Monday, May 15, 2017

Testing, Testing, and Badly Behaved Kids

To be perfectly honest, the past few weeks have been a challenge.

First we had testing.  And more testing.  And even more testing.  We spread out the Very Big Deal Government Mandated Tests over a total of nine days and I'm not sure that was the smartest way to go.  Yeah, I can see how they want to make the testing blocks of time shorter - more like a class period which is what the kids were used to - but jeez, two freaking weeks of testing?

The problem being that, due to the fact that Testing is Everything in Education, we couldn't send kids to Alternative School, our in-house version of Alt School was at capacity, and suspending was problematic.  We could suspend kids, but only if the parents agreed to bring their spawn every morning for testing, then take them right back home when the tests were over.  (Remarkably, three parents agreed and did this.  We were shocked.)

So we had to deal with the kids being stuck in the building creating havoc.  Or more precisely, I had to deal with the kids stuck out with me in My Happy Little Portable.

It was not pleasant.  It was like two weeks of the very worst of the worst, kids who were already returned from alternative school, on limited 25 point contracts, and who had already exceeded that number.  I was told, "try to keep them if you can, but if they so much as blink, call us and we'll suspend them."

Oh blink.  Dare ya.  Just blink.

I ended up having to call and have two of them removed.  They made it through almost 3 days of their 4 days with me (four of the longest days of my life) but finally blew it when they couldn't mind their manners and got disrespectful and rude to me and their classmates.

And they were gone.  They are now both in alternative school and that's where they'll start 8th grade.  But then I'm sure I'll see them again.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Beam Me Up Mrs. Bluebird!

The Enforcer once told us in a faculty meeting, when he was an Assistant Principal, that his job pretty much involved sitting behind a desk and having kids lie to him all day.

I feel his pain.

I had this little sixth grade girl, truly a piece of work, who was with me for two days due to her really insulting and rude behavior to her teachers.  (Lovely).  Every morning I do a brief orientation about what it's like in ISS, expectations, etc., Like most sixth graders, Little Rude One didn't really believe me when I said that all work had to be finished before they could be exited from ISS.  I swear I only say this a 100 times a day, but some kids Just Don't Get It.  A lot of kids are Shocked - Shocked! - when I actually do something I say I'm going to do.

In any case, Little Rude One turned in her social studies assignment with Nothing Attached.  Seriously.  Nothing.  I called her up to my desk to find out where her work was.

"So, it says here that you should have the Egypt worksheet you got from your teacher yesterday for homework," I say.  "Where is it?"

"It's at home," she says.  Considering it was given to her to take home by her teacher the day before, that's a possibility, so I didn't pursue it.

"Okay, so below that it says you are supposed to read pages 302 through 320.  Did you do that?" I ask knowing full well she didn't'.

"Yes, I did!" she boldly proclaimed.

"Okay, so on pages 320 and 321, you're supposed to do questions 1-10 on notebook paper.  Where is this?"

"It's at home!" she chirps.

"Really?" I ask.  Because she just got this assignment This Very Morning.

"Yes, it's at home!"  She says again.

"So, I'm wondering how it could be at home, when you didn't even get this assignment until this morning, and as far as I can tell, you have been in this room with me all day."

"It's at home!" she again insisted.

"So, what you're saying, is that you got this assignment this morning, and somehow managed to teleport yourself back to your house where you completed it and left it?" I asked her.

At this point, I was expecting another, "Its at home!" but what I got, finally, was that look in her eyes that said, "Oh crap, she's caught me lying,"  She realized, finally, that she'd been backed into a corner of her own making.  And I sent her back to her seat to hopefully, finally get her work done.

Sh e didn't get it done.  She had to come the next day during her PE and art classes to finish.  And the whining and fussing were amazing...she just didn't seem to get it.  She'd do half the questions, and turn them in.  I'd give them back to have her finish.  Back and forth we went like this on all her assignments, social studies and reading language arts.  When she got 2 out of 20 correct on her vocabulary assignment, I then had her sit with a dictionary to look up the words she got wrong.  At that point she nearly lost her mind because she didn't know how to use a dictionary because the words "don't pop up at you".  

Oh good gracious.