students have nothing else to do besides athletics, and getting into trouble.
Okay well I need to get back to grading so I can start planning what I am doing this week.
Peace Out Reader(s)...
I put the s in () because I only know of one reader..my mom. Hi mom!