Of course it’s always the times when there are classroom visitors when all hell breaks loose. Over the next few weeks I’ll have some students from Eastern’s elementary language methods class coming in to observe my class.  It makes me feel a little awkward already because this was the class I was in last year, and I know what they’re looking for, and I also know I am not teaching in the magical world of the ideal language classroom. Regardless, I am always glad to welcome visitors, for the afternoon at least… I am still unwilling to bring anyone who I care anything for to my 6th grade classes.

Anyway, of course in the fourth grade this afternoon there was every manner of chaos:

  • Someone finding a tooth on the floor
  • Someone else throwing up on the floor, and the consequential scramble as the custodians cleaned it up
  • General OMG IT’S FRIDAY unrest

I’m muy proud of my second graders, though. They are awesome. After only a few weeks of Spanish, I can come ask them questions all in Spanish and have them answer me in complete sentences, spontaneously. That’s more than I can say for any middle schooler I have.

I’m so freaking tired of the sixth graders destroying any interactive, vaguely enjoyable lesson I plan, so that I’m forced to give them static, read-and-respond writing assignments. They are sick of doing them, and I am sick of grading them. While their seven year old siblings can speak in Spanish paragraphs, these eleven year olds can’t even stay in their seats long enough to write a few coherent sentences in English. STOP BEING JERKS AND LET ME TEACH.

The kid whose grandfather I had a meeting with a few weeks ago has been acting up again, despite the lectures we saw his grandfather give him, fingering the belt buckle in his pocket. Behavior improved for a bit, but now it’s nosediving again. I asked him if we needed to set up another meeting with his grandfather, and he said “No, you can’t call my granddaddy – ask the office. Last time he came up here he choked me and they called the police.”

I don’t even know what to say to that.

I spent my lunch break yesterday trying my hand at anger management with a first grader, who was so upset he was punching himself in the stomach. It’s hard to take this kid seriously sometimes because his anger is so ridiculous and cartoonlike, but he was really upset. We tried some breathing exercises and how to teach your body to calm down, but as soon as we stopped it was all clenched fists and ground teeth and tears all over the place.

I find myself counting to ten in my head a lot these days, and doing my own breathing exercises.

Watching the primary grades being dismissed outside, I like watching the kindergartners holding hands with their parents and doing the “kindergarten mosey”… walking every possible wandering direction, with only the parent’s hand to keep them going in any kind of linear direction. Try it. It’s fun.


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