Thursday, August 29, 2013

The more things change...

So just three weeks before the beginning of school the principal of my elementary school called and told me I was being reassigned to the high school. I would go from teaching technology to kindergarten through fourth grade to teaching computer applications and personal finance to ninth graders.  OK. The folks in the business department at my high school have been really wonderful, and I teach in a small suburban district, so the kids are pretty harmless as teenagers go. But still, it's a shock.  Or maybe not. I started teaching 7 years ago after a long career in IT. Before IT I did other things, but that's another post. Anyway the ninth graders I'm teaching were at the elementary school when I started.  So when I got to the high school Monday, they were all pretty excited to see me. Especially the bad ones. I am a magnet for bad children. Especially bad little boys. They love me. It's a curse. Here's the thing... They're just the same. The ones who could not sit still in third grade still cannot sit still. The ones who blurted out comments in the middle of class still do that. The class clown is still the class clown. It's really funny. They are just great big old toddlers with hormones. I miss the little ones, but this will be fine for a while. They say it's only for a year since I am there to replace a teacher who is fighting a serious illness. These things have a way of becoming permanent, but we'll see. Meanwhile, I'll try to figure out the high school equivalent of the quiet chair.


Joy said...

When I went from teaching Challenge Class for the gifted back to high school, I had some of the same students I'd had earlier. It was actually more helpful than not since they knew my expectations and limits. The word will spread about you, and I believe it will be good. You still have that look you can focus on them!

Jackie said...

So it turns out I did not have to find a high school equivalent of the quiet chair. One of my little friends in the rowdy class (and there is always a rowdy class) just kept blurting out things and moving around when they were all supposed to be working quietly at the computers.

Me: (pointing to a chair at one of the work tables in the center of the room) C___, precious, go over there and have a seat.

Student: Why Ms J?

Me: You just need to go over there and sit down.

Kid walks over to the chair and begins to sit down. Suddenly the light bulb goes on.

Kid: HEY, this is the quiet chair!!!

Me: Yes, it is.

Kid: How long do I have to sit here?

Me: Until you are quiet.

Kid: OK

He did calm down fairly soon and I sent him back to his seat.

The next day at the end of class all the rowdy ones came up to check in with me to see if their behavior was better. (They are all boys). My favorite line: You know Mrs. Jonas, with me every day is a work in progress.

As Ed says: Les plus ca change, les plus ca meme