Friday, February 18, 2011

The Seventh Grade Infestation

This past fall, due to declining enrollment, the seventh grade went from three full teams to two teams, and then some eighth grade teachers picked up a seventh grade class to help lower the class sizes.  The eighth grade had two full teams and a "mini-team", and the sixth grade had three full teams.

Except by November it was apparent that there were eighth grade teachers with class sizes in the teens while we in seventh grade were trying to maintain some semblance of control over class sizes in the 30's.   Fortunately our Admins saw that this wasn't good, so the eighth grade teachers teaching one seventh grade class, were upped to teaching two of them (along with three eighth grade classes).

And the numbers of seventh graders just keeps climbing.  

We got an email from the Guidance Goddess early this week informing us that not two, not three, not four, but seven seventh graders were going to be enrolling and she'd appreciate it if we could let her know what classes we'd like to put them in.  At this point, with special ed considerations and block scheduling for reading and language arts, it is nearly impossible to have a good schedule.  Regardless of what we do, the big classes keep getting bigger.  I pretty much said I didn't care where they put them as long as they weren't in my homeroom or third period.

Can you guess where two of them ended up?  My homeroom and third period.  

Sigh.

Both seventh grade teams are nearly out of lockers to give to the new kids, so I asked Mr. Enforcer if we were still going to have two seventh grade teams, was there a possibility of moving some of the school's unused lockers down into the seventh grade area.  He said he didn't know what we were doing for staffing next year, but he'd definitely consider it.  

We now have more seventh graders than we had last year (and five fewer teachers).  We have more seventh graders than eighth graders, and are five kids below the number of sixth graders.  The seventh grade teachers are cranky.  Seventh grade is a bad year for most kids - absolutely perfectly normal wonderful kids become dysfunctional goobers in seventh grade (and then, usually, outgrow it by eighth grade).  It is The Year From Hell.  Seventh graders have the most failures, the most discipline referrals, the most problems.  So we're putting them in cramped classes with other kids who are losing their minds due to hormonal overload.  I swear it's like a long car trip with a van-load of kids who can't get along.

I'm with Guidance Goddess...I want a sign on the marquee that says "Seventh Grade is Closed."


1 comment:

OKP said...

So odd to read this, because it's the same in my neck of the woods. We have about a hundred more seventh graders this year. It's crazy!

Closed, indeed.