Friday, March 4, 2011

Where Did That Come From

My students often speak and act as though they are much older than they really are. They feel as though they must walk around with a sense of maturity and engage in street talk in an effort to not look "soft." R is no different. He will often attempt to look and sound like the leader of the class in terms of this verbiage. As such, the following dialogue in class caught me off guard.

Mr. A: "So it's pretty cool guys because we were given a lot of book donations and our class library has grown so you have more choices."

R: "Oh, that's tight! Did you get any Pippi Longstocking?"

Mr. A: "Um...not really sure how to answer this question. Oddly enough, yes, I do have a Pippi Longstocking book."

R: "That's dope kid!"

This was the first installment of my shock. The next piece of this shock happened a little bit later in the class period when R attempted to belittle the all powerful Mr. A.

Mr. A: "Are there any other questions about the expectations?"

R: "No offense Mr. A, but you is not that cool. You need a woman."

Mr. A: "Huh, this coming from the guy whose favorite is Pippi Longstocking."

R: "That's not my favorite."

Mr. A: "That makes more sense."

R: "Yeah, Swiss Family Robinson is my favorite."

Mr. A: "I...I mean...I got nothing."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

They Grow Up So Fast

My fourth grade students have a tendency to argue with one another. Let's face it, they all have that tendency. In this particular instance, A and T have been going back and forth for about the last 15 minutes. A and T will do that...a lot. I currently have the whole class lined up in the hallway as I am bringing them to their homeroom teacher. As they well know, there is no talking in the hallway. When the battle is on though they simply do not care. We enter...

T: "Oh yeah girl, that's why yo' hair be looking all ratty!"

Mr. A: "There's no talking in the hallway."

A: "That's why yo' face got all them bumps all over it."

Mr. A: "There's no talking in the hallway."

M: "I think it's called puberty."

Mr. A: "There's no talking in the hallway."

A: "It's called acne."

Mr. A: "There's no talking in the hallway."

A: "With yo' dusty looking self."

Mr. A: "Pretty sure there's no talking in the hallway."

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bieber Fever

It goes without saying that many of my students have character. That being said, it is fun to give them a hard time when given the opportunity. One of my students, R, is a particulary sharp student who I felt could handle a fair amount of razzing. As such, some of my colleagues and I decided to tell him that he was suffering from Bieber Fever. This was simply done to tease him a bit and show him the human side of his teachers. This is a strategy that can often be effective in building relationships with students. On one particular day he was not making the best of choices. Thus, he was asked to go to the buddy room (another teacher's room) where he was to fill out a reflection sheet regarding his choices. The following events ensued. We enter...

Phone rings in my classroom...

Mr. A: "One moment please...continue to be model fourth graders and follow the expectations."

Voice on the other line...

Ms. P: "Hey Mr. A, I thought you should know that I am playing some music for R while he reflects."

I can audibly hear "Baby Baby" playing in the background.

Mr. A: "Yes, I fully support this. He was not making good choices so this should help him reflect."

Ms. P: "Oh wait...R is banging his head against the desk now, I have to go."

Mr. A: "Good call...evidently this went too far."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ahh Old Friends

I am lucky enough to have my school connected to a certain after school program that is affiliated to my establishment. As such, I am able to reminisce with old students who have since moved on to other schools. This always provides entertaining dialogue. We enter...

Mr. A: "It's great to see you P, how have things been going in high school?"

P: "Mr. A, I ain't even at school, and you was never my actual teacher, why you always be asking 'bout stuff like that?"

Mr. A: "Student success P, it's my mantra."

P: "That don't even make no still finna have candy to give out though?"

Mr. A: "Oh, I see how it'll deal with talking to the rainbow if it provides that pot of gold at the end?"

P: "Oh got gold now too?"

Mr. A: "Ugh...Snickers or Skittles P?"

Monday, December 6, 2010

Really? I'm Scandinavian and Irish.

My students tend to ask things completely out of context and completely out of left field. Clearly this day was no different. The following question, which was the catalyst for the following discussion, came in the middle of a lesson on using context clues. Let it also be noted that the student did not raise her hand. We enter...

Mr. A: "So how else can we be active readers and use context clues while reading?"

A: "Mr. A, is you really white?"

Mr. A: "OK, that's a check for talking without permission, but since you've already said it, what do you mean?"

A: "I mean, you always talking like you black. I think you black."

Mr. A: "Really? I'm Scandinavian and Irish you guys."

R: "I don't know what that mean, but you don't really look black."

Mr. A: "I would say that's a good observation."

R: "Yeah, you mostly be looking really white, except for when you get mad...then you is red."

D: "You're red a lot Mr. A."

Mr. A: "Once again...outstanding observation."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fun With Prefixes

I am introducing my students to some various prefixes. One of which is the prefix -pro. As an example, I use being proactive. The students immediately make a connection to this, which is wonderful. We enter...

R: "Proactive? You mean like that cream for people with nasty skin?"

Mr. A: "Well, actually that's a good correlation, because the Proactiv cream can be used early as a preventative measure for further outbreaks, so it works for the prefix."

R: "T be needing that for her greasy skin."

T: "Boy, I know you ain't calling me greasy with yo' banana boat looking self!"

Mr. A: "Ah, nonsensical name calling...that takes me back."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Second Chances

I have used the same management system for the past two years I have taught at this school. My students this year have had over 10 weeks to grow accustomed to this system. In essence, the system allows for a minimum of eight infractions of the expectations, or should we say eight chances, before a parent is called...pretty sufficient if you ask me. That being said, certain students seem to think they are being given the worst consequence the first time they break an expectation. R is one of these students. He has already broken expectations twelve times today when the thirteenth ensues in the hall. We enter...

Mr. A: "R, could you please get off the wall?"

R proceeds to punch the wall three times and kick it once.

Mr. A: "OK R, that is not being respectful, I'm going to have to mark you down on the behavior tracker."

R begins to sing a nice little tune...surprisingly somewhat catchy

R: "I hate Mr. A, I hate Mr. A, I hate Mr. A."

Mr. A: "Straight up, so you can go ahead and shred to the office've sufficiently reached your limit."

R is now in a hysterical fit of tears...If he's looking to pluck heart strings with his emotion it's not working.

R: "No, no, please Mr. A...just give me one more chance...I promise I'll never do it again."

Mr. A: "Well, considering you were given a total of fourteen chances, not so sure the fifteenth is the charm, but it's nice to see remorse will ultimately set in for you."