Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Are We There Yet?

I worked with a delightful lady Up North who once described the last few weeks of school as one very long car ride with a bunch of kids. "They all get along pretty good at the beginning of the trip, but by the time you get to your destination, they're all sick and tired of each other and are fussing and squabbling in the back seat."

She's right. And I wish I could reach into the back seat and slap some sense into them all.

We finished our Very Big Deal Government Mandated Tests last week, so that's no longer hanging on the horizon like a vulture waiting for some road kill. Although we all sort of feel like road kill at this point in time. We are having our reward party tomorrow (lucky me, I'm getting to work the pizza booth), which should be fun for the kids and tolerable for the adults. We get to wear jeans (always a happy day), and basically just shovel food and games at the kids while they run crazy and spend their reward tickets on things like cotton candy, door prizes, and hair painting.

Personally, I love the idea of getting them all hyped up on sugar, loading them on the buses and sending them home.

However, we still have five weeks of school. I am still assigning work. I am still taking grades. And some of these kids still need to bust their tails in order to pass. Yet, for some reason, some of them decided earlier this week that bringing paper, pencil, their binder, agenda or book was just Too Much Work, and they began to show up to class with nothing. They'd sit there empty handed and just look at us as if they expected us to entertain them by pulling rabbits out of a hat or something.

So, we entertained those that brought their materials to class by watching those that didn't clean out their lockers and lose locker privileges for a few days. (It worked, they now are showing up, for the most part, prepared.)

And if that isn't enough, the kids are all getting really annoyed and fussy with each other. It's spring so it must be Fight Season. Lovely. Hall duty is never as much fun as it is this time of year. This week alone we had a fight in the 8th grade hall, another in PE, another at lunch, and a few down in the sixth grade. And those are just the ones that I know about.

So the question is....are we there yet? And will we make it there in one piece?


K said...

I sure hope so, my students are driving me nuts. It is more pettiness than I can stand.

R2P2 said...

That's another problem with these standardized tests that I don't think is often addressed. We make such a big deal out of them (and we should, since OUR careers depend on it! grr), and so students have now shifted focus as to learning to take a test, instead of learning to become effective citizens. So, once the test is over...we're all done, aren't we? That was the point of all that, right?

It's great, though, that your school really follows through in rewarding the kids! Enjoy those jeans! said...

The jeans thing is funny...we can wear them 180 days a year if we want. I don't, but there are a few teachers who do.

Elaine said...

... I had several kids come today w/o anything - except their cell phones and ipods! 'But teacher, its friday, and we had tests all week! I didn't think we were doing anything!"

I reamed them a new one, and made 'em borrow from their friends. Then their friends reamed them too.

(I can currently do no wrong in the eyes of my students. I just got back from 6 weeks of maternity leave, and my kids are so joyful, even weekend homework doesn't dampen their enthusiasm!)