Most Mondays are not good. this Monday was no exception. I came into work with a positive attitude. I really wanted to have fun today. I wanted my kids to like school. They’ve been fairly better lately; I thought they could handle it. I was wrong.
Before I started the day’s lesson I asked the class if anyone wanted to share something that happened to them over the weekend. Usually we don’t have time for this, but I was in a “fuck it” kind of mood.
Anyway, sharing stories about weekends got out of hand. They began by not raising their hands and everyone started talking at once. I had to tell them to stop and remind them to raise their hands. Then I said I would call on people sitting quietly and listening. I called on a girl who didn’t really have anything to share, she just started telling me about a TV show she watched. I say she told “me” because nobody else was listening.
They all kept their hands up and I had an epiphany: my students really just want attention.
They don’t care how they get attention, and they all want it. So after I let two other kids tell about some stupid shit that doesn’t make any sense I told everyone that was enough sharing and maybe we’d have time at the end of the day for other people to talk if we get through our work. And then set off a couple of them. They were upset because they felt they “never get called on.” Which is true because I don’t like to call on the obnoxious assholes.
Language Arts was first, but I told them that I didn’t feel like having centers today. I told them I’d rather play a game. They got really excited. And I basically turned our lesson into a game where students had to find affixes in words around the room. At first it was fun. I told the students to find any word, anywhere in the room that had the prefixes we were learning about. They started out quiet and looked around, but as soon as some people started finding words it got out of hand. I wanted the students to write down the words they found, but they wanted to ask me if the word counted. I needed to talk about some of the words and have children listen, but they wouldn’t stop looking for other words. And then kids discovered that the dictionaries were in alphabetical order and they started fighting about it. One kid was shoved into a bookshelf and I had to call it.
Then I said we could continue the game if they could do it quietly, but they couldn’t. So we did centers where the students did worksheets. I ended up keeping them in for 5 minutes at recess because they couldn’t control themselves.
I also had games planned for math and science, but I understand now why reading and responding lesson plans are made. My kids are incapable for having fun because they can’t behave themselves.