Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A pleasant (and unpleasant) surprise

I'll start with the pleasant surprise first. I took my 7th/8th period students to the library today, and expected that I would need to write a few kids Lunch Detentions or at least reprimand them for noise while there. They are infamous for acting like complete dinguses in the library and often causes me some frustration and embarassment towards the librarian. Today, however, was different. There was another class in there doing research on the other side of the library and they actually shocked my class. That class was so rowdy and noisy that I could barely hear a student I was speaking face-to-face with. My students mainly remained at the tables, looking at books and just sitting with their friends. When we returned to class, a few students made the observation that the other class was so rowdy. I took the time to thank my class for being well behaved and I appreciated their respect while in the library. I was proud of them. Maybe for an average class it's not that big of a deal that they are good in the library, but for this group of students, it was a very big deal. I even awarded them 7 stickers on the chart (normally a maximum of 5), because I was so impressed. It seemed to make them happy and proud...

The unpleasant surprise was when I walked outside after school. No snow. None. Not even remnants. Three hours earlier, it was coming down like some kind of mad snowstorm. I thought maybe I had hallucinated the whole thing, but others were disappointed at the lack of white fluffy stuff on the ground. So much for a Late Start tomorrow. But at least my rowdy kids were good. That's even better than having a Snow Day...

..and the snow snow snow came down down down

I'm ecstatic. It's snowing here. And it's been coming down in bucketsful for about an hour. It's beautiful. And it ups the chances that we might have a Late Start Day tomorrow or even (anxious gasp)...A SNOW DAY. Well, I won't bank on that, but a Late Start would be nice. That means the classes are all shortened and we don't come in until 10:45. How glorious. We haven't had a day like that yet this school year, but we had quite a few last year, and as I recall, a few in a row. But last year I didn't like it, because it meant the Spec. Ed. resource stuff was cancelled and I went directly into the 3rd grade class. This year, it means I have the same schedule, but less time with the little angels!

I have 8th grade boys Lunch and Recess duty today (I said that I would help them out 3 days a week, since they're short-handed and I get paid extra for it). Don't think we'll be going outside. And although it would be kinda fun to go out and build snowmen and make snowangels with 13 year old boys (sarcasm), it's probably best that we don't go. I could just see some kid tripping on a sheet of ice on the sidewalk or a couple of boys getting a hold of some snowballs and pelting them at the weakest of the pack. Not good. Plus, I didn't bring a snowjacket or even a real jacket for that matter today! I wore a sweater and assumed it would be fine by lunchtime. So, it's for the best.

I may let Mason frolick in it when we get home though. It takes a lot of work to get him stuffed into 80 layers of clothes (think: the movie A Christmas Story..."I can't put my arms down!"), but it's worth it when I see his eyes light up and he does a little joggy dance over the snow. His little nose and cheeks turn crimson and you can see his breath. It's hard to get him back inside after that, but oh, the fun he has...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Happy Birthday, Elmo!

I'm not sure how old he is, but his birthday is coming up and he's Mason's favorite!!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Hormone Boy's at it again

I'm starting to think "Hormone Boy" is not the most accurate name for him. For the first time I mentioned him, it was appropriate--kissing on a girl and getting caught for it. But, if I could go back, I would call him Complacent Boy. Case in point. Every time I've written him a Lunch Detention or After School Detention or sent him out of my room, he has just shrugged his shoulders and acted like I just told him to go read in the library for the rest of the period. Today was no exception. So, he's in the back of the class, talking away with a female student (big surprise) and the "s word" slips out. Oops. I could have written him a Lunch Detention right then and there, but I decided since it was an accident, I'd just warn him. Then, not but 20 or so minutes later, the same sneaky "s word" slips out of his mouth, yet again. This time, I can't let it go. Two of my boys hop up and see on the Discipline Matrix that the second time Profanity is used is an ASD. So, I begin to write out the form. Meanwhile, Hormone Boy hasn't changed his attitude or even turned his head. He just sits there, staring into space. I am still in the process of filling out the ASD form when I realize he's now not at all working. He doesn't even have the book open or a piece of paper on his desk (they were supposed to read over a story we read yesterday and then answer questions at the end). I calmly ask him what he's doing, to which he replies that he's doing nothing. I tell him to get to work, and I leave it at that for the time being, thinking that maybe he's just peeved that I wrote him up for cussing. I turn my attention to other students and hope Hormone Boy makes the right decision on his own. He doesn't. I tell him again that it would be a good choice if he would get his work started. He just shrugs and still sits there. I wait again, and tend to some other kids. A few minutes have passed and I tell Hormone Boy, "Look, you either start working or you can go sit in the office." And he asks why. Oh, how "why?" is such a pleasant question...I tell him that he's refusing to work and I'll have to write him up. He argues that he's just not working, he's not refusing to work. I choose not to ask him what he thinks the difference is and just suggest for the last time that he gets to work. He nonchalantly gets out of his seat to put a book away. So, I tell him to go to the office. I'm not going to beg an 8th grade boy to work. He says, "okay," and heads out the door. I write ANOTHER ASD for him (this one for being Insubordinate) and send the two forms down with a trusty student. The vice principal originally just assigns him 2 ASDS: one for each offense. But after school, I decided to speak with her. ASD doesn't phase Hormone Boy. He doesn't care, and in fact there's a common consensus among his teachers that he must enjoy being in there two days a week, because he's pretty much in ASD every day it's held. She wasn't aware of that, and asked for suggestions. I said that Hormone Boy's mom and I had discussed him helping around the school. The vice principal liked that idea. So, instead of sitting in ASD the two days she assigned, he will be working with the custodial staff, cleaning walls, scrubbing floors, whatever they want and need him to do. Maybe after two days of that, he'll realize that acting up will eventually have consequences that he doesn't like. And maybe the school will get clean along the way...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Gluttony always makes me feel better

After my encounter with Mouthy Boy 3/4 period, my day just kept getting better (read with sarcasm). My last block just about drove me up the wall. They had plenty to do and not a lot of time to do it in, but still felt entitled to be morons. I admit, about half a dozen of them do what they're supposed to do, when they are supposed to do it, and they don't complain or make smart remarks. But the others, well, that's a different story. It's like sitting in a room chock full of overrated stand-up comedians. I got so tired of their incessant laughing and lame anecdotes. I just sat at my desk and stared with an erupting loathesome feeling. The last 10 minutes of class, I made a blunt statement that I was going to write some ASDs for those who had been noisy the whole time. Amazingly, the whole room got shockingly silent. I said, "isn't it funny how you don't get quiet until you think I'm writing you up?" No response. So, away I went, writing 3 ASDs for the Top 3 Comedians (one being The Charmer). I kept them after class for a moment after everyone else left, and notified them of their write-up. They were of course surprised. I explained why I was writing them up and how I was tired of it. And then they left and I called home. I only got a hold of 1 out of 3 parents, but she was in agreeance that her son The Charmer was great without his friends, but with them, he was just about out of control. I left messages at the other two houses. We'll see if I get any calls from parents. Probably not.

So, when I got home from work, after taking a relaxing shower, I told my hubby that I wanted to eat greasy, bad-for-me food and we went to Jack-in-the-Box. And then Dairy Queen for dessert. I feel better...

Ah, the 8th grade mastermind...

So, I'm sitting in the front of my 3/4 hour class and I look back at Mouthy Boy (very disrespectful to his fellow peers and always has to have the last word with me) and I notice something sticking out of his ear--headphone buds. I open my hand and make eye contact with him. "What?" he asks. "Give it to me," I say, trying not to disrupt the whole class. But, since he's in the back, and everyone heard me, just about every student whips around to look at what he's got. "Why is everyone looking at me?" he asks, as he fiddles with the headphones. "Because you're disrupting class, and you have something you're not supposed to have," I say. He messes around in his pocket and walks over and hands me the headphones. "And I want what they were attached to," I say, glaring at him. Like I wouldn't know that they went to some sort of musical device! He fishes into his pocket, and Voila! out comes an IPod. Dumb. Like I wouldn't see him with the headphones. Did his other teachers not see this earlier? I just shake my head and inform him that his mommy will have to come to school to pick it up in the office. He grumbles back to his seat. Do they really think they're that slick? I mean, come on!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Oh, the weather outside was frightful...

This was our backyard last night. We woke up this morning, very excited at how white everything was!!

Mason took high steps through the front yard and kept saying, "no! no!(which means snow!!)"

Too bad it was all melted by this afternoon. It was fun while it lasted.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


I am at work (I just wrote the entry before this) and don't really feel like doing any actual work at the moment, so I started messing around with my blog. And I found this background template. It's called Jellyfish. I guess I feel like a Jellyfish at the moment. Blah.

Ouchie, Ouchie, Ouchie

My head hurts. It's pounding. It's like someone just kicked me really hard with a golf shoe, in the right side of my head. This is the third day. At the same time. And it's really getting aggravating!! I drink lots of water and I eat breakfast. Right as 4th period is ending and I'm getting ready for my lunch and prep. period, my head starts screaming at me. I don't know what to do, besides chugging aspirin or Tylenol. I haven't been doing anything different lately. No added stress or different perfume or a different schedule or eating something new. I don't get it. So, even though my hubby and I have banned soda (unless it's Diet and we're eating out), I got a Dr. Pepper from the coke machine in the lounge, hoping that will knock it out. We'll see.

In the meantime, let me tell you a little story about Hormone Boy. Grrrr...He's more than a little chatty at times (which is most of the time)and he's had so many warnings about it that it's getting ridiculous. I've moved his seat (twice), I've given him Lunch Detention, and yesterday was the second day that I've sent him to someone else's classroom, because he was disrupting our Anne Frank movie. So, I decided after I sent him on to another teacher yesterday, that it was darned time I wrote him an ASD. So, the protocol is to call home. Mom was very supportive and is seeing the same crap at home. I talked to her for 15 minutes and suggested that maybe it will need to come to him helping out around the school and helping out in his school community. Mom was all for it. And Hormone Boy's math teacher agrees. We'll see.

So, he passes my class today and says, "Hey Mrs. Lionhead, why'd you write me an ASD?" I promptly explain that it was because of his behavior and he had been warned many times. To this, he says, "Oh okay. And my mom wants me to tell you that it takes two to tango." Huh? He didn't seem to know why she said that or what she meant by it. Maybe her message got lost in translation. I don't know. I just hope that she's not supporting me on the phone one minute, and then turning around and siding with him afterwards. You never can tell with parents.

Oh, a little brilliant tidbit for your day: While watching "The Diary of Anne Frank" yesterday (after spending all last week reading half of the play and discussing the turmoil of the Jews in Germany during that time, mind you), one of my students asks, "Why are those people in hiding?" I look at him with a "are you serious?" look on my face and say, "Because of the Holocaust" and he says, "What's the Holocaust?" Oh dear. This worries me. I know it shouldn't surprise me, but sometimes I just want to bang my head against the wall...Hey, maybe that would help my headache!!

Monday, January 15, 2007


Would you believe that I am opting to mop the kitchen floor over grading papers? Well, not exactly. I can't get any grading done when Mason's asleep anyhow, but I could have graded these papers, say, Saturday or Sunday, but noooooo, it's Monday and they're still sitting patiently in my "To Be Graded" folder. But I have been productive, nevertheless today. I've started putting away laundry (Mason doesn't tolerate that for too long, and there's a lot to put away), ran the dishes and like I said, mopped the floor. I gotta do it again though, because Daddy is out changing the oil in his car and I failed to warn him that the floor was clean, so now there are dirty footprints all over it. That's okay, it could use an extra mopping. Well, enough wasting time. I have things to do!!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Thank you, Jesus, Lord in Heaven

So, my friend calls me up this morning and tells me to turn to the Discovery Channel--they are doing a story on a girl from our high school. That's kinda cool in itself. I went to a small town high school. Not a lot of celebrities or even people that make the newspaper from there. But there she was. We weren't friends with her, and in fact the friend that called me had to look her name up in the yearbook, but she for sure attended our high school. You wanna know what the story was about? She had QUINTUPLETS!!! Yes, 5 babies. Holy Mother of God!! That is just unfathomable! I know you hear of women giving birth to more babies than that, but when you see a face on TV that you actually know, having five, that's just crazy! And she had two before that!! That totals 7, ladies and gentlemen! No thank you. I know it's a blessing and you do what you gotta do, but if I (and my hubby) have anything to do with it, we will be done at two. Two's good. Then you're not outnumbered. There's two of us. And I have two hands. And you can find strollers to carry two children. And two kids can ride in the same grocery cart. It just makes sense. Five doesn't. So that was the exciting moment in my day...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Update on Kissy Girl

Her Daddy pulled her and her younger brother out of the school. I guess he wasn't satisfied with chasing Hormone Boy and scaring him into a fit of sobs in front of his peers...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Not your average teenage angst

I have a student we will call Hormone Boy (better than what he calls himself--Inside Out Oreo because apparently he is convinced that he's black, even though he's quite caucasion). He has had a problem with PDA (public displays of affection, aka kissy kissy with his girlie friend) lately. Three different teachers have caught him in the hall, swapping spit with her. Well, last Friday, Mrs. Red (another 8th grade L.A. teacher) decided to nail him on it. She wrote him up an ASD and pulled the girl aside later. Mrs. Red told the Kissy Girl that her mother would be called and that she could choose her kissing partners more wisely. Mom and Dad were called. And Dad was livid. At his daughter. And worse, at Hormone Boy. Yesterday, Kissy Girl's dad came to school to discuss the matter with administration, and who does he see walking down the halls? Yep, Hormone Boy. This is where it gets hilarious--I mean, sad. Kissy Girl's dad went after him. He yelled at him and started chasing him. Hormone Boy raced back to P.E. and was in hysterics. He was bawling so hard they actually called his mom and he was sent home early. Kissy Girl's dad was banned from campus (as is fair, since it was very much inappropriate for him to attempt to attack a student--but a little funny) and Kissy Girl's schedule was completely rearranged so that she is nowhere near Hormone Boy during the duration of her school day.

Mrs. Red tells me this story today, as we are at Bus Duty. She said that she thought I'd appreciate hearing why he wasn't in my class yesterday afternoon. She asked if Hormone Boy had told me anything about it, and of course he hadn't. I don't know any 8th grade boy that would want that to get out. I'm just surprised another student didn't come blabbing it to me as soon as it happened. I mean, come on, let's face it: middle schoolers have big mouths, they can't keep secrets, and it's just a downright funny anecdote. You know that you at least cracked a smile...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Not much to say...

I suppose I should save entries for when I actually have something meaningful or inciteful or humorous or frustrating to share. Oh well. THIS IS MY BLOG!! :) Anyways, the weekend has passed me by, yet again. It was a nice one, though. Friday, we ordered pizza and watched "Mean Girls" (Hubby gave it to me for Christmas. It's kinda a teeny bopper movie, but with some sarcastic, smart humor mixed in). Yesterday, Hubby worked, so Mason and I hung out at Target and the mall. I found a bunch of stuff on clearance at both places. I found those long tank tops you see everywhere (that work great for me, to cover my dairy aire) for 97 cents at Gap! Pretty awesome. Last night we went over to Miss Cindy's house and played Turbo Yahtzee (our game--it's Yahtzee but faster, and without all the math). Fun. Today, was church, grading papers while Mason napped and Hubby worked on the computer, then lunch with friends, then Kmart for an ottoman for the living room, then hanging out at the house for the rest of the evening. Good weekend, but as always, it goes fast. At least this Friday is an Early Release and the next Monday is MLK Jr. Day, so no school. January is almost over. :)

Saturday, January 06, 2007

There's something wrong with this picture...

We have a new student at our school. Not in my class, but in the Language Arts class next door to mine...Well, he's not new exactly. This is his 3rd time in our school. He's turning 16. Apparently he attended here in 6th grade like normal, then got in some "judicial trouble", left for awhile, then he came back as a 7th grader. The Language Arts teacher that just got him in her class, had him the year he was in 7th grade the first time. That was four years ago. I guess he got in some more "judicial trouble" and then came to our school in August this school year and spent the last semester in our Alternative Learning classroom. And for some reason, they exited him out of that, and back into regular classes. So, now he's turning 16 and he's in the 7th grade. Granted, I am sad for him, as he has had a very horrible life thus far and needs a lot of guidance and a positive role model. But I'm not sure it's exactly fair (or safe) for this boy (almost a young man) to be in a class full of 12 year olds. He not only has 4 years on them, but he's done time. And a lot of the kids (especially the boys) think that's pretty darn cool. How is a teacher supposed to handle that? He's in a different place develepmentally, physically, emotionally and maturity wise (or at least you hope so). A couple of us teachers were joking yesterday that he might ask, "where's the student parking?" here soon. There's no student parking! This is middle school! I don't have the answer, as I think he should be in school and hopefully he will finish and graduate or at least get his GED. But, I don't know if the best place for a troubled 16 year old is in a class of 7th graders. Anyone have any ideas?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Unlucky Charms

I'm back to school. And it took me all day to get used to it. This morning, before school, my hubby came by and helped me rearrange my classroom (mainly because I get bored of looking at it the same way and also because I needed to move some desks closer to mine), and I just felt like I couldn't get back into the swing of things. I felt almost like a sub in someone else's classroom, or like it was my very first day of school. It took the entire first block (1st/2nd period) to get a handle on things.

That being said, by 7th/8th period, I remembered right where I had left off last semester--with a class that tried my patience and exhausted me. I have been praying for a few days prior to today, that I would have renewed strength and a new perspective with these kids. They aren't out of control or real bad, it's just a little chatter and boys that are constant comedians. It's tiring and gets old.

And then there's The Charmer. He's a sweet boy with good intentions, but let's just say that I'm sure at home, he smiles at his mom the right way and gets pretty much anything he wants. Or gets out of trouble. Like at school. In the past, The Charmer has talked his way out of an lunch detention for chewing gum in my class, because he promised with-all-his-heart-hope-to-die-stick-a-needle-in-his-eye that he wouldn't ever have gum in my class again, and if ever he did chew gum again, he said that I could just write him an ASD (After School Detention). We had a deal. Why, I don't know. Teachers shouldn't make deals with students. It means that he's won. But I felt like giving him a break that day, because I really believed he would never ever chew gum in my class again. And really, so far, he hasn't.

But his charm has worn off. I am not making deals anymore with him or any other student for that matter. They take advantage and get away with stuff that they shouldn't. Today, The Charmer and his crew decided they'd rather chit-chat than get their work done. I moved him and two other boys to isolation desks and warned them to stop talking. Well, they didn't. So, I decided not to waste my time hounding them about talking and babying them over it. They know what the consequence is if they choose to be noisy. So I waited. I waited until the very end of class and handed them all lunch detentions. You should have seen the shocked and astonished looks on their faces. I explained calmly that they had already been moved and that I wasn't going to keep warning them. I heard a "whatever" under The Charmer's breath, but I chose not to pursue that. He knows now that I am not falling for the sweet smile and puppy dog eyes. So he's mad at me for a day or two, and then he'll get over it. And hopefully learn that his charms aren't that lucky afterall...