“Mr. Holberg, is 10 the same or different than 10.5?”
I had to pause…seriously? After a short pause, “what do you think?”
I have a lot of work to do.
This might be a semi-digestible pill if my student was in 4th grade. However the student that asked me was an 8th grader. I only have 7.5 months (which is the same as 7 in his world) left with them and I feel like I need an eternity…
On the note of eternity: each day feels like eternity. I hate to say it, but I am a babysitter first, then a teacher. I spend a substantial portion of each class telling/asking students to 1) sit down, 2) focus, 3) stop tapping, 4) stop talking while I am talking. The issues that topped the list, along with writing referrals, redirecting students, and monitoring their behavior seriously take 20-40% of a given class period. No wonder we touched on 40% of the material that I had planned on teaching during the first quarter.
The quarter ends this Friday. My phone is going to blow up. I am currently failing 38 out of 43 students and given their current position, maybe a couple more will pass after Friday’s test.
As I write this, I can look with warm and parent-ish feelings on the naive me from a couple of months ago. Did I really think that I would write only three referrals all year? Yes. Do I currently write, on average, three a day? Yes. Could I have imagined that my students were 1.75 years behind on average? Yes. Did I imagine that the same distribution of students would span roughly 13 grade levels from 2nd grade performance to “14.9″ (whatever that means)? No.
In closing, I am currently awestruck by the lack of urgency that my students feel (especially the 8th graders) even after I have told them where they stand and what we need to do to get there. I am also apathetic. So much so that I don’t really even want to describe in more details the bane of my existence: 12, 13, and 14 year old children draining every energetic ounce in my body on a daily basis.
Let’s Go! is currently Let’s Go? or even better…Let’s Go somewhere other than school everyday!