Tuesday, December 11, 2007

If These Walls Could Talk...

Oh, the stories I have to share!!

Let's start with yesterday morning, shall we?

I got to school and heard an announcement on the PA system letting us all know that the server was down. Fine. I had to type up my algebra PowerPoint lesson for the day anyway, so I'd just use my laptop. Not a big deal. No Internet access, which really stunk, but I'd live.

I finish typing up my lesson, pull up the LCD projector tool on my computer, hit the power button to turn it on and..."The projector is not connected." Crap. I forgot that the projector was hooked up through the network.

I gave my first hour students the option of which "old school" way we'd go with the lesson: whiteboard or overhead. They chose whiteboard. Granted, one wanted me to use a blackboard, but sadly, that was not an option, as there is no chalkboard in my classroom.

Second block came and I had two students who had to make up a test. As always, I had them work in the classroom at first while the rest of the class took the pre-test for the next chapter. When it was time to hand back the tests, I had the two who were still taking the test go out into the hallway to finish. When they were done with their tests, they came back in and gave the tests to me. I set them aside as I finished teaching the lesson.

I had a chance to correct the tests during worktime at the end of class. I found it quite interesting that the answers both tests had the exact same answers except for one problem. I had the two students come up to my desk and spoke with them about it, having a good idea of what had happened. One confessed right away, which actually surprised me quite a bit. I had the other sit down and spoke with the confessor about why they had done it. The response? "Well, I didn't really get it, so [I was told] I could get a couple of answers from [the other student]." Uh huh.

Confessor sits down, other student comes to my desk. I ask said student to tell me what happened. Silence. I explain what the confessor said and the student agreed with that story. Right.

I kept both tests, and told both of them that they will have to retake it. Now I have to find out what the policy is on cheating and go from there. How fun.

Last block. Technology was up and running again (yay!!!), so things should have gone quicker compared to my first algebra class of the day. Of course, my last hour kids are WAY chattier and love to get off on tangents. They always say they want to do better than first hour, though. Go figure.

I had told the class that they should have no problem finishing quicker than first hour and should have more worktime at the end as well, IF they stayed on task and were quiet. They thought that was the greatest thing ever.

I was going through a homework problem students had questions on at the beginning of class when some students began to talk loudly enough for me to need to raise my voice to be heard. So I just stopped talking. One student yelled, "Hey, guys! Stop talking!! We're trying to get through this!" Talking stopped and one student asked why they should be quiet. "Because," was the response, "Ms. Grivna knows what she's talking about and she's pretty."

Dead silence.

For like, a millisecond.

I knew that the class would latch onto that comment and milk it for all it was worth if I didn't veer them back to the math at hand FAST. I started talking at the same time my students started moving their mouths. Somehow, I managed to bring them back to the math without laughing (which I was fighting very hard), without going red in the face (which was almost more difficult), and without letting any cracks get in edgewise to the boy who had made that comment (who was sitting almost in shock with the realization of what he had just said). Poor kid.

I told this story to my sister on the way home from school yesterday. She practically died laughing. It's funny...I've heard about student crushes before. I never had a crush on a teacher...probably because they were all quite old or just plain weird. I know of some of my classmates who had crushes on teachers, though. I always thought something was seriously wrong with them. And now, somehow, I've become victim to one. Me. Of all people. I find it funny, flattering, and disturing (I was going to write "frightening," but that didn't really describe it) all at the same time.

Math Team practice was held yesterday after school.

Towards the end of practice, I had the answers to the sheet my team was working on projected onto the screen in my room. I exited out of the answers and my desktop could be seen. My wallpaper is of the pit orchestra I played with for "State Fair." The kids got to talking about it and music in general.

The discussion ended up coming around to marching band. One of my new mathletes said that her cousin, who played the bassoon, marched bass clarinet. She couldn't quite remember the school that he went to, though. The one she said that she thought was it happened to be my high school. Whoa. She told me his first name (couldn't remember his last name) and told me he had a younger sister still at that school.

A few minutes later she remember the color of his marching uniform - blue. I called my sister on my way home and asked her about this guy. Turns out that yup, she marched with him!! He was a year behind her in school, but definitely knew him.

I told my mom the same story when I got home and she knew him, too! Now I need to remember to find my mathlete sometime this week and tell her of this funny connection.

Fast forward to this morning.

I got to school this morning and helped one of my students study for a math test re-take that she was going to do after school today. As she worked on a couple problems, I dropped off my lunch in the teachers' lounge and made some copies of a couple slides from today's lesson for my trans math kids. I got back to the room and worked out a few more practice problems with my student.

My first hour kids started coming in and dropping off their stuff. One student came in and said that there was yoghurt all over my door. I looked and, sure enough, there was yoghurt all over my door. Wonderful.

I ended up bribing two of my students to go get some paper towels and clean off my door. The bribe? They didn't have to do the warm-up problems for today's class. Heh. That's probably the easiest bribe I've ever made.

No comments: