Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Screaming Teens and Testing

The kids in my classes are such maniacs lately. The wildest bunch (the lower level eleventh graders) go from zero to sixty in about ten seconds. They are completely quiet and then they are practically screaming before I turn around. I'm trying to think of an appropriate analogy. I'm thinking about a house of cards, but a house of dominoes is more appropriate, as it's louder.

Think of building a really tall tower on a glass table. At one moment it's still and completely quiet, but at the next, when it's falling, there's a giant crashing sound. The problem with the analogy is that the sound in the classroom doesn't stop as suddenly. It's work to get them to stop talking. The sound of kids screaming like that makes my skin hurt.

The kids I'm thinking about are sixteen or seventeen. They aren't children, but there's still a lot of kid left in them. So the boys do stupid things like taking an item from the desk of a girl, or hitting them lightly. It's that way of flirting when you don't really know how to flirt. It's like little(r) boys on a playground hitting a girl and running away. The reaction of the girl is to scream and laugh. It's crazy. Was I like that? Probably somewhat. But I seriously don't think that people let us get away with so much stuff when I was in high school in Texas.

We're getting to the part of the year where the oldest kids in both groups are about to take their listening tests. What's the preparation for that? Mostly it's listening. I like it. There's not a lot of preparation for me and it's interesting to hear what the people on the recording talk about on the tests.

I'm also getting a little more strict with homework. I'm evolving as a teacher, out of necessity.

Sidenote: There are a few girls in my classes that are in that gawky stage. Braces, skin that's not cooperating, etc. Sometimes I look at them and I remember friends of mine in high school that weren't conventionally pretty, remained "single" through high school.

One of them is sitting in the mediatech (library) with some guy laughing and flirting. I'm glad to see that. She's one that has a mouth full of braces and inconvenient zits and it just feels like she wants to be pretty. She will be one day, but it's nice to see that some dorky guy likes her now.

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