Here are a few things I somehow managed to push out of my head in the 4.5 years I was out of the classroom:
- Once that bell rings and there are kids sitting in your classroom, you can't just leave if you need to use the restroom or get a drink of water. I mean you can, but there is no telling what you might walk back into.
- No matter how hard you worked on a lesson, just be prepared to shove it aside when the principal or someone else says, "We are all going to the gym right now."
- 7th graders are incapable of just sitting and listening without talking. Even if for some reason they must resort to talking to themselves, they still MUST talk out loud.
I have small classes all periods, but then again I work at a small school. Except one. I have one period that has twenty-six 7th graders. (Now you see why I have that third bulleted point!!) It is the last period of the day, twenty-six 12 years old the last period of the day! Whose bright idea was that? :) Actually since the school is soooo small they don't have anyone at this time to teach an art or music class so these kids get to have TAKS preparation class instead of an elective. (TAKS is Texas' standardized test-Thank you No Child Left Behind!)
I have had to resort to a trick a long time teacher taught me. Since I have them last period, I can hold them after the bell without worrying about another class coming in or the ones I have being late. When they get too loud I start counting seconds out loud. The kids I am standing next to can hear me and they start shhhing the others. I stop counting when they are all quiet and will start again where I left off if I need to. (I have to write it down so I don't forget where I was!) How many seconds I count, that is how long after the bell they have to stay. After one week, the longest they have had to stay is 36 seconds. I will break them yet! :) Did I mention that out of the twenty-six I have eighteen of them 2nd period as well?? Let's just say I know the 7th graders, and will have them again next year as 8th graders. Welcome to the life in a small school. :)
Here are two quotes from students from last week that cracked me up along with my thoughts in italics.
- From a 9th grade boy who had for some reason smelled a piece of paper, "Hey, this smells like fresh corn!" (Seriously, fresh corn??? Other kids were laughing too and said things like, "I can understand if you had said pizza or pie, but fresh corn??" So yeah fresh corn I guess has a different smell.)
- From and unknown 7th grader after another unfortunate kid passed some gas in class, "Whoa there big boy!" (I think it was the unexpectedness of this response that cracked me up and yes I had to start counting seconds after this happened to get them quiet again!)
So that was the highlights of my week. I am exhausted and very very very grateful that this is a 3-day weekend. I need it to get caught up...no get ahead on lesson plans so I will have more time to play during the day! :)
Feel free to send me your pity, glad you are not me, or you feel my pain comments!