The Next Page Entry 52: Who’s who in Room 36?

The Next Page Entry 52: Who’s who in Room 36?

I just realized…okay, not quite just realized…that I really haven’t mentioned many of my students. 

It’s difficult to NOT mention Beth, the strong-willed one who keeps her eagle eye on me seemingly at all times, unless she’s establishing peace and justice [well, her versions] elsewhere in the classroom. [I can almost hear her wheels turning, cranking out ideas on how to make something we’re doing better or more interesting not so ‘borrrring’…as if I don’t do that enough myself. 

And I’ve mentioned Sanjay because he is often linked with Beth. Great that she has taken him under her wing because he really was a lost little soul at first. She seemed to know what connects with him, starting with technology.

But as the days go by, I have noticed that he at times even stands up to her. And that is no easy thing. 

Unfortunately, the person whom Sanjay hasn’t yet stood up to is none other than Jeremy…I know I’ve mentioned him a little. He is actually a classic bully who knows how to dish it out, but doesn’t not deal well when it’s dished back.

I’ve tried reasoning with Jeremy, but he senses another kid’s vulnerability and he swoops in. Plus, he has a few admirers following him around on the playground. (Or are they just kids who don’t want to get on his bad side?). so that just emboldens him. And while there aren’t many who dare stand up to him, guess who seems to live for the opportunity?  Yes, Beth. 

Kind of funny to see that pint-sized dynamo get on her tiptoes to try to go nose to-nose with Jeremy. She’s known him since kindergarten and has put up with his stuff for all those years. I think it was second grade, though, when she finally had had enough and mashed his burrito with her fist and walked away. So I’m told…A cafeteria legend that has lived on.

A few things I have tried have slowed the behaviors for the short term, but I didn’t sustain the momentum. Blame it on my short attention span. My fault.

But this morning before school, Christina  came to me complaining about name-calling without telling me the guilty party. I was pretty sure who it was, though. So it’s time to revisit the issue.  And I have some ideas I’d like to test out. More later.

 

The Next Page: Beth’s Journal–Ms. Page fritzes out

The Next Page: Beth’s Journal–Ms. Page fritzes out

notebook pageSo, I could have written this on my own at home last night, but I just *had to* save it up for my classroom journal. 

***

Ms. Page went a little zooey yesterday after school.

I was coming out the front doors and there she was marching past me and straight to the office. 

When she came back out, she was putting on one of the yard duty’s yellow vests and she had a whistle hanging out of her mouth and she was heavy-duty glaring straight ahead.

She stepped right in front of a big blue SUV, turned and faced it with her hand held up, and blew her whistle.

mean traffic copThen she waved kids toward her. They were frozen. She told them to move along, that it was safe. I kind of think the kids would rather have stepped in front of the SUV than to disobey her, so across they went, including a couple of kids who didn’t even plan to cross.

This went on for ten straight minutes. 

One of the moms actually honked her horn at Ms. Page. I wanted to cover my eyes, but I just couldn’t. 

Ms. Page blew the whistle even louder and raised her arm even higher. I saw the mom cover her face and look downward.

Ms. Page yelled, “Put your phone down and pay attention!” at another parent. 

And I heard her saying something to herself about ‘not part of the solution…part of the problem’.

It was all over in about ten minutes.

When the last car pulled away…slowly!…the few remaining moms and dads walking their kids home applauded Ms. Page, who by that time looked a little bedraggled [one of our vocab words of the week!] and embarrassed on her way back to the office.

Best. Show. Ever.

The Next Page Entry 17: Aftermath of Chat with Mrs. Nix

The Next Page Entry 17: Aftermath of Chat with Mrs. Nix

silhouette of person scratching head pondering

So I promised Mrs. Nix that I would look into changing things up.

I wasn’t exactly specific, was I?

Gotta admit, I didn’t realize right then how open-ended ‘changing things up’ is. But I like it…

Anyway, I don’t want to alarm poor Mrs. Nix with my being ‘different’. I would just as soon stay off her radar–like all the other years–where she pretty much just tolerated me as long as I followed the ‘schedule’.

For now, I guess I’m on her radar. I was surprised she sauntered out to our rural setting to begin with.

Questions: Did someone alert her to our ‘rebellious’ ways? Or did she just follow her ‘Spidey-Sense’? Or did she actually have a question for me that she forgot to address?

***

Elsewhere on the teaching front…

Beth Hansen is watching me like a hawk.

I wouldn’t be surprised if she kept a dossier on me, though extra work isn’t exactly her strong suit. She’s just that kind of obsessively observant kid.

**I might need to put a bell on her so I know her whereabouts.

On the other hand, speaking of Spidey-Sense, this kid knows when I’m scrambling and seems to show up when I need saving.

The Next Page: From the journal of Beth Carson…

The Next Page: From the journal of Beth Carson…

notebook page
We’re writing till our hands ache. Ms. Page said something about using our ‘thinking-and-writing muscle’ every day. Yeeesh, I just don’t like the sound of that. All summer I was sure I had Ms. Page figured out. Here I was ready for a whole year of doing as little work as possible. And now we’re in Marine boot camp, doing exercises first thing in the morning.

I swear it felt like breakfast was an inch from coming back up.

Kind of glad it didn’t, since Mrs. Nix showed up right about then.

I looked over at Ms. Page. Suddenly she was the one who looked like her breakfast was an inch from coming back up.