Thursday, July 6, 2017

Bad Choices


The lesson plan warned that the Earth science classes were "immature". That's putting it mildly...

The teacher had left enough work to fill up the two-hour summer school block easily. Most decided not to even attempt it. A couple said that it was "too much work". So, instead...
  • I explained to one boy that using his external phone speaker was not appropriate for class. He was broadcasting some video for him and his friend, and the whole class could hear.
  • One girl explained to her seat partner how to "see" their auras. Then she looked up what those colors meant. 
  • One girl danced over in the corner. When I explained that dancing in class was not appropriate, she questioned me as to why. 
  • Two boys sniped at each other, one calling the other "rat" and the other calling the first boy "whale". Among other insults. 
And that's not even including how attached to their phones these kiddos were. I'd swear some would have to have them surgically detached the way they seemed to be attached to their hands. 

I should not have been surprised. These students are a select subset of the population. In order, they 
  1. Failed (or got a D) in 8th grade science. (If they had gotten a C or better, they would have taken biology in 9th grade.) And,
  2. Failed 9th grade Earth science. I know this because they are now in summer school for it.
You'd think they'd wake up and realize there's a problem, but they aren't self-aware enough for that yet. 

Anyway, towards the end of the day I got to perusing the class rosters. And I burst out laughing. (I didn't bother to hide it. They weren't paying me any attention.)

I was looking at the students who had been dropped from the class. (If they are absent three times, they get dropped from summer school. Period.) And one name popped out at me immediately. 

Blaine. (I also wrote about him here and here.)

Figures. 

I'm not surprised that he failed Earth science. And I'm not surprised he stopped coming to summer school. 

I have a feeling I'll be seeing him at the continuation high school in the not too distant future.

25 comments:

  1. I just can't imagine dealing with that. None of my classes were like that in school. If someone acted up, he was out of there. Most of us didn't dare. Sad they don't give you the authority to really do something, like take away all phones.

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  2. In the school where my boyfriend teaches,the teachers have the authority to confiscate phones.

    When my daughter' was in high school, she called me in a panic. "Mom, you have to come to school and get Kristen's phone from the assistant principal."

    The school rule was that students could not use their cell phones anywhere on campus during school hours. If a student was caught using the phone, the teachers could confiscate it and give the phone to the assistant principal. A parent would have to come to school to retrieve the phone.

    My daughter's best friend Kristen got a new phone. My daughter was playing with Kristen's phone during an assembly, and never noticed the assistant principal was standing right behind her ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. I can confiscate phones. The administrator would have totally had my back if I had chosen to go that route.

      2. But, that would have been more trouble than it's worth.

      3. I remember when the rule was no cell phones on campus. That was about 5 years ago. Only recently have things changed where they're allowed to use phones between classes and when permitted in the classroom for "educational purposes".

      4. I never liked the "no phones on campus" rule. During class, sure, no use. But at lunch? Come on! And there was one administrator who always took their phones.

      Delete
  3. I think schools should allow teachers to take the phones. What is the point of summer school if they are just going to come and not do anything??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have the authority to confiscate their phones. I have the authority to ban phone usage during class. I chose not to pursue that as I would have then been spending the entire two hours policing phone use. Trust me, this is exhausting. (Speaking from experience.)

      Delete
  4. It's too bad that they aren't taking it more seriously. Maybe they'll regret it someday. Although if they were able to go back in time and try and talk to their past selves, they would realize how annoying they were.

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  5. Sounds like a difficult bunch. If they don't care about anything, then what? If only there was a way to motivate them.

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    Replies
    1. I know! Maybe one day they'll wake up and realize that they need their education, but until then, they're just taking up space.

      Delete
  6. It almost sounds like you had a mini-Breakfast Club on your hands. :) Hopefully no one tried to sneak out through the ceiling tiles while you were "overseeing" their shenanigans. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nah. I let them out one at a time to use the restroom. There was no need for any sneaking out.

      Delete
  7. This sounds like a nightmare. Sorry you have such difficult kids to work with.


    www.ficklemillennial.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some days go like that. At least I got paid ;)

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  8. "At least I got paid." I like that. You have such a great attitude, a real boon to all the students (even if they don't know it yet).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a story that goes along with that.

      Several years ago, I happened upon another sub as we were both leaving for the day. I asked what he had been covering. "Middle school band." I said I was sorry. (I've covered middle school band many times. It's about as bad a day as the one in today's post.)

      His reply is something that makes this interaction something I always remember. "I just remember, I graduated from high school. I graduated from college. And I'm getting paid today."

      It puts the bad days in perspective. No matter how bad a class is, they haven't achieved something all of us subs have--that is, we have a degree. And we don't have to put up with them for free.

      Delete
  9. It's amazing that some can have their act together and others are like this. But I guess that's adults, too.

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  10. Boy I thought everyone would just start dancing in a class...eyerolling! I could not do this job so I commend you! Now I must go dance.....somewhere.

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    Replies
    1. It's funny. Usually the kiddos that have the most trouble with "don't dance in class" are 7th graders. I guess that's telling her emotional maturity.

      Delete
  11. Just look at it as more blog fodder if you do see some of these in continuation school in the years ahead! My kids didn't have to take summer school (but it wasn't like they were star students, they just barely made the mark not to) but I would have made sure they were there every day even if they were still in their night clothes.

    betty

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  12. I wonder how the kids would react if you just snatched their phones out of their hands.

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  13. No such thing as summer school here. Good thing for you though cos it helps with cash over the hols. Am glad that you can take a light approach, and that you haven't been stripped of your sense of humour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They try to avoid holding students back, so this is one way they can make up credits when they fall behind their classmates.

      Delete
  14. I still have nightmares about 9th grade Earth Science. I recall with horror that I got a 'D' one quarter (ended up with a 'C' for the course). I was happy to have escaped alive.

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