Tuesday, February 12, 2013

5 Things New Teachers Shouldn't Do

Dear readers,

                The fresh aroma of newly cooked rice juxtaposed with the bitter and harsh smell of bootleg tobacco from the People’s Republic of China tickle my olfactory senses as I write this post. I guess it is one of the few perks of moving into a house where two foreign exchange students who don’t speak a lick of English reside.  Other perks would be the chance that I have to attempt to learn a new language, the ability to appreciate new music, and the ability to develop patience for not being able to know what is going on inside my own home. Oh, I forgot to mention the relative sense of isolation and introspection that comes with the territory of living with people who don’t understand you, or care to. Move over Waldon Pond and step aside Mr. Thoreau, there is a new sheriff in town; his name is RoJo and he's writing a book called On Ellendale Road.
Actual Picture of me and my roomates

                Anyway teaching is going well, I guess. I mean how well can it go when you’re a first year teacher at an SDC school? The answer is very well. I just wanted to write to my followers, of which I have none at the present moment, and tell them the one piece of advice.

                Don’t flash gang signs when your students do.

You may be thinking, “Of course not… You’ll get shot.”

I am also here to debunk that myth. I am here to disabuse you of that utterly false notion. You will not get shot. At least not by your students. In fact your students will laugh. You will laugh. The class will laugh together. Then they will stop respecting you as a teacher and subsequently stop treating you like a human being.
actual picture of me throwing gang signs with students

Here are five other things you shouldn’t do as a teacher

Allow students to choose their seats.

Call students by the wrong names.

Laugh when your students say innapropriate jokes.

Catch Carlos with his hands down his pants  (not doing anything, just kind of chillin' there).

 Forget about Carlos’ hands being in his pants and shake his hand goodbye.

Well, until next time Readers

Stay sweet.

Actual picture of me as the pope

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Hammer

For the first time in more than 6th months there is something positive to report.
My kids are learning something. Not only are they learning something, I have dropped the Hammer on them. It is great. 
If there is one thing that I have been struggling with since being a teacher, it is the fact that I can't discipline a single soul. This does not bode well when you consider that the only difference between my children and individuals of the California State penal system are a couple of years, a few counts of man slaughter, and the occasional tear drop tattoo. 
For the majority of the entire last semester my students went ape sheet. 
With a teacher who granted such liberties as speaking in class without raising your hand, standing up and using a pencil sharpener without asking, and putting on your makeup while your teacher lectures, the students were finding it hard to stay on task. As the semester progressed, we had a couple more incidents. Studnts began to start walking in and out of class, inviting their friends to class, running around the school unattended, and occasionally bringing a camalback full of Vodka in the classroom.  
Things have changed this semester. Mr. Evans has been inspired by a couple of things. First Mr. Evans saw this YouTube Video Kudos Jamison Sheffer

I thought this was pretty funny and wasn't really effective, so I didn't do it. Then I met the real life, female, dread-lock version of this man. Her name is Mama Payne and she brought the mother freaking hammer. 
Not a real picture of Mama Payne
The first time that I observed Mama Payne throw down the hammer I crapped my pants. Some kid was chewing gum in her classroom and she lost her freaking religion. How do I know that she lost her religion? She told me, the rest of the class, and most certainly the kid chewing gum that she had lost it. All the fury and might that a sixty year old black woman could muster came out on this one kid. Within five minutes the entire classroom was silent. At the end of this and everyone of her rants Mama Payne asks the student "Are you gonna make me bring the Payne?"  Without question the student replies with a "no" 
"No... No What?" replies Mama Payne
Following this, the student replies with a "No Mama Payne please don't bring the Payne" each and every time. 
As time has progressed I have started copying what Mama Payne says. I don't have a cool way to threaten children with my last name, but I do my best to sound like a sixty year old black woman and it usually does the trick.

Anyway my classroom is a much happier place when I "Bring the Payne." 
next time 
Going Ape Sheet so my children don't have to.