Vodka Mom always has the best blogs about her kindergarten students. Five year olds say the cutest things. Absolutely precious. A recent post featured the first fifteen minutes of the day with all the exuberance and innocence one would imagine from these delightful creatures. While posting a comment on her blog, it occurred to me that my students, 10th graders, had only ten years ago been that cute and innocent. I commented casually that I should write down what I hear and see in my classroom and we could compare. Then Vodka Mom encouraged me to go through with it.
The following is a cross section of the first five minutes of four different classes, plus walking onto campus. The names have been changed to protect the little darlings.
Walking onto campus 45 minutes before school starts. I come through the back stairwell and a male student has a female student plastered against the wall. If they didn’t have their clothes on, one would assume birth control would be necessary.
Hey! Knock it off.
No separation, but dirty looks in my direction.
Seriously. You two need to get out of here.
No separation. Dirtier looks in my direction.
I have a digital camera in my purse and I’m not afraid to use it. Do I need to show your mothers a picture of what you are doing?
Girl looks freaked out (finally), but boy looks like he would gladly slice my throat.
Between first bell and tardy bell:
(Jan) Do you know how much the health room charges for a pad? (Me) Sorry, no. But do you need a pass to the health room to go get one? (Jan) What if I don’t have enough money? (Me) I guess you have to work that out with the health room aid. (Sadie)Hi Miss. Are we going to work on our poems today? (Bill) Why do we have to write poems? It’s not my thing. (Bob)I’m going to put a shriek bat in my poem. Miss, do you know what a shriek bat is? Do you play blah blah video game? (James) Why would you put a shriek bat in your poem? You’re supposed to write a poem about yourself. (Bob) EXCUSE ME. Maybe some of us are using similes and metaphors like we are supposed to. (James) Oh, my bad, you are so like a shriek bat. (Tom) Your mother's like a shriek bat. (Lily) Miss, can you sign my permission form? I’m going to be a tour guide for the students who are visiting from Japan next week. (Marie, Tilly, Helen, Fred, Kent – all digging into their backpacks or binders) OH! Me too. Me too. My form too. (Darlene) Hi Miss. I just got back from our family reunion. Do you have my work from last week? (Me) Darlene, review the make-up policy and come to see me in tutoring after school. Class, the tardy bell will ring in about 30 seconds. You need to be seated at that time. (Donald) Can I get a drink of water? (Me) Do I ever give you permission to be late to my class? (Ronald) Can I use the bathroom? (Me) Do I ever give you permission to be late to my class? Class. That IS the tardy bell. You can use the ten minutes of SST to study for your quiz. (Susie, Bobbie, and Chad)What Quiz?? (Me) The one that has been posted on the board and on my website for the last week. I’d like to remind you all that if you don’t know what is going on in class, you shouldn’t announce it. (Sadie) Miss. Lynn is crying in the hall. (Me, outside in hall) Lynn – are you OK? (Lynn, balling her eyes out) Miss, can I go to the health room? (Me) Of course. But are you OK? Do I need to call for a security cart to drive you? (Lynn) No. Snuffle. My boyfriend broke up with me just now. I can’t go to class like this. I need to lie down.