Friday, October 12, 2007

a nearly stress free week!

This week has been alright. I think I'm getting into a good pace. Still a little too brisk, but more manageable. The most helpful part has been the face that D got himself suspended for 6 days and that makes my second period classroom about a hundred times more manageable. It's amazing what havoc one child can cause. I found out some other disturbing things about him that make me wonder how this kid can ever avoid the fate of so many New Orleans children: in and out of jail, dead on the street. All I can think of right now is the good of my other 49 kids and that good means that this one kid has to go. He's a terrible influence and I don't have the tools to help him straighten out (if in fact he ever gets the notion to make something better of himself).

I also had four other boys on in school suspension for Thursday and that made my Thursday go by like butter. The absence of them made my other trouble case, SR, look like a completely different kid. He did all his classwork and then some and he never once talked back to me, mocked me, or argued about it. I hardly recognized him.

Started making my kids serve detentions with me this week during their P.E. I am trying to cut down on the exorbitant gum chewing and eating in my class. I tell them to spit it out and I end up catching them another half dozen times in class. So I am back to my three strikes. I tell them once to spit gum out as they walk into class. Any breaking of the rules once they are inside goes against their three strikes. They get three chances and on the fourth anything they get to spend P.E. with me in my freezer of a classroom. Too early to tell whether it is working (a lot of my kids seem indignant but that's middle school for you), but one of my worst gum offenders had detention yesterday and I didn't catch him today. I made the gum chewers fill in every single square on a sheet of graph paper with GUM, one letter per box, until the paper was full. I hate having to give up my free planning periods to do the detention but hopefully it will make my life easier for the rest of the day.

On the subject of getting my teaching butt organized, I set up a bulletin board system so that my kids have to be responsible for their own missing homework. No more putting together homework packets for three weeks. They have a week to turn in a missing assignment and then they are out of luck. I've got folders for each day and little cards with missing assignments marked off for each kid. I'm rather proud of it.

I also got to hand my kids over for a chunk of today to work on the budget finally. It was fantastic. Get to do it again on Monday for part of the day. Got the principal all set up with a much more manageable spreadsheet for the school's petty cash account and started setting up the larger budget into something that will be easier to track. Also gave him a couple of derby tickets.

Marigny Antoinettes vs. Crescent Wenches is coming up next weekend. I'm stoked and terrified. I've never had to jam in a bout before and I think I'm going to have to do it this time. Possibly going to sub for another team too (it's a doubleheader), but no decision has been made. If you haven't got tickets yet get them now!

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