Monthly Archives: May 2010

Johnny, His Mom, and the Principal

Here’s the deal.  Johnny’s not doing wonderfully great in our class.  He has trouble interacting with a group.  So at recess he is alone a lot.  But he does have friends, and when he sits at his desk, he does talk from time to time with his neighbors.

Mom’s worried that he is depressed.  I know he misses his dad a lot.  So mom wanted to bring cupcakes to class to help him celebrate his birthday, and make is special.  But the principal says no.  So to keep mom happy, the principal agrees to go to our room and sing happy birthday with the class.  That is absurd!  No one else gets a visit from the principal.  I talk her out of it, and assure her that we will sing to him as a class – although we have never done that for other students.  (I even make him stand on his chair – he liked it.)

Why, oh why, couldn’t mom just bring the cupcakes?  Tell her to bring them for the last 15 minutes of class.  It would have been fun, and he would have gotten a lot of, “Thanks, Johnny!”‘s.  It is so lame that a parent can’t do that for their kid on their birthday.  And if you don’t want cupcakes, how about cookies, or twinkies, or whatever?

It’s a left over from our last principal.  She was a bit obsessed with not getting the carpets dirty.  Please!

I think I’m going to tell my parents next year at Back to School Night that they can bring cupcakes on their child’s birthday, as long as they talk with ME before hand and let me know.

That’s right.  Fight the system!

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Johnny, So Much to Write, So Little Time

There’s a 5th Grade Fitness test next year, so I need my class to be a little fit.  So I make them run some laps for PE.

So out we go, and I notice Johnny is obviously covering his ear.  I think, “Uh oh, what’s up.”

He tells me something bit him on the ear.  I look at it, and it looks like it is really sticking out significantly.  It’s also red, and looks swollen.  But a soar ear is no reason not to run, right?  So off I send him.  Well, as he comes around for his last lap, he’s still covering his ear, and for some reason holding his other hand up to his chest.  (That cannot be a good running position!)

He just looks goofy.  Another teacher joked that he was making call on his cell phone.

In the classroom, he keeps his hood on.  I make him take it off, but he really doesn’t want to!  He does, but then he covers it with his hand.  He can’t go all day covering his ear with hand, so I make him put it down.  Again, he really doesn’t want to.  But I make him.  He tries to raise his hood up over his ear.  I assure him that if he does that, or tries in other ways to cover it, he will just look goofy, and others will think something weird is going on.  So, hesitantly, he just leaves it alone, and no one notices.  No one says a thing.  But it does look big, read, and a bit goofy!

Oh yea, he also left his glasses at home.

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Class Make Up

I started with 29 students (anything under 30 is considered low).  I lost 2 girls (both with the same name) around the third of the way through the school year, and a boy (let’s just say I wasn’t sorry he left).  Then I got a boy (Johnny) on picture day.  Then I few weeks later I got a gir (Daisy- she is super nice and friendly with everyone, a great person to put new people by).  Then I got another girl (friendly as well).  Then I got another boy (he had to move schools because his brother had to be moved, so the principal thought there might be trouble – there hasn’t been).  Then a few weeks ago I got my 30th student, another girl.  She’s friendly, but seems a little out of it.

I’m just happy that all my new students speak English.  It is so discouraging to get a new student that speaks only Spanish.

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In Case You’re Keeping Track

No white kids this year.  It doesn’t really matter.  I’m just sayin’.

One Asian kid, a Samoan girl,  a Philippine.  I got a black kid just recently, although he looks like his parents might be of different races.  The rest from south of the border.

Coolest last name this year?  Caballero.

I have a girl whose brother I had about 7 years ago, and a sister of a girl I had for about 2 months last year (I really liked her, but we had to switch her to another teacher).

I have two boys with the same name.  I had two girls with the same name, but they moved.  I have a boy and a girl with the same last name, but they aren’t related, and probably hate the fact that their last names are the same.

Oh, my principal is a little person.  My VP is white, and male.

Not that it matters.  I’m just sayin’.

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Testing Hangover

Testing spoils you, as a teacher, that is.  Your planning is already set for the morning – testing.  During most of the other times during the day, you’re doing test prep, or something fun to relax the students.  You just don’t do too much during the two weeks of testing.  And the homework load is light, as well.  You don’t want your class staying up late doing homework the night before the test.  So there is little homework to check.

But there is a problem.  What to do the rest of the year.  I can go back and cover the things I’ve skipped in math, but that isn’t much.  Everything important needed to be taught before the test.  I do have one more theme in language arts, but I’ve taught all the important concepts.  So I’ve got about 2 weeks worth of stuff to teach in math, and maybe 4 weeks worth of stuff in language arts.  And about 6 weeks left in school.

Well, our Gold Rush play is coming up, so we can spend lots of time learning that, and the square dance we’ll be doing.  And we just found out we’ll be having and upper grade Olympics towards the end of school, so we can spend lots of time getting ready for that.  Those two, plus lots of science and social studies.

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The Test, Part IV

It’s the last day of testing.  Day 2 of the Math test.  We’re a good 20 minutes into the test when I look over at Johnny.  He’s got a big ol’ river of snot running out of his nose and onto his upper lip.  Hmmmm.  Did he ever think, “Maybe I should raise my hand and ask for a tissue?”  Apparently not.  So I quickly grab a couple of tissues and hustle over there and hand him one.  He takes it.  Now I would have used the first one to wipe away the river of snot running out of my nose.  He kind of does that, then opens it back up to blow his nose.

I’m about to puke.  I tell run over and get a trash can and a few more tissues.  I ask him to throw away the tissues, then I provide him with a quick lesson on how to use a tissue to blow your nose.

That was gross.

* * * * *

As I am walking around the room, I make sure I check Johnny to make sure his nose is river-free.  I find that I can’t make eye contact with him.  If I do, he won’t look away.  He’ll keep looking at me, smile, give me a thumbs up sign, or something like that.  But he won’t go back to taking the test until I look away.  It’s like a deer caught in the headlights.  He just can’t… look…a…way.

* * * * *

After about an hour of test taking, almost everyone is finished.  When I checked the first couple of finishers, I noticed they did NO work on their scratch paper or on their test booklet.  None.  Even I would have had to write some things down to figure out the answer.  But they wrote none.  I told them to go back and show their work, and reminded them that they can’t find many of the answers without writing down the problems to work the problems.

There are about 3 students who were still working while the rest were finished.  That’s fine.  Just keep working, and be careful.

Then it was just Johnny.  Everyone else was finished, and Johnny had 23 more problems to do (I checked).

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The Test, Part III

We’ve done 2 days of language arts testing last week.  Today begins day 1 of two days of math testing.

I’ve told the students all year that they can’t use their multiplication charts on the test, so they better learn their multiplication and division facts.  Yet some are still surprised when they ask if they can use the charts and I say no.

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