Saturday, January 16, 2010

I'm just a girl who cain't say no

On Thursday, a nervous looking young man who I have not previously met came to talk to me.

He started to tell me about how he wants to be an IB Diploma Candidate (did I tell you the IB accepted us?).  And he wants to take pre-calc this year.  And he would have to switch into a different hour of my honors class.  The one that already has 37 kids in it.  And the counselor told him he would have to ask me if he could be moved into the class.

I said, "Sweetie, look around this room.  There are 36 desks in here right now.  Where am I going to put two more?"

Blink.  Blink.

"Okay, honey.  You can switch."

The truth is, I never turn kids away.  If they want to do the work, I want them.

However.  So far this year, I have had the laziest honors students ever.  Four times this year I have been at school three hours after the final bell because I have been calling the parents of students who are failing my class.

Let me also point out that kids only fail if they don't turn in work.  I don't grade a lot of daily work in honors because the proof is in the pudding of their grades on the more final assessment, and these kids don't (always) need the the external motivation of points to get them to do the daily work so they will be ready for the bigger assessment (unlike my 11th graders, who, honest to Pete, sometimes won't open their book unless they know they will get points for doing the assignment.  I'm not sure about how to get 17-year-olds intrinsic motivation.  The students who do well in my class all have something hanging over their heads in order to...sorry, I digress).

Of 66 children, I only got 54 Comparative Analysis.  They were due on the first day of winter break., with humangous classes, lazy asses mean tons more work for me.

And I kind of resent that the counselor put me in the position of having to say no to this kid's face or have another body in my overflowing classroom (the other class is 35).  MAYBE WE NEED ANOTHER SECTION.

I've already been thinking about setting the tone more specifically with the new term.  Now...I don't want to scare kids off, but for Pete's sake, I cannot nag them all the time, or I will lose my cotton-pickin' mind, and it will be ugly for everyone involved.

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