It is the fourth quarter and the eighth-grade students are at that saucy stage. Those critical thinking synapses have connected, they get and use sarcasm. Basically the sweet kids that thought I was the moon and the stars are probably planning ways to hide me in the closet so they can get an hour of YouTube videos.
Every once in a while that child that loved to have me read a story peeks out. Lately, those moments have been few and far between. Literally, this is what I am dealing with.
I walk into the study hall to give another teacher a message from the office.
Student number one: I watched a Prince EA video. I have learned NOTHING and I mean nothing from school.
Student number two: Dress codes are ridiculous. Why do they pick on me for leggings and not her?
Student number three: As for this group punishment plan. I don’t like it. It doesn’t work. She points at a student who is minding his business across the room. The person who is causing the problems doesn’t even know we are in trouble because of their actions.
Me: Why are you picking on me. I just came in here to give her (I point at the other teacher) a note.
The heavens open and student number two smiles. It is the smile she gave me when we’d have Tootsie Pops (just because they taste good) in fourth grade. She says, “Because you taught us how to argue.”
Yes, I taught them how to write argumentative essays. They loved it. They got bias. They were good at presenting both points of view. It was a great unit. Now I am stuck with the consequences of attempts to make them more balanced writers. ….I don’t know how I’m going to make it to June.