Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I'm tired.

One of the first things they teach you in teacher school is how to get your class's attention without having to raise your voice. This keeps you from having to yell and scream above the crowd all day long to get your kid's attention when you need to talk to them. (Of course, this implies that you're not one of those Nazi Hitler teachers who allows absolutely no talking EVER, and that you run a classroom that is always full of the hustle and bustle (hopefully) of learning.) Well, the whole gimmicky thing of raising your hands or doing the special clap or whatever to get the kids to refocus their attention on you doesn't always work in a class with 30 fifteen year olds, ten of whom who have been diagnosed with either ADD or ADHD and a few others who somehow clearly missed the day when that test was given. This was my day today. Too much yelling. And not mad yelling, just like informative, hey i'm up here, hey you guys, i need to talk to you, hey listen up, yelling. So I'm tired.

At the end of the day, when i was the most tired and thankfully my 8th period kids were working away pretty quietly, I looked up to see one of my girls sitting at her desk with tears streaming down her face. Whaaa? So I took her outside and she told me that her boyfriend is being deported and taken back to Mexico. I really felt bad for her. Granted her boyfriend may be a hoodlum who may very well need to go back to Mexico from the stories I've heard, it's still a very big thing that affects her life. And I was trying to make her write an essay about World War II government propaganda. It just reminded me of how real our lives are outside of the classroom, the office, etc. Sometimes we can't just totally focus. And we as teachers, as bosses, as parents, as friends, have to make room for people to be human. And realize that our agendas aren't always other people's agendas. We have to make allowances. So I tried to do that today.

And speaking of things that are bigger than us and what we have planned, my kids had some heavy lifting to do today in the thinking area. It was pretty cute. When we were discussing Hitler's motivation to kill the Jews because they were responsible for killing Christ, a kid in my 8th period said, "Miss, isn't it kinda hypocritical to start a war and kill tons of people in the name of God?" I told him that was an excellent point. And then I said, "Here's something... Millions of people have been killed throughout history and major wars have been fought all in the name of religion. In the name of God and what is 'right'. Chew on that for a while." It was funny, the class got really quiet and they all went "Whoa..."

It was fun to watch them try to wrap their little 15 year old brains around something that huge. And it made me happy. :)