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 . . .