Another 11-hour day at work. I had to stay late to plan a workshop lesson on Determining Importance, and I'm working with a "coach" teacher on this lesson, someone who's an expert on Expeditionary Learning. I've never taught Determining Importance (though it's similar to Main Idea), so I was glad for her input. I'd already kind of prepped a National Geo Kids article for the lesson, but needed ideas on how to structure and present the workshop. At SBCS we don't stand and deliver lessons, we do "catch and release"--meaning I give a tantalizing taste of the skill via modeling, then the kids practice, and then we come back together to "debrief" and construct an "anchor chart" of how to do the skill. In other words: the kids participate in constructing the process. I love it. But I've never done it!
Two 6th graders had the audacity to start jawing in my 2nd period class today. I clamped that shit right up by walking over and saying very quietly between them "You are welcome to fight in my room, but remember that I am not afraid to restrain kids who fight, and you might not like it when I restrain you." They quickly found another outlet for their energies. But then I heard that two of my 7th grade Crew kids (Crew is what we call homeroom--it's complicated) got into a fight in Mr. B's class. Mr. B is a slight fellow from Cameroon, and I'm embarrassed to know that they threw down in there and were rolling on his floor throwing punches while he shouted at them. After I heard I went down to the Cafeteria at lunch and gave them a piece of my mind.
In a couple weeks I'm going to North Bay for 5 days with most of the sixth and seventh graders. I'll be staying in a cabin with them, rappelling and climbing rock walls with them, doing the zip line with them, and going sailing with them. I'm kind of excited, and wish I could get my Crew kids to fill out their permission slips. They keep saying "we just gonna stay home that week" and I keep saying "you will be in school doing work that week if you don't go on the trip, or you will be truant and the Big Cheese will show up at your house." These kids don't give a fuck. I would have killed for a chance at a free week at North Bay in 7th grade, with a gourmet cook doing all the meals and cabins with showers and daily free time and science lessons and crazy games and phyisical activity. And all the girls will be there! All I did in 7th grade was science and engineering camp at Virginia Tech(though that was a blast, what with the early internet, the softball league, the toothpick bridge contest, and the easily available kine bud). I found half my Crew's permission slips on the floor ten minutes after I handed them out!
I'm tired, I'm stressed, I'm anxious--but it's all good.