Internet I have exciting news. I registered for all of my classes and I GOT EVERY SINGLE ONE I WANTED. Well, there was one exception but I fixed it and it wasn’t that big of a deal. I preferred not to have a certain professor and somehow the times switched so the time slot I wanted would mean I would have to have the professor I preferred not to have. But I figured it all out and now I am happy to say I am taking a class with a professor named….wait for it… JAMES DEAN. That makes me so happy! So for anyone who cares (primarily my mother) here is my schedule for next semester:
9:05-9:55 British Lit
11:15-12:05 English Language: Grammar and Usage
12:20-2:15 Adolescent Development and Education Psychology
3:35-4:25 French II
9:30-10:45 Teaching Exceptional Adolescents
11:00-2:00 Field Study (Going to a local school and observing teachers)
3:30-4:20 French II
9:05-9:55 British Lit
11:15-12:05 English Language: Grammar and Usage
So that is what will be taking up ALL of my time next semester. I’m really excited to be going back out into the classrooms. After my experience last year I am anxious to (hopefully) get a good teacher, preferably one with a degree. In case I failed to blog about it, two semesters ago I taught at a local public middle school and I just so happened to be working with a teacher who just got out of the ARMY and didn’t even have a teaching degree. However, the school was so desperate for teachers they hired him. He was quite scary. I mean, he was very, very nice to me, but he did yell at the kids a lot. I should also point out that the kids I taught were 6-8th graders and they were all the “at risk” students. This means they were always getting in trouble, or they would act out, often neglected by their parents, etc. They were all very, very sweet kids and I really loved them all, but BOY did they have some SERIOUS problems. I remember one time coming to class and passing two of my students on their way to see the principal. One girl’s face was really red and the other had scratch marks down her entire face, from her forehead to the bottom of her neck. It was awful.
Now I didn’t teach a full day because that only happens when you have your student teaching. We were supposed to be observing and taking notes, but the teacher I was with thought it would be grand if I really got in there and started teaching. I should point out that they placed me in a HISTORY class and history is NOT my thing. Luckily they were implementing this program with the history classes and they had to have a certain amount of time spent on critical thinking. This covered topics such as finding the key sentences in paragraphs, understanding what you read, and context clues! Oh how I LOVE context clues. So I got to teach these lessons. I usually went to my normal classes and around 1pm or so I would go over to the school (it was literally five minutes away). One day I was walking to class, arms full of poster board and markers and instructions and bags full of candy (for answering questions correctly) and I was all ready for them to start this massive project that they would be working on for at least a week. Things were great! The kids liked me, I loved the kids, we were all happy. So I get to the portable classroom (this was a really low budget school so they had those classrooms outside that looked like mobile home type deals… I have no idea what they are called…) and all the students are standing outside waiting for it to be unlocked. So I start talking to them, waiting for the teacher to get there, and we wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. So I send two kids to the office to find out what happed to our teacher and somehow we end up in another classroom with a different teacher and they a guest speaker teaching these kids all about grants and such. So you know, I’m a little upset because I brought EVERYTHING with me to get these kids started on a project and the teacher doesn’t show up or email me or anything.
Well come to find out this little sixth grader got some pills from her sister, brought them to school, and passed them out to her friends. The girl who brought them couldn’t have weighed more than 90 pounds and took TWELVE pills!!! She was pretty drugged the entire day and none of the teachers noticed because her friends were covering it up, saying she was sick and holding her up in the hallway when they changed classes. Finally a teacher noticed and she had to be rushed to the hospital to have her stomach pumped. Since the teacher I was paired with was over all of the at-risk kids, he had to go to the hospital with her. The other girls involved got suspended and I believe the girl who brought the pills was expelled.
Can you believe that? I was so shocked! Not that I thought these kids were perfect or anything, but twelve pills! It was so sad because some of those girls who took the pills were in one of the classes I taught. You really come to love these kids and it is always so sad when they screw up and make bad decisions like that. That is the one thing about being a teacher I am not going to like. You just get to know these kids and love them and you want to help them any way you can, and in one second they can be gone.
I have so many wild stories from that school I could share. It was really an experience. TWICE I was on my way out when a fight broke out and I was in the middle of the two girls. It was always girls fighting over some boy. They kept police on the campus and many times I saw kids being taken away by the police. They were pretty hardcore sixth graders. I think the best though was when my teacher said, “If I can give you some advice-” and I was very excited because advice! From a teacher! This is great, this is the stuff you want! And then he said, “Don’t date the parent of a student, and don’t date someone you work with.” Are you effing kidding me? THAT was the great advice you had to give me? It was really awkward. Rest assured Internet, I don’t have any plans to date a parent of my student or someone I work with.
Needless to say, I really hope I have a good experience next semester. I have no idea what class I will be observing- they really don’t care to match you up with your major until student teaching, so it could go well or it could all go horribly wrong. That’s half the fun of waiting though I suppose.
Also I was supposed to go this “after-prom” thing at a local high school and help with the activities they have for students to do after prom, to help keep them out of trouble or to give them another option besides drinking. I didn’t end up getting to go because they couldn’t get enough volunteers so they had to cancel it! How sad is that? They couldn’t get enough parents to help keep their kids safe and off the streets. Supposedly these kids really like the after-proms and the fact that they couldn’t get people to volunteer a few hours of their night really breaks my heart. Hopefully they will all be safe tonight.
And as for your Hamlet update- he is doing well. I need to clean his tank. He is getting quite moody also! It’s okay though. He is working on writing me a great soliloquy to make up for his mood swings.
Have a happy April everyone! See you tomorrow.