Monday morning found me once again covering for a 7th grade Health teacher in the Bronx. Unfortunately, the regular teacher didn't send over any lesson plans. ("Ooooh, she's in trouble," sang my inner 5-year-old as I involuntarily eavesdropped.) The principal pulled together some ELA test prep when I mentioned that my strength was in English. However, the students complained that they had already did the assigned pages. Even though the principal told them they would just have to do it again, the students were resistant to what they felt was a waste of their time.
In all honesty, I didn't blame them. If I were in their position, I would have resented having to do ELA when I should have been doing Health and doing a repeat assignment on top of that. However, I would have been too polite and respectful to refuse to do the work. Middle schoolers these days I'm finding are lacking a bit (okay, a lot) in the whole respect department.
The teacher I was covering for had only two health classes, so I helped cover some of the classes of a another teacher who was absent. I was also asked to experience the joy that is lunch duty--where I got to watch 12-14-year-old channel their inner animal and shovel food into their mouths in 45 seconds, after which the next 44 minutes and 14 seconds are spent fighting for territory, protecting young, and doing elaborate mating rituals. It's like watching The Discovery Channel: Middle School Edition.
Some interesting things about the school:
- Morning homeroom ritual consists of students asking/answering one another a series of questions: How are you feeling today? What is your goal for today? Who can help you with that?
- There is a 5min "Please begin preparing for transition" announcements.
- Music is played, instead of traditional bells, to signal end of period.
Other happenings of note:
- I was asked some questions by the principal and another admin in what felt like an impromptu interview.
- I found some great resources that I'll like to purchase. After ten minutes of contemplating "should I/shouldn't I," I asked the head of curriculum if she didn't mind me looking at her bookshelf. She was more than happy to let me look and even recommended particular titles for me.