Ok, despite the hokey title, I actually had a really good first week. I LOVE the first week of school. No really, I do. The kids are so scared and so easily impressed. Like the first day, in 2nd period which is my first period with 7th graders, I cracked a few jokes and then looked busily at the roll and said, "let's see who the crap is here..." And the kids snickered. And then one kid actually said, "This teacher is so cool! She said crap!" Yes folks, it's that easy. Of course, the next thing they do, once their realize how cool and funny their teacher is, is to see how far they can go. Within a few minutes the class was quite loud and bouyant for newbies so early in the morning. During which time, of course, I pulled the classic "mood swing" technique. This is where my voice gets razor thin and I say something like, "Ok that's enough guys. I can be lots of fun but DON'T make me mad." And then amazingly, they actually get it and shut up. And it pretty much works the rest of the quarter. Sometimes I have to remind them with more mood swings, but they're pretty good. This technique does not work on 9th graders, however, which is why I prefer easy-to-please 7th graders who are just happy to be "grown up."
Of course, the biggest problem at our school this year is overcrowding. Every year we exclaim how much bigger our 7th grade class is than it was last year. Last year our 7th grade class was HUGE. We had to add a section of CTE Intro, the 7th grade class I teach most of the day. (formerly TLC) Well, this year the class is MASSIVE. We have over 500 7th graders alone. Maybe more. All I know is, our school has more the 1500 kids and it was built for 1250 or 1300 I think. Kids are sharing lockers, they have to go outside to get to their next class because the halls are seething. I have 39 kids in my 2nd period and only 34 computers. One teacher has a health class with 47 7th graders! 47 kids in a regular class room? Are you KIDDING me? Why are we so overcrowed? Why don't you ask the stupid east side who wants their stupid Draper Middle built before Daybreak Middle. Daybreak is litterly BREAKING us.
Thursday night was back to school night. It's pretty much the same routine for me every time. Parents come in and ask, "What is CTE Intro?" and I launch into the excited speech about what a great class it is (which isn't hard because I really DO love it) and then i charm them with my antics and my confectious laugh, and they walk away thinking how glad they are that their 7th grader has such a great teacher. Ah, little do they know what a raunch I'll be tomorrow when their kid tells me they "didn't get a paper" about twenty minutes after I passed them out, asked if anyone didn't get one, and began a presentation which required a lot of writing. Or myabe I'll just discover half-way thorugh that they haven't written anything down and when asked why they say, "I didn't have a pencil." And I'm like, "OH! Yeah, because in THIS class, you don't have to do the work when you are unprepared." Ah, 12-year olds. Sometimes i swear my whole job is teach them where the basket is (the kids who asks, "Where do we turn this in?" after ten weeks of turning every assignment into the same basket that has never been moved and is clearly labeled.) Well, that's my week in a nutshell. I'm in for a fabulous year! Oh! And it was also really fun to see my ballroom club fill up in two days! I now have 30 girls and actually 35 guys (because even when it's full, if a boy comes to you and says he wants to dance, who am I to say no? He's a BOY wanting to do BALLROOM!)
Brooklynn turns 2
2 years ago