I am definitely procrastinating. I have lessons to plan, note handouts to create, Power Points to make.
I don’t want to do it.
So, I won’t. At least for now.
Instead, you get to hear about my bad day yesterday and how, afterword, a few students almost made me cry for joy.
Yesterday was review day. My 7th graders learning Utah Studies played the ultra-fun, super competitive BONK! All went well 1st and 2nd period.
Then my 8th graders came. Goal: Check study guides and play BONK!
3rd period, we started to play BONK!. But, for some odd reason, hump day came early and no one wanted to play. I was sad. I like BONK!. I like seeing my students anxiously reviewing and learning to prepare for a test, but at the same time getting crazy (but still under control) and competitive. Only a very small few were actually participating. So, I made a teacher decision. I hate it when I make teacher decisions. It brings me down. They’re not fun at all. “Ok. We aren’t reviewing and we aren’t participating. We aren’t having fun. So, we won’t play BONK!. Sadly, that means we won’t be able to earn extra credit for the test tomorrow. Go ahead and review with you study guide for the rest of the period.”
4th period came around. Sweet children, albeit a very quiet group. We played BONK! and had fun.
Last semester, it was 3rd period that was the bane of my existence. This semester, it is 6th period.
Monday, they were pretty chaotic and were so hard to bring together and focus without the class clowns getting everyone riled up again, that we were only able to finish our group projects without getting to the review notes. So, yesterday, instead of playing BONK!, we were only going to do our review notes and go over the study guide.
I told them at the beginning of the period, I expected them to behave better than they had yesterday. I had a few joksters rights off the bat. But, we were able to get through the review.
Study guide time. Everyone is still talking. I can’t get a word in edge wise. My consequence of counting how long they need to stay after the bell rings wasn’t working. Usually, they hate it and focus almost immediately. Yesterday, they basically wanted to see how far they can get their new record. So, it was 5 minutes of silence time.
One girl’s cell phone appeared. My junior high has a “no cell phone” policy, so I asked for it. She refused to give it to me. I kept asking kindly, saying she’d be able to grab it later, but she still refused and said she’d walk out. The whole class was now breaking the silence they were supposed to be in, but telling her just to give me the phone, that it wasn’t that big of a deal. She yelled at them. I tried to calm the class down. She walked out.
Two boys got pretty riled up and laughing about the situation and would not focus, so they had to go talk to the counselors.
We were only able to get through the first 1/3 of the study guide. I let those students who hadn’t talked or been disrespectful at all go, whereas the rest had to stay the almost 2 minutes they accumulated.
I wanted to cry. It was hard. It was scary. It was stressful. It was scary!
Thankfully, 7th period was well behaved and awesome like they always are. They were very into BONK!
School ended and I had 2 sets of visitors. The first was a boy who likes to chat in 6th period, but loves history and likes my class. He gave me this:
|Silly, but at least he offered me a picture to cheer me up.|
Then, two wonderful, smart, respectful girls who are BFF’s and look almost identical came in. They created this during their 7th period and gave it to me. They said they were sorry how the class behaved (even though they didn’t do anything) and wanted to cheer me up.
I just about cried in front of them. It was the sweetest thing I had ever received from my students. I profusely thanked them.
Now, I had a lot of work to do, and I wasn’t going to let 6th period bog me down. I wanted to just scroll down the memes of 9gag.com and go on Pinterest the rest of the day, but no. I hunkered down and contacted a few students’ parents and made plans to meet with them to create Behavioral Contracts. I researched templates of ones I liked, worded it in a positive light, and created a tracking sheet.
I also got a visit from my sister who lives in Farmington. She was in Provo for the day and came to say hi!