August 10, 2010

Anybody got some Valium? Xanax? Anything?

Oh, dear lord.  Today was quite a day.  Today we assigned lockers to the 6th graders.  It took 20 minutes for them to find their lockers, despite my being right there, pointing right at it...Then, during math class, we took them to their lockers to put things in it, practice opening and closing it, etc.  Its been about 5 yrs since I'd taught 6th graders, so I didn't remember the pain of trying to teach them to open a combination lock.  It went something like this:

Turn the dial to the, your other right...

Okay, you have to pass the zero twice.  No, TWICE.

Now turn to the first number of your combination.  No, the first number.  Not the last number.

OK, now turn the dial to the left.  But you have to pass the first number before you stop at the second number.

Oh, for God's sake, just let me do it!

My poor co-teacher, Kelly, did this during the entire class period for two hours.  I did it just one class period and I was begging for some Valium or Xanax or something at lunchtime.  (No one had any.  Several asked me to let them know if I found someone with some...No luck.)

There are many things I like about 6th graders, but this is one experience I could pass on.  I am so grateful for the 6th grade teachers who were there before me...As a 7th grade teacher I didn't have to do this nearly as much, so I need to go back and say THANK YOU to the ones who taught them this stuff so I didn't have to deal with it.  Thing is, I know they are going to have the same problem tomorrow.  Its going to take 45 minutes to get them to class because they will lose their combinations, forget which way to turn...And by Friday they might get better at it, but after the weekend?  Yeah, we'll be starting all over.

Pray for me.


Anonymous said...

Wow, that sounds wretched. But these are skills that will last them all their lives. And the bright side is that patience is a virtue! It must be hard to be in it, but it's a great opportunity to practice letting go!

I read in Outliers (have you read it? It's fascinating.) about how people never spend long enough on a problem. It's not easy, I'm sure (although xanax would probably help), but it also teaches them (and you because homework with A and H is going to be a *chore*) that it's ok to take time to work out a problem.

Can you make a series of pictures for the kids who are having a really long time to help them remember?

You crack me up about starting over after the weekend.

Lynette said...

Wow y'all still have lockers? Almost every school I have seen in Texas does not have lockers anymore. Big Big Big backpacks!

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