January 28, 2008

Hi, guys.

The deal is, I have tendonitis in both wrists and some carpal tunnel and a little RSI and possibly nerve damage. I’m not really allowed to type until it gets better — and that could be a while.


at this exact moment

January 7, 2008

I’m writing this from my classroom 25 minutes (ETA: 50) after class ended. There are ten students still here, asking me for help. I’m a little overwhelmed, frankly. Seven of them are freshmen who have projects due tomorrow (they are writing speeches based on primary source documents from the Crusades) while two are sophomores writing essays who need help outlining, and one is a senior who is working on a different essay.

Right now I am trying to teach one student how to write a topic sentence. I am explaining to someone else what “evaluate” means. Someone else is learning how to cite documents properly. The 9th graders are arguing over what a thesis is and how to write one. Another group of 9th graders have just realized that if they use a quote, they must explain it. (We have discussed this approximately once a day since the beginning of the year.) The girl sitting next to me is struggling to come up with a reason Mao was using his power in a negative way. The problem is English is so far from her native language that I have to spell every word for her — she spelled “each other” as “eacher” and “positive” as “postipe.” The young gentleman on my other side speaks French (he’s African) and I have been attempting to teach him what “natural resources” are in my shitty high school French. There is a young lady here I teach who has her very first credit card bill, which she brought in to show me so I can teach her how to to write a check and arrange the envelope.

I’m pretty freaking overwhelmed, actually. It’s hard to help kids one-on-one, and it’s hard to run a class of 34, but it’s really hard to help nine different people with twelve different things.

Boy, I can’t WAIT for projects/portfolios/finals/Regents to be over so I can go back to teaching.

students: overheard

January 2, 2008

“Yo, you ever have [Ms. Other History Teacher]?”

“Dude, her class is awesome.”

“It was great. She lets you do whatever you want. She never gets mad or anything.”

“Every time she turned around, we’d be throwin’ spitballs.”

“I slept most of the time.”

“Yeah, I didn’t learn anything that year.”

“I failed.”

“Still awesome, though.”

“Dude, totally!”