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[teacherartexchange] Second week...


Date: Mon Aug 22 2005 - 18:02:46 PDT

Ugh...bad day today. My elementary classes were surprisingly better than
last week, and I was feeling on top of the world. Then I had my
middles...terrible. That 7th-8th grade class is just killing me. They simply don't care.
They don't want to do the work, they don't care if they sign the behavior log,
and they don't care if they fail my class. It makes me angry and sad because I
care about these kids. Some of them know that I do, but some of them just
don't care at all. I tried to teach them about the elements/principles
today...told them there would be a quiz on Friday. I told them that if they paid
attention, they would be fine because it would be an easy quiz. I know that most
of them will fail because they refused to listen. I tried to walk around the
room, show art, get the kids involved, thinking about what they were looking
at. A few were into it, then some just wanted to write notes to each other,
goof off and talk. I probably should have stopped class right there and had
them all put their heads down like kinders, but I wanted to finish the lesson.
I'm just so frustrated. I'm back to square one with them. I had a new student
today. He was out all last week because he was suspended the first week of
school. He's already signed my book, and my next step is calling his parents.

Tomorrow I was going to make them all copy the rules five times in class
before beginning, stressing that they must do this in absolute silence. If anyone
chooses to talk, I'm handing them a behavior sheet. If they have already
signed one, I'm writing their name to call parents that afternoon. I hate to
have to do this, but I have to let them know that I will follow through. I feel
badly for the few who are good kids and listen. For homework over the
weekend, I simply asked them to decorate their sketchbook covers. Most of them
didn't do anything. Many have refused to do any assignments and have all zeros in
the gradebook. I'm sad about it.

After the "rules," I'm looking for an exciting project to really keep them
engaged. Now that I've gone over the principles and elements, I hope to stress
those in the next project. I'm looking through my books to find something for
tomorrow. I still don't have clay or paint, so it needs to be
simple...cutting, pencil, markers, crayons, pastels...

If any of you have a simple yet interesting idea you think my sixth, seventh
and eighth graders might really get into, I'd love to hear it. I think that
some of them are bored and might behave better if they have something to get
into. Other I know could care less and will act up no matter what. But I
really want to help those who might shape up if they are engaged.

Thanks again!

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