Friday, September 21, 2007

"ms. em, you got rythm"

I have been working on not yelling. I really don't like yelling. And it doesn't work anyway. I just have to be patient but I got frustrated too early and lost sight of the fact that a few weeks may not be enough to get the kids under control. It may take a few more. So even though my kids were little hellions today, I did not yell. And my kids responded to it a little bit. I had several of them say that they liked my class today, that I am their favorite teacher now that I don't yell anymore (after two days--oh the short memories!). The english teacher has been having problems with them and her frustration is showing. Now the kids' loyalties have shifted quickly. That's the nature of the middle schooler, I suppose.

Also, some of my problem kids are starting to calm down. My worst student was momentarily my best student today. He was for maybe three minutes, the only student in my class following directions to sit down and be quiet. And I made as big a deal about it as I could to the whole class. Yesterday he actually did his work in class and I was so proud. I know that he has issues and he is severely behind but I want him to see that it is worth it - that he's not dumb and he can be something better than all this if he just makes better choices. I really want to like this kid.

This afternoon the school held a sock hop. Rather there were two consecutive sock hops - one for the little kids and one for the older kids. It was the most fabulous thing I've ever seen. All the little elementary school babies dancing around knew the lyrics and the moves for all the songs and we had the most fun ever with them. With our middle school kids, the hormones of course put a damper on it a little, but they were also a pretty good time to be around. A couple of my younger students got me to come dance with them and pretty soon I had a ring of middle schoolers chanting, "Go, Ms. Em! Go, Ms. Em!" and I earned myself some cool points. It was even funnier to see the other teachers dancing around and the kids totally loved it. In my middle school days, if a teacher started dancing with us we would have thought they were the weirdest, most uncool people on the planet. But the culture here is a little different. In my middle school days, we wouldn't have had a second line out of the cafeteria to end the dance either.

After it was over, one of the girls from my homeroom looked at me like I was this whole other person and said, "Ms. Em, you got rhythm!"

I win.

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