Friday, February 25, 2011

Maturity. And a Flower Horn Fish Pet.

I'm hoping that this sub grows up a little before she becomes a teacher.  It's been a year.  She could very well be a teacher at this point.  Check out her helpful comments.

Monday, February 22, 2010

First Day of School

How often is the first day of school February 22?

I am happy to report that I really like my new class.  I mean, I've met them for a total of 103 minutes, so that judgment may be premature, but I don't think so.  They are very diverse - not like my other district where "diverse" meant black kids - but actually diverse.  There are kids who came from Bosnia, Russia, China, Nepal, New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa, Mexico, Central America, and a few other places I'm not sure of.  There are kids who didn't say one word and a couple who came in like it was their job to be a one-man (or woman) show.

I'm impatient for Wednesday because at the moment, their sub of the last two months is still there.  The principal thought it would be a good idea to have a transition time with both of us.  I think she was worried that I'd be overwhelmed but I feel that I am now sufficiently experienced in difficult kids that I'm going to be just fine for two hours a day.  The sub lends an interesting dynamic.  She is 22, just out of college, with no experience at all.  She is very helpful in some ways - she calculated the kids' grades and compiled all their information for me, which she didn't have to do.  In other ways, she's... young and inexperienced.  Examples:
"That kid over there is the most horrible human being I've ever met."

"That one is autistic.  I don't know why he won't do his work - he's not, like, stupid.  He just has a huge attitude, that's his main problem."

In addition, the kids can eat in class, wear their hats and hoods, have their cell phones on, sit with their friends, be late, and leave garbage on the floor.  Please do not have any doubts that this will all change.  Very quickly.

The office staff and administration is (so far) very welcoming and helpful.   We can actually get our own supplies and not have to beg for them or hoard (very strange).  The vice principal expressed surprise that the room didn't have a working computer and told me that she would get one set up immediately.  A much better response than "You know how you get those people to donate things sometimes? Do you think they'd give us computers?"

There was one boy sitting in the back who was drumming on his desk throughout the whole period.  Finally, while the other kids were working, I went over to him and asked if he was a drummer.  He said yes and apologized for his table drumming.  I told him that it was OK, my brother was a drummer and I know it's hard for them to turn it off.  I said that I might ask him to stop sometimes, but I wasn't mad at him.  He agreed very quickly and managed to abstain for the rest of the period.  Power struggle averted.

I forgot about the flower horn fish pet: read on.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sixth Graders


I love them.  I really do.

A student, let's call him "Jacob," who I'm tutoring in writing wrote me a story about a cat who fell into toxic waste and lived.  Then we played hangman.  His sentence?

"[my name] will lose to the wrath of the almighty Jacob."

My students answered some questions today in a writing exercise.  Here are some of the highlights:

What do you want me to call you?
  • Call me Ana but it's not my name.
  • I want you to call me Mr. Ramos
  • I don't care.
  • Call me "Daddy."

What languages do you speak?
  • I speak English.
  • I speak Tagalog, Visaya*, and English
  • I speak english at school & a little filipino
  • Bosnian, English, and a little of Spanish
  • I speak English and Spanish and Samoan.
  • I speak English every day and I could speak Spanish.
  • I speack Bosnian at home and English at school.
  • I speak english in school, spanish in spanish class and chinese at home.
  • I speak english at school and Arabic at home.
  • I speak english and Russian and learning hebrew.
  • I speak english at school and half englis and have togan [Tongan] at home.
  • I speak African American.

Where were you born?
  • I was born in Oakland.
  • I was born in the Philippines and stayed there until I was 8.
  • Bosnia
  • I was born is the state of Main all the way across the United States. The hospital's name is Machias.
  • Bosnia
  • I was born in Russia.
  • Berkeley
  • I was born in China.
  • I am born in Alameda.
  • I was born in New Zealand.
  • I was born in a hospital.
  • How would I know?
Describe your family.
  • I have one sister and my mom but my dad is in the Philipines and I never seen him since I was seven.
  • I have 4 people.
  • My family is wonderful an my pets.
  • I live with my mom and visit my dad on school breaks.  My mom and dad dont live with each other.  My dad lives in oragon and my mom lives here in California.  I ahve 2 older sisters and they live in Oakland the safe sid.  On my moms side of the family I have 1 uncle, 4 cousins, 1 Great Aunt, and 1 Aunt.  On my dads side I have 2 uncles, 1 Aunt, and thats it.  I have a black lab named Dozer and 2 Cats named Sneaker, and Boots.
  • My family is nice and my pet is a small dog and her name is Chamila.
  • Dad-Mom-sis-sis-sis-brother-brother-female dog.
  • My family is cool and nice.
  • I have a fun brother two awesome parents and two awesome grandparents.  five boring fish.  My parents never yell.
  • My sister is bossy, My brothers are electronic people, My parents are working hard, my grandmother cooks a lot.
  • I have 6 family members My mom wears a head scarf just like me My dad drives a truck with this company and My brother is 10 My other brother is 8 My little sister is 5
  • The family that I live with is not my Real parents but now since they adopted me they are and when I came to California from Russia I got a dog and there was 2 cats but 1 died but we got another cat.
  • I have a mother and a father.
  • Unique, nice, caring, kind, loving, a piece of my heart.
  • I have four family members including me, my mom, dad, and my brother, and I also has a flower horn fish pet.**
What is the best thing that has ever happened to you at school?
  • The best thing that happened to me is I got 1st place on my art project I did.
  • Nothing
  • I got out of school.
  • Getting all 4.0 grades for the whole year.
  • The best thing that happen to me at school is I got an 4.0.
  • I fonud a five Dollers
  • The best thing that has happen to me is have my first best friend at school
  • The best thing that ever happen to me was my fifth grade graduaion.  I had food and all kinds of stuff.
  • That we won our basketbal game.
  • I got an award for math.
  • when I got A's and B's
  • when I used to go to school in Oragon I got an award for not getting in trouble on the yard for a mounth.  That was the best thing that ever happened at school.
  • Nothin.
  • I got alot of rewards.
  • I figured out that a lot of guys like me.... haha shh! don't tell anyone ^o^

What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you at school?
  • The worst thing is when I first came to the U.S. I went straight and I didn't know anything the people are saying.
  • when I got suspended.
  • I went to school.
  • getting out of math class.
  • I dunno.
  • the worstest thing that happen to me at school is I fell because I run too fast and my backpack is heavy.  The ground was wet and I fell.
  • win I got hit with the Ball
  • The worst thing that happend at school was lose my friend because he moved.
  • the worst thing that ever happened at school was when I threw up in the hall way.
  • I don't know maybe when I got in trouble the last time I remembered.
  • The worst thing ever happed to me in school was I got saspended.
  • My enemies.
  • I never got it.
  • when I used to have F's
  • when I was in 4th grade at school I Farted really loud and every body heard it.
  • Nothin.
  • I got in trouble badley
  • Someone tripped me and the worst was someone spit on me.
  • The worst thing that happened is that I threw up in class.

Don't worry... that is not it, it's just bedtime.  To be continued...

*Pretty impressive that she speaks a language I've never heard of.

**Can anyone clue me in on a flower horn fish pet?

One year ago: Sixth Graders

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