Friday, September 9, 2022

Entertaining Themselves

Friday. Fifth period. 

I got a new student. And he was lost. 

It's always a bit awkward to get a new student when a sub is there. And it was worse because he had missed most of this week, so he started off behind on a packet that's meant to take them three weeks to complete. 

Understandably, he had questions. 

The assignment for this day was an interactive activity having to do with interactions between atoms. (I lucked out and found a way to access the activities, and then I found a video explaining what they were doing, so I was able to steer them in the right direction.) They were confused. Several had questions. 

So, I got busy. I got so busy it took me twenty minutes before I managed to get the roll taken, and then I was back to going from student to student, answering questions. 

Alas, not all of them were on task. Those who weren't busy asking me questions and working on the assignment were doing other things.

They were throwing wadded up paper at each other. 

Ah, sophomores...

I growled at them. I reminded them that they had work. I asked them if they were so confident of the material, would they want a major test upon Mrs. D's return? ("Not gonna lie," one girl said, "I'm ignoring the assignment.")

Things settled a bit after that. Some still were playing around, but they were making less of a mess.

Until the end of the period. 

They had left trash all over the floor. That paper they were throwing around? Yeah, they left it there.

And I wasn't having it. 

The next period was lunch. I put myself in front of the door and told them that no one was leaving until the paper got picked up. ("It wasn't me. I'm not touching it.")

The paper got picked up. (By the girls who it was being thrown at. The boys who were throwing it are going to get all of my attention next week.) 

Fifth period is the class. Every teacher has one. The dreaded period. It's the class with the most misbehavior, the least attention paid to the work. 

At least with tenth graders (15 year olds), things shouldn't be as bad. Fingers crossed.

24 comments:

  1. Hold the those throwing the paper behind and let the others go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That assumes that with all that I had going on, I was able to identify and note who was doing what. I was not. After Wednesday's incident (see next week), I think period 5 may mellow. We'll see.

      Delete
  2. Do boys ever grow up? And the girl that was the target should not have had to pick up their mess. Way of the world, guys screw it up and girls fix it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was my thought, too; it seems to start early that women are expected to clean everything up.

      Delete
    2. The boys were all, "It wasn't me," and the girls just took care of it. Not fair by a long shot. I'm keeping a better eye on things so that I can catch future paper throwers, but of course this behavior didn't repeat.

      Delete
  3. Your posts like this always make me so glad I'm not a teacher!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And then there are times like right now, where I have a silent room, a working air conditioner, and time to peruse blogs because things are mellow. It's a job with variety.

      Delete
  4. Yeah you may have jinxed yourself there. Be careful.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh man....so the girls, as per norm, fix the mess done by the boys. I hope you get the better of them next time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Today a boy threw a pencil. He picked it up. (I didn't have so many questions, so I could watch them better.)

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. This is what I missed at the adult transition center last year.

      Delete
  7. Oh boy, get em in line, I say, sounds like you are up to it. Boys like girls who clean up after their misdeeds. I hope they get their day of come uppins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm more on alert to this whole girl vs. boy dynamic. But sometimes I just don't have the bandwidth to catch it all.

      Delete
  8. I'm not surprised the girls picked up. Getting my sons to do anything growing up was like asking for a body part BUT they did get things done, moaning and groaning all the while. I tuned it out. My daughter was easy and very helpful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, it's never them. It's easier when I catch them red handed.

      Delete
  9. Boys make messes. Girls clean them up. Some things never seem to change.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And it should. I've got to keep a better eye out so this sort of thing doesn't repeat.

      Delete
  10. What a perfect question to ask, if they are so confident they know the material they wouldn't mind a test! I'd like to say, at least the girl was honest, but my first reaction is, what a brat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the age. This is right when they figure out that it's better to buckle down and get it done. 9th graders would still rather play around. By 11th grade, they've mellowed (mostly) and just get it done. But in 10th grade, they're right at that moment when they figure out that the playing around isn't worth it.

      Delete
  11. When I was substitute teaching, I was warned about this one class. Thus put on notice, I girded my loins (which sounds kind of icky) and prepared for their lesson on the first battle of Bull Run. I had them laughing (I figured going at the thing with some semblance of humor was a good idea). It ended up being my favorite class and, ten years later, I still tell the story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coming at any class from an adversarial position puts them on the defensive. Humor is the best way to win them over.

      Delete
  12. It certainly wasn't fair.
    So glad there are teachers like you so this sort of thing doesn't repeat. 👍🧡😊

    ReplyDelete
  13. Typical the kids in the wrong didn't do the cleaning up.

    ReplyDelete

I appreciate your comments.

I respond to comments via email, unless your profile email is not enabled. Then, I'll reply in the comment thread. Eventually. Probably.