"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Friday, September 05, 2008

surviving middle school (again)

teaching has been fun! i started this wednesday, and tho was stressed and more than reluctant to go the first day, since then i've been getting the hang of it and i love it.

fun things i did with the kids today:
-had our first Fun Friday (the kids voted unanimously to play Heads Up 7 Up. we even did a lightning round!)
-kids were excited to play MATH RACE! (see, math can be fun!)
-taught them how to say hello in turkish! ("merhaba"...?) they LOVED that. they were walking around all day saying "merhaba, merhaba, merhaba" back and forth.
-my homeroom kids were really sad not to have me twice in one day today. they say they love coming here to unwind and they like talking to me about their day. that made me feel good.
-today is "scrub day" (the 8th graders - i guess - pick on the younger kids and stick their heads in the toilets and "scrub" them with it) so my 6th graders said they were scared to be bullied. i let them know that Ms. Lee has a zero tolerance policy and that if i ever saw them bullying or being bullied i would make sure to stop it. i also told them my no violence policy and told them the bravest thing to do is walk away. i also taught them the meaning of "escalate" and connected it to "escalator" which was a particularly clever and spontaneous teaching moment, if i do say so myself. :-)
-i also told my students that if they ever felt scared or worried, to feel free to come to my room (207) and that they could stay in my room and eat lunch or hang out and play games. i told them my room would always be a safe space for them. at nutrition and at lunch, my students Orlando and Enrique came by to play tic-tac-toe and to play with playdough and bouncy balls. we listened to music while i got my next class ready, and they shared some of their music interests with me. i have them written down to research later (tho i was really surprised to hear the kids are still listening to Slipknot and the Offspring these days. those were bands I listened to in middle school!)
-had a tough time with my SDC special ed class today. they were being rowdy, calling each other names and being generally disruptive. the entire class stayed after 4th period during lunch for detention, in which they were not allowed to talk and had to practice being quiet. i held a few even longer for being tardy, and then had 2 additional students stay even longer for being disruptive and disrespectful to the teacher and the aide.

= so far so good. i'm being a hard ass when i have to, and having fun when i can.

also: hearing the kids say "bye Ms. Lee!" at the end of class or "hi Ms. Lee" when i pass them in the hall is still one of the things that makes me inexplicably glad.

more later. must clean and plan before i leave school. and i'm really REALLY tired, wanting a nap...

-"Ms. Lee"


Rae Jin Devine said...

I'm very glad you're writing here again. I've been reading but not commenting.

It's so awesome to hear you're having a good time. I can only hope wherever I end up is nearly so engaging.

stephan!e lee said...

don't get me wrong Rae. i may appear to be enjoying myself immensely, but it's only b/c: 1) it's only day 3, and 2) grad classes haven't picked up yet.

as soon as things really get going, i will be weeping on a daily basis. you can count on it.

but yes, i share yr feelings. i too hope i will end up in a fairly engaging place.

hope all is well with you.

Rae Jin Devine said...

I hold no illusions and expect your (well-written) whining soon enough.