Thursday, September 22, 2011

We can work it out

Still no permanent teacher in my algebra class, so yesterday I came prepared with a lesson plan, first I passed out a worksheet with simple times tables (just to get an idea of where they are) and gave them 90 sec. to do as many as possible and said they would all get 10 pts. if there was no talking, calculators or phones out (All of those things are a constant problem) but they listened to me!!!! They did their work and one girl even completed all 60 problems. I also gave the incentive that whoever did the best would get their favorite snack the next time they came to my class, so I’ve got to remember to get my brainiest student twix!
This morning was not quite as successful, at one point students were running across the desk tops, students were stealing from other students and the language was rated R. by the end of class I got them to quiet down enough I could address their appalling behavior. I told I was there to help them graduate, and that I know how frustrating it is for them not to have a real teacher. I think they actually took some of what I said to heart.
The question was raised, “has the principal gotten involved?” The principal and the school are aware of the situation and they are working hard to solve a million problems at this school (the principal graduated from here and is one of the greatest guys I’ve met).
Some board downtown who is in charge of CPS (Chicago public schools) made the choice to let go of all the substitutes. I think they assumed that we would be able to get a permanent teacher right away, but that’s not happening.
And I wish I could take over the class at some points! But that would take away the point of my job, which is to focus on specific students who are struggling academically. (Lunch periods I spend time with students who are struggling with behavior and I have another group of students who struggle with coming to school on time or at all)

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