High Low

I play this game with my adivisory girls that I learned from my elementary school cousins in Boston called High Low, where you say the good things that happened and then the bad. They aren’t great at it, as their answers are always mildly vauge and tend to the negative side (they’re 14. Life is like totally rough for them sometimes….and totally boring.), but I think I can find some specifics to highlight from my week.

Highs – My Birthday!

Low – I’m old!

High – I found out one of my students, who, yes, occasionally tires to sleep in my class, but is, on the whole, pretty well behaved, is completely horrifying in two of her other classes. This, obviously, isn’t a high for her other teachers, but it made me feel like I am doing something right.

Low – Constant. Chattering. My kids NEVER shut up! They aren’t bad kids. They aren’t disrespectful, most of the time. It’s just if I stop talking or give them ONE minute to get off-task, the talking begins. I’m working on it, though…

High – My best TFA/co-worker friend who is the resource teacher at our school invited me over Thursday for Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes. She clearly is a rock star. I honestly don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t run and fall into her giant red bean bag chair at the end of a tough day, or send completely random, whiney emails to her during class. Plus, she’s ridiculously phenomenal at her job, so she helps me out with mine.

High – When I told my kids they’d get extra credit for going to this college fair on Sunday and let them know that if they brought me a brochure back from my college, they would get extra credit, they got all excited and were like “We’re going to go tell them we have Ms. B, and that she is an awesome teacher!.” Melt.

Low – Most of my very vocal students are HATING the Steinbeck novel we are reading, which I kind of can’t blame them for. I remember going on long rants against The Pearl in 9th grade, but anyway…it’s tough to get them to look past the fact that, while there is no intense action or high school level drama, the writing is pretty ridiculous, and it’s Steinbeck for pete’s sake!

High – In an attempt to make them mildly excited about the book, I had them start making MySpace profiles for the characters, and they flipped out! Even when they got their reward of free time at the end of class to work on whatever they wanted, EVERY one of them kept working on the project. They were debating what each character would like, what they would say, searching through the book for their age and clues as to what they might write on each other’s walls…they might not write the most academic blog posts on their profiles, but they are more excited and engaged with the book, so I’m considering it a win.

So…I’m going to call this week a success, on the whole. It was definitely uplifted by my birthday, but the rest of the week didn’t suck either.