So, had my first three periods for the first time today. I reckon I can talk about some of the students in em a little bit first, then we'll talk about implementing that ever so important writing I was talking about. I'll also try to give you guys a little bit of a plan of what I'm doing here. My ultimate goal is to be brushing the ass-end of Romanticism and metaphysical poetry and whatnot right before Xmas break. I figure I'll wrap up with Walt Whitman and leave the buggers able to tool with him again after the Civil War.
Tina. She's gonna be one of the most fun students I have I think. She's really energetic and really knows how to take a joke (which can be a huge problem with female students, as I believe I've mentioned, if not lemme know). She's very bright as well, and she seems eager to learn.
Adam. Adam's a pretty cool seeming dude. Seems very much like one of those emo kids you remember, but he also seems like he's going to apply himself and work to impress me, both good qualities.
Triana. She's a super suckup, and you can tell that the other students hate her from the very first. These ones are the toughest ones to teach sometimes, especially if they start having trouble with stuff. They don't take failure well and they're very prone to social isolation (and they have a superiority complex the size of Texas, which doesn't help things). We will be covering her type more as we go on, I'm sure.
Whole class. It's a pretty good class. Small. Mostly smart. It's good stuff, really. I think the hardest thing I'll have to overcome in reaching this class is getting them school oriented first thing in the morning. It's gonna be tough, but I loves em already.
Alysia. Bubbly white girl. Smart. Annoying. Talks a lot, but still tries to be good. She's going to be breaking little rules all the time (no eating in class, no hats, that sort of gay shit). The problem with these students is that it's nearly impossible to set a middle ground for both of you, she will be constantly forcing you to take ridiculous measures of action against her.
Keisha. Cohort to Alysia. There's really not much more to say, they're both the exact goddamn same.
Shauna. This one's a good student. She's one of those picture perfect innocent girls that haven't been spoiled yet. This can be good and bad. She's going to be super endearing and her naivety will be both refreshing and a great tool (she'll ask questions that nobody else wants to broach). She's smart, but also a bit ditzy. She's going to be very emotional though, and very prone to stress, which is bad. I will guarantee that she will be one of the worst offenders of grade grubbing (I say that not in a necessarily pejorative sense, but moreso in the sense that she will just try her damnedest, including emailing me every five minutes asking if 'this is right' and if 'this needs work.')
Rex. Rex basically doesn't give a fuck while simultaneously giving a fuck. He's a smart guy, but he'd rather smoke and show up halfway through class than apply himself. I'll get to talking with him later about more in depth stuff and I'm sure he'll respond some, but it's gonna be a tricky thing.
Whole class. The whole class, in general, is very slacker friendly. These seem to be primarily the kids who are in the gifted program because mommy and daddy said so. They'll be a super pain in the ass, but at the same time, the social interactions between students will facilitate some issues rather well. Getting into debates and whatnot will be pretty fun with a lot of vocal students.
Shakina. Fat black bitch. She's the ringleader of the class. I will absolutely need to break her (or win her heart) to get control of this class. She's very vocal about everything, has had a tough time, and I can already see that she's gonna try to fake melt for me (that sappy shit you see in movies where the students' hearts are melted by a loving teacher). She's gonna act like we've reached some meaningful thing so I won't be hard on her. This will be fun, I'm quite certain.
Davis. Gang member. He's in the Bloods, I can tell already. That's going to be fun dealing with. We will certainly be talking about meddling in students' lives way more because of him. I'm not going to say how I know (I'm not going to endanger anyone), but there are signs and he's showing a lot of em. Talk to the local cop station, or just ask around at the school for gang awareness stuff. You will be fucking surprised. It's insane.
Pat. Pat's got a pretty big disability. It's essentially a speech impediment that I suspect to be compounded with cognitive problems. He could be a fetal alcohol baby? He comes from a pretty rednecky seeming background, which kind of supports the theory. Half of the stuff he says comes out garbled and nearly impossible to translate, the other half is hardly a thought at all. He's going to be an interesting case.
Whole period. Overall, this will be, by far, my worst worst worst period. There are like 10 kids in it, and they're all ghetto fucking assholes. I'm gonna really have to work to relate stuff to them.
As far as my plans and my day. Here's what I've done. I've decided that we're going to do a historical reactive sorta concept. I'll spend the week or two ahead finishing Puritanism (the less we spend the better, and we may just watch “The Crucible”) and making sure they understand it. Then move on to N-C, then some transcendentalism, then finally Romanticism (make sure to spend only a little time on this, and for god's sake, don't make em read a novel. Short stories and poetry are where the Romantics shine, don't ruin that). I've not worked out what I'll use, but keep in mind, I'm strictly bound by what has been approved. It can be a real cock-stain trying to get something taught only to find halfway through that you're no longer allowed to be teaching it. So that's my plan for that. As far as (final) assessment goes, I'll probably have a small, easy, multiple choice quiz for the final with like 4 supplemental papers. If they get the papers to the point of 'perfection,' I'll take em in early and give em credit. First come first serve on my editing, and I will only edit any given paper two times before taking it in. They get one pre-write, then turn it in. I'll point out major flaws and shit. They revise the ENTIRE fucking thing, and get it back to me, assuming it's structurally and organizationally sound, I work on grammar/style/conventions/etc. They turn it in and I give em a grade. Done. I'm certain we will need to have a writing workshop though. I'm thinking we will be doing at least one research aspect too (for any one of the papers). I'm going to be laying this on them soon, probably Wednesday.
As far as today goes, I went through and basically worked out what the year was going to be with them. Give them a chance to explore their destiny some, let them know some stuff they might be interested in. Make sure that they're assessing themselves as well. So, where did you guys leave off with Ms. Last-Teacher? What all can you tell me about Puritans? Did you know this? Why were they fleeing? What's Henry VIII have to do with it? That kinda stuff. It's helping me know what they know, helping them understand that they know stuff, and giving us all a sense of camaraderie as we assault the toughie that is Puritan writing.