Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chats

Today has been a day of chats. Conversations. Tete a la tetes. Conferences.

I have been frustrated and upset about the behaviour of one of my Grade 8 classes for the past week or so. I believe in giving students time during school to work on their assignments and start on homework. Teenagers today have enough pressures on them to succeed to make choices about college and university at such a young age, that a little down time after school goes a long way. However, one of my classes has been abusing the time I've given them to work, they have been taking advantage and using the time to chat and things reached a head on Monday afternoon when they were rude and disrespectful during an assembly about the regional arts program offered to high school students in our area. When we got back to the classroom I lost it. Not something I do very often, and not something I am very proud of.

Luckily, yesterday I was on a field trip and got a break from them for a day, however, it meant that they were with a substitute teacher for the entire day and took full advantage. I abhor when children misbehave for a supply teacher. My philosophy is that the substitute is a guest in my room and they should treat that person with the same respect or more that they give to me. This does not usually happen.

But back to the chats. I sat the class down today and we talked about what had been happening. I was totally, brutally honest about how I was feeling. I explained that I felt like I couldn't trust them, we wouldn't be able to continue with my plans for the rest of the year in terms of group work, literature discussions, etc. How could I sit with a group of 5 students and discuss a book they are reading if I can't trust the other 20 to work silently and diligently on what they have been assigned?

I do think the kids got it, and they will improve. However, their actions do have consequences and tomorrow they will be spending an entire class in silence. While I believe that talking to teenagers openly and honestly is the only way to solve problems, I also believe there should be consequences for their actions.

My second chat tonight was a lovely 5 hour long chat via text messaging. I have fallen in love with text messaging this summer. Such a quick and convenient way to pass along information and surprisingly a fun way to chat with someone who is a fair distance away. My BFF and I often had text messaging chats throughout the summer. We are both teachers, and actually work at the same school so the summer is a bit strange because we go from seeing each other everyday, all day- to almost not at all. So text messaging is a good way to stay in touch. Since we have started back to school, and coach the same sport we talk all the time so text messaging has dropped off as a communication method. But tonight was different. We chatted all evening. As I wrote novel reviews for the board office, marked reading comprehension papers and as I watched TV. What a great communication tool for multi-taskers!

Sigh...chatting is good. Hopefully, tomorrow will bring good things both with my class and more chats as well.

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Last Words...

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe