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March 17, 2015 / sharoncopy

DAY 93 and Day 6 of extension

Herding cats.

That’s what it felt like today when I agreed to take this class of 4th graders to Phys. Ed. Whereas, other Phys. Ed. classes I have conducted have been fine – this group would not listen, continually argued, and so I finally threw my hands up in the air, got out a dozen basketballs and some jump ropes and told them to just go and play. Some pulled out mats and once I monitored their behavior, were able to do some fancy gymnastics to impress their classmates. We could have had some pretty cool games and activities – they will never know what they missed.


A kid hits another with a ball and the one who was hit loses his temper, stomps around, breaks plastic forks, etc. I wanted to get to the bottom of it but I was busy dealing with trying to get 20 others to line up and leave the gym. Eventually we squared it all away. How does one give attention to every person when there are so many persons, and 4 or 5 consistently hog all of it?

Honestly, at the end of this day, I contemplated not extending my stay there past this Friday. I’ll have to decide soon. The morning wasn’t too bad, but I was keeping track of warnings given and my co-teacher wasn’t. At the end of the day, I wondered: how is it that we are so frayed and frustrated, yet, we never gave even one kid a Think Sheet or a trip to the office or a call to the parent? Something is wrong here. There were some disrespectful remarks here and there, too.

We have to pull it together, but I don’t think my co-teacher (an aide valiantly testing the Peter Principle) knows how. At the end of the day there were two visitors – one of them might be the new teacher. I strongly hope that it was the 6′ tall woman with the disapproving look on her face. 🙂

I decided that the writing project might be more than they could handle as far as expecting a second draft out of them. Most said, “huh?” when I tried to get them to work on it. I think the first draft will be “it” and I’m glad for all the excited work they did on it. My plan was/is to type up the stories for them, but I think it’s going to depend on how hard it is to read their handwriting…. I’d like to show them how cool their words could look in print.

The key is to try and accomplish some education with a flimsy curriculum (not the fault of Montessori – the fault of having a less-trained person at the helm), a bunch of loud-mouth ADHD kids, and a number of kids who are so woefully behind in math skills that I despair when I try to think of how to bring them up to standard (one couldn’t tell me how many 6’s go into a 7. Sigh.) Well, help is on the way!

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