Monday, December 21, 2015

Hum, Hum, Humming Along

The past few weeks I've seen an influx of sixth grade customers to Our Happy Little Portable.  This tells me that the honeymoon is over with our youngest kiddos, and they've finally worn their teachers' patience thin.  I've seen the same 5 or 6 sixth graders all year, but the past two weeks saw some new faces.

The funny thing about sixth graders is they're so flipping small compared to most seventh and eighth grade kids, and often look like little angels when they come in.  This past week I had Humming Girl, all brown braids and big eyes behind huge glasses.  This kid looked like she never made a peep and couldn't ever manage to make it out to ISS.  However, even the most angelic child can lose their mind and this one, apparently, cussed out our Mrs. Band Teacher.  (Really?  Like the sweetest lady on earth?)

In any case, as it was nearing the end of the grading period, kids who didn't have a lot of make up work often needed stuff to do.  And thankfully Mrs. Math had given me a link to a great website that had math fact coloring sheets - It's here, if you're interested. In any case, I gave Humming Girl a couple of these to work on - NO CALCULATOR - which just aggravates the hell out of the kids...and she happily sat at the desk next to my desk, solving her math facts and coloring.

And humming.

Humming Christmas Carols.

All. Day. Long.

She was rather quiet about it, so the only people who could hear her were me and a kid or two that were working up at the front table.  One of them, an 8th grade Repeat Customer, looked at her, and looked at me, eyebrows raised.

I nodded my head, letting him know I could hear her too.  "It's okay," I said quietly to him, "she's not hurting anybody."

He nodded and went back to work.

And we listened to Christmas Carols the remainder of the day and it was just kind of nice.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Sometimes You Can't Say No

Our Happy Little Portable is rapidly becoming "the" place to get caught up on your work and boost your grades, especially among the 8th grade kids.

True, it usually is pretty quiet in there as my typical number of kids is about eight, but I've been as low as one and then had a lot of new additions to boost my numbers to 18.  (That is NOT fun).  Today I started out with one kid and after lunch seven more arrived.  But honestly, if the numbers are fairly low, it really is a good place to get caught up.  

And apparently the word is out.  

Fourth period arrived today and with it came Baseball Boy who is my student aide for fourth period, along with another kid I had last year.  Last year Lazy Boy was beyond lazy, but he was also rude and got into trouble almost constantly.  He ended up the year with something like 250 discipline points and was on the verge of being expelled.  But for some reason the kid liked me.  Anyhow I hadn't seen him this year, which is huge, because it means he hasn't been in trouble much (I looked.  Here we are halfway through the year and he has 15 points.  He got that much in a DAY last year.)

"Lazy Boy needs to talk to you," said Baseball Boy.

"Yeah, I want to know if I can come to ISS for the rest of the week and next week until I get my grades up," he said.  

I about fell over.  

"Really?"  I replied.  

"Yeah, I go in front of a judge in January and I need to have C grades in all my classes or I go to Juvie," says Lazy Boy.  "I really need your help.  Baseball Boy says it's quiet here and you help kids."

"Well it can be," I said.  "And other times it can be crazy."

"I promise I'll be good," he said.  

"You can only come out during your related arts," I told him.  "You need to be in your academic classes."

"So I can come out third and fourth period?" he asked.  "Oh my gosh, Mrs. Bluebird, that would be amazing.

Oh jeez.  Really.  How can I say no?  So I pulled up his grades and missing work and he does have his work cut out for him.  Sent him and Baseball Boy into the building to get work from his teachers, and then emailed The Principal, and his teachers and the guidance counselor he talks to all the time and said if it was okay with them, I'd like to keep him for his related arts and help him get his grades up.  Seemed to make everyone happy, so I put him at the work table with Baseball Boy (who's really bright and a good student) and they worked on math the rest of the period.

I may have opened a Pandora's box and now all the kids will want to be out here to "catch up", but honestly I couldn't say no.  We'll see how it goes.

And the good thing is with Baseball Boy helping him, he won't be driving me insane.


Update on Lazy Boy - every day he came in, got to work, I didn't have to get after him One Single Time.  I was having trouble believing this was the same kid I had last year that had racked up nearly 300 discipline points in seventh grade.  He got his grades up.  Not sure if they're high enough for the Judge, but he did pull them up.  We'll see how the court date goes in January.