Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy, Happy Halloween!

I did my usual this Halloween at school; a monk.

The students were fairly attentive, and I was glad to see that they were really into discussing the California Election. So the college prep classes worked fine.

Unfortunately, my Intro level class pushed my last straw and I've taken down the magazines and bookshelf in my classroom. My silent reading group has done damage to books and magazines over and over again. I try to be reasonable with them, after all, they are "adults". But today they left books on the floor and destroyed a Garfield comic book, and left magazines all over the place. So, like I'm dealing with a bunch of elementary kids, I put the magazines away, covered up the bookcase, and that is that for the next quarter. No magazines, no books, and the kids are now absolutely responsible to provide their own. It was sad actually, and I don't like having to threat Seniors like little kids, but I guess it happens. The problem is, I have a group of maybe six guys that need to get nailed in order to get things taken care of. I'm ready to move them to various areas in the front of the room, because I'm getting the feeling that they are becoming a little too empowered.

Grades are done and ready to be handed in. Statistics?

International Studies: 32 students. 28 passing and 4 fails. 10 A's.
College Prep Government: 63 students. 55 passing and 8 fails. 6 A's.
Introduction to Government: 46 students. 40 passing and 6 fails. 2 A's.

Half the failures are totally attendance based, while the rest is homework. All of the International Studies failures are due to attendance, since the class is during Zero Period (7:30 a.m.). On the other hand, the students that are getting A's most definitely deserve them. I tell students at the beginning of the year that it is hard to get an A in the class and it is hard to fail. You need to really try to do either.

Finally, there was little mayhem on this Halloween night. We are one of those mean families that turns out the lights and relaxes during the night instead of dealing with trick-or-treaters. Seriously, families drive to the neighborhood and whole thing becomes a 2 1/2 hour candy fest. The only incident involved 2-3 Seniors who knocked on my door and said, "Jeffrey Silva-Brown, you give those kids some candy.", and scurried off giggling. It was only 7:30 when it happened, so no big deal. It woke my wife up though, which is never a smart thing to do to a woman who wakes up at 4 in the morning. It was just kids being kids, and that type of stuff really doesn't usually bother me. It's kind of affectionate. If they don't like you, you won't hear a thing and wake up the next morning with something ugly on your hands. That's one of the drawbacks of all the students knowing where you live, but 99% of the students that I see at my home are no problem at all. I'll be working in the garage or doing yard work and they'll stop by and chat. I had that one issue two years ago with the threat, and that is the extent of the really nasty stuff.

Wanna know who's coaching the boys' basketball program at Ukiah High?

So do I.
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