Our homeroom hosted the 8th grade breakfast today. There's one every month. We eat, we announce the Student of the Month. We miss first period. It's fun. Lots of cutting bagels and smearing on cream cheese. Also lots of explaining the concept of "whipped" cream cheese to skeptical students. It was a successful breakfast.
(Personal note - when I'm cutting bagels and laying out donut holes I can't feel more like I'm being prepped for having my own children by simply being a teacher and doing things that are not what you would consider "teaching.")
Thought my ELA class, which was the 90 minutes following the breakfast, would be a disaster since students were riding the donut sugar high, but it was great. We did test prep (gotta love those Kaplan books!) and began our class novel for Response to Literature, Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff. I'm not a huge fan of the book, but it's realistic fiction about a 14 year old girl who babysits for two young children of a 17 year old mother, and the kids love it. It's written in verse (for some reason - if anyone knows please pass on your info!) and there's a ton of figurative language, and the kids love to identify personification, metaphors and similes, so it's a lot of fun.
Everything else went quite smoothly. One of my favorite students to love AND hate has made it her life's work to be crowned December's Student of the Month at next month's breakfast (where one is named each month). So, she's officially on her best behavior, and ROCKED our ELA class today. Hardly talked out of turn or chatted with friends, and did a beautiful and dynamic read aloud with lots of expression.
Oh, and she feels similar love/hate feelings about me, as well. She loves to ask me about my personal life, why don't we have children yet, what's my natural hair color, and what female products I prefer (it was actually relevant - it was a time when all boys were taken downstairs and I declared it "just us girls" and distributed feminine hygiene products).
She also loves to use our personal writing homework assignments as a way to express her anger with me. She has done this on several occasions, some more obvious than others. A letter to her grandmother was a thinly veiled shot at me, where she states her love for her classes except ELA because "I don't like the class or the teacher." The most obvious lashing out being a response to the prompt "What makes you really mad? Use examples to support your anger" where she states that I, Ms. S., make her mad and one reason is that I insist on "saying hello to me every morning even though she knows I hate her!"
Hey, whatever, she's writing, right? And doing a pretty good job of supporting her hatred. I'd kinda hate me, too!
So, as I'm walking the students down the stairs to lunch today, this student says, "You know, Ms. S.," (yes, she's talking to me, because despite her "hatred" of me, she walks next to me all the time) "This has been a good day. Normally by this time on a Friday I'd be hating you by now!"
"Yes, you know what?" I asked. "This has been a good day for me, too! Do you think those things are connected?"
Um, yeah. I think they are.
Here's to a good day!
Friday, December 7, 2007