Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 252- 4th Hour

My 4th hour is not a gifted class.  They are a chatty class full of kids with tons of personality.  They definitely have that going for them, bless their hearts.  However, they do not seem to be the hardest workers.  They try to ask questions to delay getting to the real work (unsuccessfully, I might add).  I repeat directions for them many times and make sure to give them a lot of extra attention when they're working independently.  They keep me on my feet and bustling around at all times. 

I have been collecting and grading a bunch of work and homework over the past couple of days.  I've been disappointed with the quality of work turned in by many of my students thus far, and I had to have a chat with all of my classes today about my expectations.  I let them know (firmly but kindly, of course) that I would not lower my expectations to the level of their work.  Rather, they are bright young students who will need to raise their work to meet my expectations.  It was exhausting to spend the day being so firm and all business, but I know that it was necessary.  It is for their own good.  Really. 

I brought home more papers to grade tonight, and I was bracing myself.  I know that I have a great deal of work to do this year to prepare these students for high school, both with their language skills and in many areas that reach far beyond basic classroom "stuff."  I know that this will not always come naturally and that it will not happen all at once and that we are just at the beginning.  I have so many opportunities with these kids!

I must say, though, that I was really pleasantly surprised with my 4th hour.  While they may not be nearly as gifted as some of my other classes, their work as a whole was head and shoulders above most of the rest of my classes.  It was done neatly and completely.  They all wrote their names on their papers (I know that this may seem like a small thing, but it isn't, and I take my victories where I can find them).  They tried each exercise and handed in their best work.  They have a long way to go this year, but I'm excited to see what we'll be able to accomplish together if they keep this up.  I'm a proud teacher tonight. 

Thank you, 4th hour, you made my day. 

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