My new favorite sophomore boy quote: when coming up with a list of descriptive words to use instead of color names one boy asked if he could put "a natural resource for white."

Yesterday was a very stressful day because I was being observed in the morning by the department chair. But the kids were good and the lesson went fine. Afterwards she said she had talked to some people about splitting a job Math/English, but didn't think it would work. I told her I hadn't pursued it because I was considering going back for a reading specialist credential. She said that the school has an opening for a reading teacher (does the universe never stop smiling on me?).

It would be nice to both stay at the school I started at and become a reading specialist. It wouldn't pay as much as being a private reading specialist, and it wouldn't be with little kids--it would be high schoolers, so it would be more stressful and possibly less rewarding, but it would be stable income and I would get to feel like I didn't bail on people who need me. If I didn't like it, I could always leave the following year.

Later in the day, I gave out the books. I ended up sending the girl who had gotten in my face to the VP's office for refusing to work, distracting other kids, and then arguing with me about why she should have to work. She has a behavior disorder, so I'm sure that she's not making the connection between her D and not working in class. Then I sent a letter to her caseworker.

At night, I talked to Maggie about how rude my kids are to each other (and me). I have consequences for not working, for fighting, for being off-task, but none for just saying inappropriate things. Maggie suggested just telling them that that sort of thing isn't acceptable here. "Maybe no one's ever told them," she said. I suppose that's possible--that no one has explicitly said "we don't make personal comments to those we work with." We'll try it next time and see how it goes.


that makes sense. after all, the other students could be considered their colleagues and they make rude comments to each other all the time.

i'm kind of curious about what they're saying to you...

They say stupid stuff. Their favorite seems to be "that's shady" anytime I tell them they have to read or write. One of them wrote me a note saying I wansn't a good teacher because we don't play enough games (how many games did you play in your high school English class?) and because I don't give prizes. I think I still have them guessing about my wardrobe. I dress all teacherly but wear cool shoes. Still, I get comments like "I'm gonna take you shopping, Ms. Keagy, and set you up on a date." One of them, on seeing a price tag on the back of a book blurted out, "Do you actually buy these? with your own money? You spend money on books?! Why?!" I wish I could capture the look of revulsion on her face. It was like I had just told her that I eat my own young. In general they impugn my pedagogy, not me. But they insult each other, and yell, and cuss each other out every day. Sometimes they call me racist for giving them the grade they earned. That's the worst of it.

punk kid: miss k, i did not deserve this F! why are you trying to keep the black man down? you're a racist, aren't you?

miss k (calmly): no, no i'm not. i just have taken a personal dislike to *you.* now get out of my face.

Totally off-topic, I know, but I don't have your e-mail address. I remembered you wanted to get you some affordable Montessori training, and I saw this on the Bay Area Freecycle board:

"Montessori training materials in 10 fat binders. These have been used, with notes on some pages. They're still perfectly serviceable for someone interested in the Montessori approach.

You pick up."

The woman lives in Berkeley, and I e-mailed her saying that I was interested. You want?

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