I'm bummed because I posted about summer school using Blog Press last week and just realized it never posted. This is only bad because I have to try to remember what I wrote! *wink*
We have some pretty tough kiddos in the building I'm at. Today on my way in, I got cussed out by an 8th grader for asking him to go in the breakfast door instead of the main entrance. When I told the principal-in-charge, she said "Oh...well, it's a shame how these kids are brought up."
Um, why don't you DO something about it?! If the regular principal had been there, that kid would have been sent home. Period. It's people like the substitute principal, and their tolerance for that sort of thing, that has allowed these kids to think they can talk to adults like that. If I had ever talked to an adult like that (heck if I had ever sworn like that), my stepdad would have beat me black and blue. No joke.
I am not advocating for beating children but it is so sad to me that these young people think it is okay to treat anyone, let alone adults, the way that they do. One of the other teachers tried to blame it on young parents--I put a cabash on that. Sorry but I had The Oldest when I was sixteen and she wouldn't dare talk to anyone like that because there would be huge consequences. Age isn't the issue--it's being a parent and teaching your children manners that matters.
At any rate, for the most part, I have been enjoying working with the sixth graders. The ones who are there to make up credits are probably not going to make them up because they don't want to work, they just complain and they generally make it difficult for anyone else to work. It is beyond frustrating. I wish there was a way to get them to understand that they aren't hurting ME, only themselves. I have often said to former 5th graders I had, who have had crap attitudes about school, that they are going to pay me whether or not these kids learn and I'd much rather get paid because they did!
One boy, who early last week I feared wasn't going to make it, really turned it around. He didn't finish an in-class assignment and I made him take it home for homework. He didnt return it. So I kind of got on him about it but said if he turned it in the next day, I wouldn't count it late. And he had a kiddo bring it to me the next morning (we have two 90 minute blocks and he is in the second one). I thought that was pretty awesome that he got it together and followed through.
We have a 40 minute reading time in between the two blocks (and sadly we're reading the most boring book imaginable, chosen by the principal). I take a small group outside to read each day as a reward (for sticking with the boring book haha!). This kiddo did so well toward the middle and end of last week that he got to come outside on Thursday, the same day he had turned in his homework. He made a beeline for a private spot and I went over and talked to him for a few minutes. I told him I was proud of him for turning in his work and following through on what I had asked him to do.
Sixth graders aren't that tough when you get them one-on-one. They want to think they are, but they are really big teddy bears. I hope that perhaps I can make a little bit of an impression on some of these kids. A few of the girls have huge attitudes which is unbelievable at the ripe old age of 12! They think they have to be bad-ass and don't realize their futures are a stake here. One girl bragged to me that her GPA is only a 0.86! After I picked my mouth up off the floor, I said, "how do you ever plan to make it in high school if you don't care now??"
That's probably what reminds me that I want to stay at the elementary level during the year. The apathy would probably kill me after only a semester. It's so sad.