Monday, August 31, 2009

Day #1

A fairly routine day. The sixth graders in my home room were for the most part timid souls, nervous about their sketchy new environs. I had 16 students out of 30 show, and made it through first period with that number. By the time second period rolled around there were 26 in the class and they got loud. Four of the kids were either former students from my 6th grade class last year who flunked or were known to me from other classes. They may get 'provisional' promotions to 7th grade.

2nd period was a bit more active, and I had to bust out the teacher voice and whistle earlier than I'd like, but things went smoothly for the most part. One little guy burst out crying and said he wanted to go home, and then repeated this performance before last period. I tried my best to get him to suck it up because he'll get marked as a 'wuss' or 'pussy' and it will be hard to keep him safe.

Last period was a bit hectic but went ok. I had to blow the whistle, use my "silence" hand-signal twice, and even ended up with some names on the Verbal Warning wall for violating class rule #3.

But the kids are bright and strange and funny and I'm looking forward to working with them this year. The first couple weeks are traditionally the easiest: we'll see!

At 2:38 I was thinking "Wow! No fights today!" when two youngsters started throwing down outside Mr. C's class. His method of breaking up fights is to yell at kids; mine is to get between them, which I did. As soon as I do so they typically stop punching, and if they don't and they hit me then I can restrain them legally, which I did, because one of them swung with his head down and punched me in the side. This particular sixth grader weighs at most 70 lbs, so there wasn't much to the blow, but it was enough for me to wrap him up and put him in the corner for a stern dressing-down.

After school the 'acting' principal announced a 'very short staff meeting' for 3:00, which lasted until 3:50. They gave us a raft of shit for not doing our attendance using the new electronic system, but for much of the day the system was down and we couldn't use it. Typical.

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