“Teenagers”

Teenagers.

What more can I say? They are quite a trying headache, but on the other hand they can be the most rewarding students. It’s hard for my students, I mean I am their teacher but I am also a long-term substitute. And on top of that I’m completely different from their teacher. I like organization, I like order, I like to do things that have a purpose. She doesn’t. But she has a degree in science, she’s certified to teach science, unlike me, so she can afford to do things like only having busy work in class and then straight teach all the science concepts needed for the science part of the TAKS test off the top of her head. I can’t. I can’t do anything like that off the top of my head, I don’t know science concepts backwards and forwards like that at all.

So today, we had a “come to Jesus” moment with all the classes. The classes that have been giving me the most problems, received the pacquets of paper that their teacher assigned and I said nothing because I was pretending to be the run-of-the-mill for the day only sub who didn’t know too much about science, TAKS, or even care if the students understood and passed. No one in those classes were too happy, in fact, the student leaders (the smartest, oldest, most authoritative, etc.) stood up and demanded that the other students got their act in order and let me teach them what they need to know.

And when they heard about the student petition going around to get me fired, many got upset. Some said that they were going to start a ‘keep Ms. Spooner at Dawson’ petition in response to the other one. To hear that a student hit me with a school supply, didn’t make them any happy. Nor was their reaction too happy when they heard about the students commenting on my pronunciation, my intelligence, my nationality (as in go back to your country), my literacy. One student (who had actually offered to take three days of in-school-suspension for the person who threw the school supply item at me, so that we could just focus on learning) wanted to come into the rest of my classes to tell his fellow students that they had it good with me and not to mess it up. Another student yelled at students that she wasn’t going to be made to repeat her senior year again because of the stupidity of the sophomores, she had plans with her life and if everyone really thought about I’m more concerned with getting everyone to pass IPC, TAKS, and learn the basics for Chem than their teacher was, so why do they want her back and me to go away.

I was very impressed by the students that stood up and talked, it wasn’t done in a bad way, no name calling, not too much cursing, etc. but done in a way that had much more impact than me or an AP or another teacher saying the same exact same things. So I’m hopeful for Monday, that the students will see that I’m in their corner and I want them to succeed, but they have to meet me halfway.

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