Thursday, December 2, 2010

Teaching 9th graders

Two curious things happened on Monday with my students - 135 9th grade English students (honors, regular, and basic). Something curious happens every day, come to think of it, but Monday's episodes were extra interesting.

I typically arrive at school by 8:30 (classes start at 9:00 - gotta love this late-start high school!), and typically, a pile of students follow me - like a herd - from the hallway into my room. They linger until the first bell rings, chatting and catching up on homework. When the first bell rings, they scurry off to their classes (if they aren't in my first block class that day). During pre-school (preschool?) lingering on Monday, I caught one of my students copying homework from a completed homework worksheet onto his own empty one.

This was the first day back from a week-long holiday... so he had been given PLENTY of time to complete this small project. At the time I noticed the cheating, I was standing next to his desk and chatting with him, and then I looked down. "P.L., are you copying someone's homework?? Right *next* to me? While sitting next to the teacher's DESK???"

He looks up, mouth hanging open, and says, "I didn't think you'd care!" Zowie. My school considers such things to be honor code violations, so naturally I had to tell his history teacher. The history teacher told the principal, the kids got phone calls home, and both the copy-er and the copy-ee got in trouble. The kid who was copying later looked me in the eye and said, "I thought you were a bro, man! Bros always have each other's backs!!" Trust me when I say I didn't know what to say to that... I just laughed out loud.

To end that day, a student from my 8th block class showed up in my 7th block class... except that I didn't notice he wasn't supposed to be in that class. He was sitting off in one corner, chatting (which he normally doesn't do), and I kept asking him to keep it down. Kind of realizing that he wasn't sitting in his normal seat, I kept looking back to where he was supposed to be sitting, but it was occupied by other students. Then, halfway through class, he got up and left - which also didn't seem weird to me. It took me hours to realize he wasn't supposed to be there; another student actually had to point it out to me. All I have to say is, he must really like The House on Mango Street, because that's what we are reading right now and he got to study part of it twice!

Silly kids.

1 comment:

Donald said...

Glad to see you back a-blogging. I am finally signing up as a commenter!