Thursday, January 15, 2009

Addition to the syllabus

The first two weeks of the semester have raced by. With the block scheduling, that's like almost the first month of school passing by! This semester seems almost blissful compared to last. I hesitate to write that, for fear of jinxing myself, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that many things are much improved. The first block class continues to be a model class. Maybe they're still half asleep...I'll take what I can get. The tone of second block has changed dramatically, much in part to the transferring out of two students. What a difference two kids can make.

And my third block class? There's the miraculous transformation. The "fab five" (as I not-so-fondly called the group of gentlemen who frazzled my nerves and made me question my decision to teach several times a week) have moved on to frustrate other teachers, and in their place I have a group of 17 students (an unusually small class...thank you, God), who, thus far, have acted wonderfully.

Speaking of the fab five...and the title of this of the "fab five" students transferred to my second block class for some additional work in English. My relationship with this student seemed to pass a breakthrough point at the end of last semester, but I was curious as to how he'd respond to Mrs. Priest (who I co-teach with during second block).

Sometime during the first week, during class discussion time, someone audibly farted. Students giggled, knowing exactly who it was, and Mrs. Priest and I tried to move everyone past it. No more than 10 minutes later, during silent work time, we heard another fart across the room. My transfer student has a reputation for being a gaseous kind of kid, but I'd never heard it during third block. I just saw the reactions of the kids around him (apparently he's the Silent-But-Deadly type) and heard stories from other classes. Someone who farts this much would be savvy at being able to muffle it, don't you think?

Mrs. Priest, who will not put up with kids purposly being distracting, motioned for the young man to follow her to the library. She intended to have him work as not to distract the class more and to show him that we were on to his little game.

On the way to the library, she said their conversation was as follows:
Student: "What did I do? I didn't do anything!"
Mrs. Priest: "You know what you did. I'm not going to argue with you about this."
Student: "What?!?! It doesn't say you can't fart in the syllabus."