Tuesday, November 15, 2011

no pictures

sorry for the lack of pictures, I was unable to go to the museum as planned so I will have to postpone the picture update. This weekend however, I'm looking forward to the tree lighting ceremony and will most definitely bring my camera for that. This week is pretty nuts; we are planning for a "vip lounge"
The "vip lounge" is a lunch we will be providing for students who started out with poor attendance but have improved a great deal. This first "vip"is introducing the incentive, we are providing them with pizza, putting on a skit and playing some games with them. It should be a lot of fun but we are having problems getting food donated for the event, originally we were going to get wings for the students but the restaurant backed out at the last minute. Now we are trying to get pizza before Thursday...yikes. donations are hard to come by.
Here's another crazy story that happened a couple of weeks ago. I didn't witness any of it so it may be exaggerated but here goes-
A student was misbehaving in a classroom to the point that the teacher decided to call the parents. Well apparently the father did not take the news well because in 6th hour the dad came into his sons classroom and started hitting his son (the term I heard was "beating") in front of the teacher and all the students. A few moments later the child's mom came into the room and started hitting the father until the security finally had to come and get involved. I have never heard of such a thing and I think it's safe to say that situation was a first at our high school.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

new experiences keep coming

I don't have any new pictures for you yet but this weekend I am going to the contemporary art museum so be on the look out!
Now before I tell you this story, you should all know that so far I am having a terrific week and I am safe here at this school!
 Monday in my first hour class things were going a little less than ideal but Mr. E and I were managing. After about an hour I heard some yelling and desks being moved in the classroom next to me. My friend/coworker is in that class and through the brick wall dividing our classrooms things sounded pretty serious. So I ran out of my room to see what was happening. All the doors are locked so I could only see in the window. There was one security guard in the room already who had a student in a headlock. I shouted for more security and two came running, unlocked the door and grabbed another student. Apparently there had been a fight between a guy and a girl. The situation seemed handled so I went back to my class. Unfortunately, because my class could hear what was happening they became riled up and wouldn't calm down. It was a bit of a mess. Then a junior girl who had obviously snuck out of her class was looking into our classroom and throwing gang signs at my students.  So I opened the door and asked her to get back to her class and said "don't ever throw gang signs at my kids again, you know we (the school) has zero tolerance for that"
Well she freaked out and started cussing me out saying "F***you, you don't know me and I don't give a f*** who you are! So you better watch your back cuz i finna f*** you up next time I see you" she continued to cuss at me, the  security guards were occupied so I just smiled at her and said "I just want you to leave my students alone, so you need to walk away" I was ready to go get a faculty member to bring her down to the office because use of gang signs is an automatic suspension; but then my coworker who was in the classroom that had the fight came out of her room and I thought she might need someone to talk to. So the student who threatened me walked away and there was no more trouble from her.
It's crazy to me that a 16 year old girl would threaten an adult (or anyone) like that. I don't know if I handled the situation as well as I could have, but my skin is sure getting thicker.
I have to keep in mind that I don't know what is going on at home (if they have a home) with these kids and when they react so quickly with hatred its a defense mechanism, and it actually does work pretty well.  Who wants to talk to a student or try to get a student to do their work if they are just going to yell at you and become violent? Not me!
...but I've got to get past that, some students have lowered their wall a little for me and let me sit, talk  and work with them and it doesn't take long for them to become somewhat attached to me. The first step is to break down that wall!
God Bless and love you all!

Monday, November 7, 2011

 So what am I doing inside a colon? My friend Justin and I (he's also a coworker) went to a nature museum in Lincoln Park. This portion of the the museum was called "Ewww...what's eating your body" and there were plenty on nasty pictures of worms, lice and close ups of other things that I am trying to get not think about.
 A more enjoyable part of the museum was playing with a bunch of reptiles, Like Snoopy the Snake, seen above. For some reason the owner looks concerned about how I'm handling her pet. But honestly, she talked to me for about 45min about all of her animals and how she wants more. I just wanted to move on to the other animals! Snoopy is a Ball boa constrictor, instead of coiling like most snakes to keep warm he wraps up in a little ball...cute huh?
Also in the building there was a butterfly room with thousands of different butterflies, I tried to take some pictures but  I would need a more high powered camera. Just trust me when I say it was pretty cool.
 Here is the founder of Chicago! Jean Baptiste; in all of Chicago this is the only statue of Jean, its pretty small and you wouldn't be able to find him if you don't know where to look. I didn't take a picture of her but to the left of him is a statue of Marilyn Monroe. Its a really ridiculous statue so I left her out of it (she stands at 26 ft, a little bit of an overkill if you ask me)
After watching some street performers (a dancer and a magician) I went to the movies with a couple other co-workers and when I got out here was a nice view I saw of the city. Pretty good saturday!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


 Yesterday my team helped out with a college fair (We've actually been helping out all month trying to get college reps to come) and we got a lot of compliments from the the teachers and security guards, I think they are finally seeing how much we do here. One faculty member said "you all don't realize how much you change the climate of the entire school." another said that whenever they think of us they think of the most organized and put together group that works here.
It's a good thing someone is noticing that we are making a difference, because I must admit, many days I can't tell if I'm getting anywhere with these kids. They are so resistant to everything, in the classroom I can be their worst enemy, but in the halls I'm their best friend; wanting to give me high-fives, fist bumps, and even hugs.
Today there was no school because it was "report card pickup day", which to me was kind of silly to take an entire day off to give parents report cards. Especially because hardly anyone came. I know some parents have to work and other students don't have parents but only about 70 out of 900+ came. My parents came to every parent teacher conference, they looked at my grade cards, they had talks with me about how I could improve myself. They did everything.
Thanks mom and dad, I love you.