Sunday, September 29, 2002

Last weekend I didn't know if I could make it, lots of sporadic tears leaking out. But I was able to get it together by Sunday evening to take on a new week. Tuesday they did in fact riot (sort of), but luckily the 5th and 6th grade teachers had been sent out after lunch to tour a "model" school and its classroom set ups. The punks were corralled in the auditorium, only gaining strength through their numbers. Mr. S isn't so smart sometimes.

To quell them he says, "You'll stay here until 7 if that's what it takes for you to settle down." They rushed him, broke through, and ran through the halls as pre-K and K kids were being picked up by parents in the entry hall. I heard stories that kids were destoying bulletin boards, but I haven't seen evidence of that.

As punishment, the 6th grade was given silent lunch in the classrooms for the rest of the week. A team of 5 teachers and administrators laid it down first thing Wednesday morning, made them write essays and have continued to come in for spot checks throughout the days. For my part, I created a new seating chart, Daily Assignments folders equipped with sheets for every period explaining the directions and the task. They can't handle discussions or being led from the board. It's simply, "Pass around the next sheet. Read it. And get started. Independent work! No talking!"

Things have improved for three consecutive days. In that time we did have two strangling attempts, so it's not all peaches and cream. But the point is that I'm not going anywhere. It's PS #& and the sixth grade for the year, unless my principal decides otherwise.

Of note: A fifth grade teacher quit on Friday for being hit by one of her students. A sixth grade teacher was replaced last Friday for poor classroom management and poor lesson planning. Two new Fellows have been recruited to take their places. I know them and feel for them.

The word from Room 301 . . .

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

they're close to rioting.

Sunday, September 22, 2002

hey peeps, i think i'm going to be on break for awhile. one of my friends put it well today. writing requires the room for reflection. i would add that it sometimes requires a shot of adrenaline to get you into blog mode. i have none of these now.

unsure about this path. sad about that. i am failing, and don't pump me up. i'm failing at this. the only thing to do now is to turn it around or realize that this particular situation isn't for me.

i'll let you know how the turns go.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002


almost cuddly,
but scary as they Tango up
ten steps
then to the side
in a swipe like "I see you, smell you, follow you."

How fast do they run?
Like Cockroaches scampering?

Eewww! Two
on either sidewalk.
I'm in the middle.

134th Street.
Safe ground?
Free from fat, feral rats.

Tonight anyway,
there's no place like home.

Monday, September 16, 2002

Ms. Haley's my name, infrequency's my game. Lo siento, readers. I have moved to the Land of the Lost, another plane, aka, the sixth grade. But it's Yom Kippur today! God love the Jews.

Friday was super. Mr. S, the fickle AP who's got my back, me and the other upper grade teachers, marched the whole sixth grade to the auditorium after lunch and parked them there until some future time yet undetermined. It was a show for which I wish I had popcorn. The best line in the lecture was, "You will stay here, and your teachers will get to pick who they WANT to teach." Sizzle, crack, ka-bang!

In the midst of his 15-minute tirade, these little bad asses (about a third were still bad asses) called out, cackled, put their feet on the chair in front of them. Lots of "Ah, man(s)," "I got a question(s)," and random whistling and other odd noises intended to be comedy of the sixth-grade kind. Noises are so clevah!

That's the latest from Room 301. How are things in your world?

Saturday, September 07, 2002

I hate kids, yes I do. Day 2 of school was not cool. Books thrown across the room back and forth (Jammal at Davon, Davon at Jammal). You know why? Cause the silver book was the best book, so Davon got up and took it. A child's wallet gone missing at the end of the day. Tears. Davon again. My special one. They're almost all special cases, at least the boys. I had 4 new additions, two troublemakers of the child kind, and two notorious like B.I.G. of the teenager kind, a boy and a girl. No teenagers aloud in my class. Go somewhere else to be a star.

My body feels like it's been slapped around by a bundle of stones. What a work out yelling is. Yelling on day two? So sad.

I'm not down or even close to being out. I'm ready to come back fighting, with strategery. Recess? You like to play b-ball? Uh hugh, you know what I'm talking about.

hyped-up Ms. Haley, coming atcha

Thursday, September 05, 2002

oops. I forgot to say thank you to each of you for your suggestions, pep talks, and well wishes. THANKS. You rock.

First day of school and I have no energy to be spunky on blog. But it was a very good day indeed. I stood out in the yard with my neon orange "Ms. Haley, 6th grade" sign and slowly had young children (younger looking than i expected) walk up to me and ask if they were in my class. Bernard was the first, then Kennard (they rhyme), Destini and Doniqua, Khadim, Desmond, and Davon. A few parents came up as well. I shook hands with one and all. They liked that. I did smile, but I was serious about school! I lucked out in that all my kids are sweet. Silverster likes to pester because he just can't stop talking. Davon suffers from the same disorder (the kid kind), but that's why school buildings are so great. They attract kids all over the neighborhood. A place for kids. How cool. I love em, yes I do. More to come . . .

Ms. Haley