Before He Cheats. Heh.

You have to get up pretty early to cheat on Ms. V.

I laughed so hard, I nearly spit out my yummy drink this afternoon.  My students have VERY creative ways of texting…in their pockets, in their book bags, under the table.  I catch myself in AWE of these students, and know I would have done the VERY same thing.  We were lacing brownies with *stuff* in high school, but I digress. (My Mom reads my blog.  Sorry, Mom.)

I try to tell them, “Look, I’m old.  If there is one trick that you can think of that I haven’t thought of or done, I’d like to know what it is.”  Texting is nothing more than passing notes…or is it?  I have a permanent iPod charging station in my room, because I KNOW they are doing it.  Might as well have the energy for break or lunch.

I mostly have very sweet students.  Today, however, tested my nerves.  I can take aggressive students, I love assertive students…Passive aggessive kids tend to push my buttons, however…That little clicking or rapping, and I look and they stop, etc…SO annoys me.

Today, I tell “J” that she has to finish her work out of the class because she is so disruptive.  Her reply?  “Good, then I won’t have to look at your face.” 

For the first time, I had no words.

Next, “M” tells me “You aren’t a runner.  You don’t look like a runner.  YOU couldn’t be a runner.”  He told me he ran 4 miles in 30 minutes, and I was impressed, and threw around words like, “lactate threshold”, “PR”, “sprint”…he wasn’t impressed.

Well guess what I’m showing him tomorrow.

2008 2009 medals & bibs

Yup.  Bibs on the left are 2008, on the right…the current year.  In the middle, my training programs. 

I’m on the beginning of two weeks of taper.  I am too a runner.  Pffffft.

An Idea Is Born

Finally, I get to the gym.  My inner thighs…well look away if this too much for you.  They are so sore.  Like someone has been hitting them with bricks. 

I was on the elliptical today, when the local trainer from the gym brought in a 13 year old boy.  Mind you, these are my favorite kids:  slightly out of shape, probably eat crap food, want to get healthier, not great scores in PE.  I taught PE in Jr. High for 4 years, and am now doing 1st-6th grade.  This kind of student really inspires me.  Why? 

Because, I see myself in their eyes.  I could never compete, was really uncoordinated.  But, at least we had fitness.  It was the 70s.  It was mandatory…but, where has real fitness and fun gone?

So, I have this idea.  You know how those expensive tutoring clubs meet after school?  They help with homework, and promise to bring up scores?    What would happen if we could help kids bring up their fitness scores, and improve overall health? 

I have a dream.  That all the non-fit great students could actually change their life one day at a time.  Hmmmm….

I have my work cut out for me.

40% of my students passed their T1 writing proficiency.  40%. 

It’s gonna be a long, long year.  The kids I’m working with, who are second language learners, swap their verbs round and round between past and present tense.  I was weary just reading them.

I thought the poem would have touched them.  These Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden.  I think they got it…that they understood how to connect with the poem.  Sadly, if you can’t write a coherent essay about it, it doesn’t matter.


the mayflower…et al

Okay, this is funny. Well, maybe not funny to you History Teacher types. I teach 3 periods of AVID, and we are starting our tutorials this week. This is where a student brings a problem for the group. The group doesn’t solve it for the student, but leads and guides him to find the answers for himself.

I did a model tutorial question. The question I posed to my 8th grade students was, “Why did the Pilgrims decide to leave Europe for the new land?” Everyone looked at me with blank expressions on their faces.

Another try. “What are you studying in History?”

The 13 colonies

“Okay, so why did they come here? Do you know this?”

It took all period, but finally, finally…we discovered through our textbook (*cough*), that they indeed left Europe because of persecution, etc. They were a bit sketchy on other historical happenings, like the Magna Carta. They had no real clue about the Reformation, and claimed that their 7th grade History teacher didn’t teach them anything. The Anglican church? Never heard of it.

So, why am I putting all these links? I have a secret hope that my students will read them. They usually blog with me on the classroom blog. Perhaps, I’ll send them this way.

I referenced Eddie Izzard. eddie_izzard.jpgI thought there was hope when one student said, *Hoocha Hoocha Hoocha Lobster*, but she didn’t know the answer either.

A side note? I am a MEMBER of the Mayflower Society. My ancestor was William White. His pregnant wife was the first Pilgrim to give birth in the new land. Alas, she was also the first bride, as poor William died the next spring.

The tutorial? It was a hoot. I did my *How-did-you-get-to-the-8th-grade-without-knowing-this?* speech. Fun and sad all at the same time.