I have a student teacher.
I wasn't expecting a student teacher - at all - and had agreed to have an observer from The University come and observe. I've had a bunch of observers the past few years so that's pretty much a no-brainer. However, someone at The University apparently can't count and handed off two student teachers to one of our sixth grade science teachers.
We have two new science teachers in eighth grade, and our one senior science teacher up there is probably going out for back surgery soon. So eighth grade was out of the question. The other two sixth grade science teachers were also relatively new (just two years experience), so they weren't an option. That left seventh grade. Mrs. Eagle had a student teacher last year, and Mrs. Robin, with her husband deployed and her two kids being a complete handful, just wasn't up to adding one more thing to her life, so that left me. I'd actually considered taking one in the past, but never pursued it, so I guess now it was my time.
Mr. T just finished student teaching High School Biology and since we are heading off into the cell unit, it's a great time for him to come. He spent today observing and I had him helping do a few things today. So far, so good. His University teacher said he needs work on organization and planning, and since those are two of my strong points he'll be getting a lot of exposure in that area.
Of course, today being a full moon, we had more than our share of drama. First, we had rumors of a girl fight pending, and Mr. Social Studies and I spent some time with kids in the hallway getting to the bottom of it. Mr. Social Studies, by the way, is a master at getting kids to spill their guts to him. It must be his experience in the military as a police officer, but all he has to do is give them a look and they're telling him their life story and confessing to crimes they haven't even thought of yet. He whips out his memo pad, takes down the information, and we turn it over to administration. I ended up giving one of my boys, Puppy Boy, a coupon for a treat at the snack shack for next Friday as he did the right thing by letting us know about the details of the proposed fight, and didn't do the popular thing and keep quiet.
Then we had the 8th grade rumor mill going strong which sent two of my girls from last year down to my room in tears looking for some "mommy time". They came by on their way back from lunch to let me know that one of our boys was in the hospital with meningitis and was going to die or lose a leg or something. Apparently the rumor was spreading like fire and the whole 8th grade was in an uproar. I told them I'd find out what was going on but not to believe anything until an adult told them. They wanted hugs and cried a bit more and then I sent them on their way with tardy slips. Seems that the young man in question simply had a bad case of the flu, went to the hospital because he was so dehydrated, and now was home.
Mr. T asks me if it's always this dramatic in seventh grade. I informed him that it wasn't always, but it being a Friday and a full moon, you just never know.
Like I've always said, I quit watching soap operas when I began to teach middle school because I have all the drama I can stand in my life.
However, it's going to be hard for me to step back and let someone else take charge of my kids, but as Mr. Enforcer said, "It's still your class." This is, most likely, going to be a learning experience for me as well.
And I'm so freaking tired I glad it's Friday.