It is a basic truth known by most seventh grade teachers that seventh graders lose their minds completely (as oppossed to partially) over the Christmas holiday. And every year we hope that This Will Be The Year It's Different. And every year we're disappointed.
Our kids have, for the most part, turned into little psycho nutballs. I had warned Mr. Social Studies about this phenomena, how even the good kids before Christmas become raving lunatics after the holidays, and he's spent most of this week muttering, "You warned me. You were right. They are insane."
Case in point...I don't give out discipline referrals very often. I'm the type of teacher who likes to do a bit more counseling, warning, and work with a kid before I turn them over to administration. A kid that gets a referral from me has worked his way through all this, including a series of behavior notes, phone calls home, and all that warm fuzzy stuff before I've finally thrown down the glove and filled out the referral. Either that or they've done something blatantly stupid, such as fighting, in which case they get a referral and we skip the warm fuzzy stuff.
I gave more referrals in one day this week than I've given in any month previous.
My fifth period, the Class From The Very Depths of Hell Itself, (which only has 23 kids) got two discipline referrals, one behavior note and four verbal warnings. These kids were absolutely beyond crazy.
This particular group of kids has a number of boys who like to throw things. Not big things that get noticed, but sneaky little things like erasers and spitballs. Little things that cause the other kids in the class to yell and scream and disrupt the class with cries of "Mrs. Bluebird, someone is throwing things!" So then you have to stop the class, try to find out who's doing it (I managed to guilt two of them into confessing this week.) and then do the stupid paperwork to send to the office. And by then they're all off task, no one is paying attention, and I'm about ready to kill them all. They are also, I might add, not getting along with each other, are fussing and demanding to get moved to different lab groups, and basically are finding wasy to annoy and frustrate everyone around them.
And they wonder why they don't get good grades.