Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Better check my temp, I think I've got Spring Fever...

I am sooooo ready for Spring Break. One more week (and a couple of days, but close enough!) A few of my kids are driving me up the wall and back down. For example, Hormone Boy has said some pretty moronic and thoughtless and tactless things lately. Let me see which ones I can recall...

1. "I hear all my teachers complaining and crying all the time 'cuz they've got headaches at school, and my thought is, they wanted to be teachers!"
Let's just say, it took all I had to take the High Road. He wanted me to banter and get flustered with him. I chose to glare at him (trying to send lasers out of my eyes, to be honest) and I didn't give him the satisfaction of stopping the class and putting the attention on him.

2. "Mrs. Lionhead, have you ever seen anyone have a seizure?"
"Yes I have."
"Did you laugh?"
"No, I was pretty scared, because it was my friend and I was alone with her."
"Did she look funny?"
"No Hormone Boy, she didn't. It was pretty serious. In fact, not long after, she actually died having a seizure."
He didn't say much to that, but didn't seem like he felt like his foot was in his mouth either, which is what I wanted.

3. "Mrs. Lionhead, did you know YOU have written ME up 8 times since I moved into your class?"
"Are you proud of that?"
"I don't know. I'm just saying you write me up a lot."
Well, duh!

4. While I was in the middle of teaching, Hormone Boy blurts out, "Hey Mrs. Lionhead, did you know I'm going to see Monster Trucks this weekend?"

5. "There's yogurt in the trash. Are you on a diet, Mrs. Lionhead?"

And these are just in the past week or so! And just the ones I can remember off hand! And he's just one of a handful of students with something smart to say. There are some of my kids I love to pieces and honestly wouldn't mind taking home to claim as mine; they are respectful, funny, good students and just generally good kids. But others make my life unbearable at times. I know every student that crosses my path is put there by God. I just have a hard time understanding why sometimes.

At least next Friday is an Early Release and then it's one whole week of reprieve. Maybe we'll all come back with a refreshed perspective on the last quarter of the school year. It's possible, right?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Maybe it's time to expand our little family...or not

So, Mason was talking to the babysitter the other day about babies (since they have the new baby in their house), and she asked him, "Mason, do you want a little baby sister or brother?", to which he replied, "Yeah...or a duck."


That reminds me of something I heard on a comedian's routine recently. He and his 5 year old son were talking and his son said, "I want to be a doctor," and his dad was so proud. And then his son added, "or a dinosaur."

Isn't it funny how a child's mine works?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Just popping in

The weekend was really enjoyable with the In-Laws, except that Mason was down with the yucky, snotty, sinusy, coughy, sneezy junk. Daddy took him to the doctor today and it looks like the beginnings of a sinus and/or ear infection. It's so sad when he's miserable. Not to mention we don't get much sleep either. I'll drop by here again soon, when I am no longer employed by the Infirmary.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The dust has settled

Valentine's Day came and went without much evidence of dramatics. I was expecting tears, confused boys and girls whispering and conspiring. Nothing really to speak of. There were, however, lots of presents. Presents from friends to friends. Presents to kids from their parents (and they had the balloons and candy and flowers delivered to the school!). Presents from significant others to their love interest. So many flowers. Not to mention that student council sold Valentines with a carnation that were delivered around the school 8th hour. A lot of distraction, but not much drama. I guess that's good. But drama makes for a better story...

Tomorrow's an Early Release, so us teachers can conference with parents and tell them that little Jimmy or Susie will be a frequent flyer for 7th grade (or 8th grade)and apparently liked it so much that they want to do it again next year. Oh yippee. I'm really not sure which conferences I'm supposed to go to, since I technically have kids on 4 different teams (two teams for 7th and two for 8th). I guess I'll just see what happens.

And tomorrow night my hubby and I are going on a double date with a couple to a hockey game. We're really looking forward to that, as it is a surprise for the husband and we really enjoyed the other hockey game we went to.

Saturday we are headed to Mason's Grandma and Grandpa's who live four hours away. They need assistance with a new computer and my hubby knows a thing or two about them. And we haven't been down there in a long time. Should be restful and fun.

As the week winds down, let's just say I am SO ready for our date and to get out of town for the weekend.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Update on Confused Boy

Let's just say we could rename Confused Boy Oh-Crap-I-Got-Caught-Being-High-At-School Boy. My suspicions were right. He was high on something on Wednesday. He has been on Home Suspension since Thursday. And word's getting around with the students. And they seem to be laughing at him. That's a good thing. Not a smart move for a kid that was in Honors English. It just proves that booksmart and common sense don't always go hand in hand...

Friday, February 09, 2007

Never a boring moment

Wednesday was an interesting day. First off all, this was Spirit Week (each day they had different perks--like Pajama Day, Disco Day, etc.) and Wednesday was Hat Day. What a distraction. There weren't just baseball caps and cowboy hats. There were light-up hats, Dr. Suess hats, squishy hats, etc. I wasn't feeling very much "in the Spirit" of Spirit week by the time we had our little Assembly at the end of the day. Student Council had asked each team to elect 4 students to participate in little funny stunts. That was kinda fun. There was a relay race involving running to the end and blowing up a balloon, pouncing on it until it popped, and then crawling back with a little beanie baby in your mouth. Pretty funny. There were two other stunts and it was entertaining. As we are herding the students back to classes to get their stuff, I round the corner to my classroom and see one of my boys doubled over, with a beat-red face and looking like he was going to cry. I hear, "Ahhh!! She just kicked me in the balls!" Great. After much questioning and deducting, I come to the conclusion that a little princess from the class next door to mine got fed up with my student messing with her pink hat during the assembly and the walk back to class. I guess she got pissed and decided that kicking him hard in the groin would solve the problem. It certainly stopped him in his tracks. I let my students into my room to get their stuff and escorted the two students in question down to the office. As Mrs. Principal is jotting down their names and shaking her head, she mumbles to me, "This is what happens when we give them things like Hat Day. And they want Co-ed lunch!! I don't think so!" So true.

Oh, and earlier that day, during 7/8 hour, I notice something weird about one of my students. One of my students that had come to me from the Honors class just a month or so prior. He's looking really confused and disoriented. Apparently earlier in the day he even walked into the wrong class and sat down and swore it was his class. Twice. Also, when I saw him walking back from lunch, he was being teased because he swore his grandmother had walked into their class and handed him a paper. During my class, he's sitting in his desk while I'm reading aloud, when all of a sudden, he gets up out of his seat and goes to give me his copy of the book I'm reading to them. He mutters, "I'm done, I mean, no I'm not," and he sits back down. The class kind of chuckles and we go on reading. Later, he gets up again, and throws a perfectly good SHARPENED wooden pencil in the trash. Huh? Plus, when it's time to turn in the questions they were working on, he says loudly, "What should I do with this?" and holds up some worksheet. "I don't know what that is," I reply. He says, "Well, you gave it to me." I argued that no, I did not and I have no idea what it is. He says again that SOMEONE gave it to him. I tell him that it wasn't me, to which another student says, "Remember? That's the study guide for science! Remember being in class and I gave it to you?" Weird. After that, I walk around to see how students are progressing on the questions and Confused Boy says that he's done. I look down. There should be 4 questions and he only has 3. And one isn't even in English. Or any other language for that matter. It's complete garble. I try to tell him that, and he starts saying something under his breath. I don't know what the heck was going on with him, but it struck me as a little odd and sent up a red flag. When I was down at the Assembly, I spotted Mr. Police Officer and told him a few of the odd things that I knew about Confused Boy from that day. He said that he'd just pull him into his office and talk to him for a minute, and it wouldn't take but just a few minutes to determine if he was on something. The Assembly was 40 minutes long. Mr. Police Officer and Confused Boy never came back. And Confused Boy was absent yesterday. Coincidence? Who knows...

Last but not least, I go to pick up Mason at his babysitter's, and find out that they are getting a new baby. The mom of the two they recently adopted just gave birth to a baby boy and was in a lot of trouble for not reporting to CPS. So, the baby was removed and given to them, that night, right now for a temporary basis. Pretty surreal but definitely a blessing. We hope they are able to keep the baby, since that would keep 3 of the 4 siblings together and that baby would for sure be loved. And raised right. We'll see.

That was my Wednesday (not quite up to par with Mrs. Bluebird's "A Day in the Life of a Middle School", but close).

Oh, and yesterday I discovered that one of my 8th grade boys has been vandalizing one of my desks. He for sure wrote his phone number all the way across it (he admits to that), but other days it was found that someone had scribbled on the desk in pen, and the back of the chair in front of it has ghetto writing in permanent marker. Couldn't prove he did those two things, but the phone number was enough for an ASD, which as Mrs. Asst. Principal put it, "He won't show up, and I'll just suspend him." We considered having him scrub tables at lunch (I'm all for punishments that fit the crime), but knowing this boy, he would just swing the rag around and make his peers laugh and nothing would get cleaned. And I don't have time at lunch to get him to clean my room, since I have recess duty, and he'd never come after school. So, unfortunately this was our only choice.

I guess I can never say my life is boring.

Monday, February 05, 2007

What a pleasant young man

So, I was at Lunch Duty today, which has proved to be pretty uneventful. Until today. I am dismissing the boys one table at a time to go outside, when I notice a few tall boys hovering over a boy that is still seated at one of the tables. I walk over, thinking they're just waiting for him to finish so they can go outside, and I get a rude awakening. I ask one of the tall boys what's going on, and these are his words, "I'm telling this punk ass bitch that if he wants to pick fights with littler kids, then he can fight me right now." WHAT?!? I just stand there awestruck for a moment. I then decided that they should go to the office and explain to administration what's going on. I tell him this, and he says, "Screw that!" and walks away. I call him to come back, that I wasn't done talking to him, and he keeps walking. "I'm still talking to you!" I say, in a stern voice. Now, most kids eventually stop, even if they think they're rebellious. Not this kid. He just keeps walking, turns around and says, "So?" and heads outside. The other teacher on duty blows her whistle and shouts for him to stop right where he is. Nope. Keeps walking. Well, it just happens that Mrs. Assistant Principal is outside with the boys, getting ready to give them a talking-to about treating the equipments (sports balls, mainly) appropriately. Good timing. I walk out there, explain what just happened, and out comes our Mr. Police Officer that works on campus. He begins to escort Bully Boy back into the building, when his little cronies try to follow. Mrs. Asst. Principal tells them to stay put. One says, "I've got his back, though." Mrs. Asst. Principal says, "I don't really care! You aren't going anywhere!" What an ordeal. Good news is, I later found out that Bully Boy got suspended for 3 days, for disrespecting two teachers, inciting a fight and bullying the kid. Hallelujah! I just hope his little underlings got some sort of punishment too. Even if they weren't the ones actually bullying the poor kid, being a follower is almost as bad, right?


So here's what happened Friday. I left school on Thursday very fed up with my last class. We had such a wonderfully terrific day on Wednesday (refer to my last entry), so you can imagine how flustered I was when things were back to normal on Thursday--rudeness and loud mouths and all. As soon as the last student walked out, I was in tears. I prayed that God would help me find the strength to come up with some surefire punishment. The last time they were this bad, I just had questions on the board for them to reflect on and we talked about how they were supposed to act. Too touchy-feely for this bunch, I think, looking back. So, after thinking about it, I stormed into the copy room and ran off a packet of worksheets on Character Counts--specifically on Respect and Accountability. I wrote about 10 directions the board before they came in to class on Friday, describing every last detail of their assignments and my expectations of them for the day. There was plenty to do, because not only did they have the Character Counts assignment, but also the assignment I had already planned. I had written on the top of the board "You talk: ASD". That got their attention. They sat in their desks and wrote. And wrote. And wrote. For two periods. Without so much as a peep. It was glorious. I got stuff done to prepare for this week. I organized my desk (as it often resembles a tornado disaster) and generally felt good about the whole Silent Block. At the end, I told them that I knew they were capable of being quiet and getting work done. I was pleased.

Today, it was like Friday never happened. In they walked with their mouths open and crap flowing out. With no restraint. I wanted to ram my head into the brick wall. Did Friday mean nothing to them? Perhaps I need to be the Classroom Nazi all the time. They seemed to respond better to that. How sad is that? I don't know what I'm going to do. Some don't care about ASD or being kicked out of class. My job shouldn't be this exhausting everyday...