Monday, November 06, 2006

Busy Day!

I had quite an eventful day at work today!

I subbed the Lit. class for my colleague and had a lovely time of it. The class was a little off balance, I think, at the thought of having a sub - I'm not sure they knew what to think of me as I confidently strolled in and started teaching ("what?! Subs don't TEACH!"). It took me a while to get them to actually start participating in class, though - there weren't a whole lot of people willing to talk to me ("No, no, kids - you don't understand - I'm not asking rhetorical questions up here! What do you know about poetry?) but, once they did, the class went really well. I walked them through most of the lesson plans that my coworker left for me - I may have left something out here and added something she didn't include there, but the overall effect was pretty much the same. I learned that I have to brush up on my mastry of poetic forms; I should be able to spit out AT LEAST the rules for Shakespearean sonnets (I can recite a few of them by heart - and did so, much to the eye-rolling horror of the class - but I can't explicate the form with any certainty).

Something interesting happened in the class, though, and I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. When the actual class started, I handed out the Calvin and Hobbes you see above (click on it for a larger, more easily readable view)- I love to start classes or, at least, new units with comics. As the morning wore on, students dribbled in here and there from the hallway. By the time break rolled around, the class had increased by about 75%, so I told all the kids who didn't have a comic to come up to see me before they left for break so I could list them on the attendance sheet. The strange part, though, was that a BUNCH of those kids never came back. WTF? Do you think that I'm not going to NOTICE? Do you think I'm not going to bust you for it? Uh - I don't think so. Just before class was over, while they were working on their journal entries, I went around to the remaining students and checked them off again. Then, after class, I went to the registrar's office to ask them to dock the kids who showed up late and left early. I'll be damned if I'll let students take advantage of me like that. They don't know me very well, do they?

My public speaking class went pretty well, though I was, in all honesty, expecting a mutiny. I pulled a fast one on them and I felt bad about it, even though I was justified in doing what I did. I'd told them, last Monday, that there would be a quiz today. While I was writing the quiz this weekend, though, I realized that we're just about at mid-term, so I added about half again as many questions and turned the quiz into an exam. They whined and protested when I told them this morning that I'd upped the ante without warning them first, but I assured them that the exam wasn't hard at all and promised that I'd reconsider the whole thing if they bombed.

I'm happy to tell you that NONE of them bombed!! The lowest score was an 82!! I'm THRILLED for them, and I'm not afraid to let them know it. Congratulatory emails are going out when I'm done with this post.

The last bit I have to tell you about today is that I saw that one of the two girls from my Foundations class who did the work I asked them to do - and saved herself from a failing grade - was in the class that's held in my room immediately after my class clears out. Before I left, I did my sternest "YOU! Come over here now, please!" Her face fell and she started to get all defensive, and when my face broke and I told her how pleased and happy I was that she'd done so well and how proud I was of her effort, she nearly burst with the smiling.

I love my job.


Blogger Kizz said...

Nice news about the Public Speaking class, wow! Not everyday you up the ante and people meet the challenge.

November 06, 2006 4:55 PM  
Blogger Tami said...

Rock on! I occasionally miss classroom teaching, but for the most part, I am happy with the flexibility I manage to have each day, now.

I taught middle school for eight years before retreating with tail between legs and staying home with my kids. It wasn't the students--I relished days like the one you described, and the rewards were many--but the bureaucracy and childcare expenses (financial and developmental) that finally did in my teaching career.

It was fun while it lasted, though, and I'm grateful there are blogging teachers out there that I can occasionally live through vicariously. Thank you for sharing your day!

November 07, 2006 10:33 PM  

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