I’ve been staring at the computer for hours and hours this afternoon/evening. My eyes are burning. I’m sitting on a load of unfolded laundry and there’s a stack of dishes in the sink that can’t go into the dishwasher until the clean dishes are put away. Why? Well, it started in my first block class this morning. Let me explain.
My Science Fiction class is not an elective class chosen by the students in the class. Nope. There were students. They needed a language arts elective. They were assigned to Science Fiction. Instead of facing a classroom of geeks (meant in a good way), I got a class filled with people who do not read recreationally. A class that doesn’t even really know what science fiction is. “Furry things that live on the moon” is one definition I was given today. So, instead of diving into H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds like I’d planned, I first have to quickly educate them on just what, exactly, science fiction is. No easy task, especially when you don’t have a classroom set of classic genre stories to draw from. And hell, they don’t really care. The big question of the day was, “How big a book is that?” referring to the Wells novel.
Second block, Foundations of English I … no students enrolled yet. The class will be populated with 9th graders who failed English I. I’m just waiting for last semester’s failing grades to be posted and the kids pulled out of whatever they’re currently in. I’ve been told most are discipline problems.
Third block, Creative Writing. Four students showed up, out of five enrolled. One actually wants to write. Another, when told to write why he was taking a creative writing class, said he is in the class because the “counciller” is a “buthole” who doesn’t like him. He also said the class was “rily” slow. I think he meant “really.” It was a long class; I was expecting at least a dozen students, which would have led to more class discussion and reading of the interview project we did.
So, basically, I fell on my face in the two classes where the lesson plan was completely up to me to design. And in the other, where I have only loose guidelines, I didn’t have any students. Not that it was necessarily a bad day. Just a long way from what I expected. So tonight (and the next few days, I suspect) is about regrouping, again, and trying to get the kids interested in the classes they’re “stuck with.”