I'm at school, and I've figured out how to get to my blog. It's a terrible thing, because I will now be checking my blog and writing on my blog at school.
It is after 4pm right now, and all the little darlings have left for the day.
I lost my temper this morning with my first period class. See, we're working on a mini-research project; five students to a group. It's a way to get them ready for a real research report, what with paraphrasing, summarizing, adding in originality, and citing works used properly. Tomorrow is their "presentation" day.
Each student is required to write one paragraph, and cite at least two sources they used. We spent last Tuesday in the computer lab, last Friday in the Library, and yesterday and today they had class time to work on this. Today, one of my charmers said with frustration,
"You didn't give us enough time! It's not fair!"
So, the two-week schedule I handed out last Monday will all assignments, homework, and due dates on it wasn't enough? All the time in the computer lab, library and in class wasn't enough? You didn't see the daily agenda every day, also spelling out what you should be doing? You didn't hear me say, "Stop chatting and get to work."? Yesterday, what did you do all period?
It's not fair that one student can rile me up so. I'm worried though that I'm not preparing them properly for high school. They need to step up and take responsibility for themselves, and yet they still want to whine and blame me when I don't remind them three thousand times, or give them an engraved invitation to be quiet or sit in their seats.
I have a running joke with one student. Almost every time I ask him to do something, or even call his name, I have to say it three times before he acknowledges that I've even addressed him. I've asked him if his mother doesn't mean it unless she says something three times. He laughs, but still ignores me.
My problem is that I'm at a loss as to how to deal with this. I've told my students that I don't want to have to get angry to have them listen or take me seriously, but that sometimes it seems that's the only thing that works. What do you do when just waiting patiently for them to shush up doesn't work? When physical proximity means nothing? When the hand signal of raising my hand goes unnoticed? When I say quietly, "if you can hear me now, clap your hands once," and only two girls even try to follow my directions?
please don't tell me to get one of those long hollow sticks with beads inside, a rain stick or something, I think it's called. Too hokey, and I can just imagine one of my boys pretending to be Luke or whoever-it-is-now Skywalker with it.