Category Archives: Twitch

So far…

so good…

It’s been a fairly smooth opening to the school year.  Watch, tomorrow will be a horrible meltdown now that I’ve put that out in the universe.

I have a lot of feisty munchkins, but so far, no major meltdowns.  Much to my relief, I actually like my homeroom quite a lot.  There are way more boys than girls, which changes the atmosphere considerably.  The boys are super “little boy”-ish this year – a welcome change from the “tough guy” crap of years past.  They are also bright and quick and actually have some skills.  Most of them seem to already realize that Texas is not a continent, and I’ll just call that a small miracle.

There’s a new favorite already…  He’s another tiny little boy, (remember Twitch? Goofball? Speedy G?) and he’s super naughty.  The Almighty Administration actually warned me about him and I believe they used the words “spawned from the devil”.  I’ve always been drawn to the bad boys, and this one is a squirrelly, slippery, sneaky little weasel who has already learned to charm people but has tantrums when it doesn’t work.  He is also a master-distracter in training.  In the middle of a writing mini-lesson he pipes up with “Miss!  What do you know about the Bermuda Triangle?” as if he expects me to drop my overhead marker and exclaim, “My! What an amazing question!  I know quite a bit about the Bermuda Triangle, let me tell you all about it!” thus rescuing him from having to actually write something. Much to his dismay I refused to skip a beat, and he did indeed produce some writing. 

These little attempts at distraction happen 15-20 times in a 90 minute class, and I’m sure he’s wondering when he’s going to wear me down.  The thing is, he’s a button pusher, and he knows it, but so do I.  He is trying to find my breaking point and I am simply going to remain as calm as possible until HE breaks. Ok, that and I am going to just be stranger than he is.  That’s the plan anyways in my current zen-like state.  That, and I am going to love the hell out of him (in totally appropriate ways obviously) because he seems to have no actual parents.  If he does, nobody can find them. If I have melted down completely by mid-October I’m going to need somebody to please remind me to re-read this post and stay strong. For now though, the strategy is working quite well.  He tried a different mode of attack today and told me I was an illegal alien and that I should be sent to prison.  I’m sure he was expecting a lecture of some sort about rudeness and accusation and not being judgemental but instead, again much to his dismay, I simply winked, held out my wrists and told him he was welcome to make a citizens arrest.  He was totally confused.

When he’s not attempting to be a pest, he’s actually really darling.  He came leaping into the room the other day after lunch, bounced right up to me, stretched out his armed and crowed “Honey! I’m hooooome!”.  Like I said, he’s my new favorite.  It gets better.  I truly wish I could tell you his real name because it’s HYSTERICAL.  It’s an adjective.  A fantastically amusing adjective because it is the antithesis of his personality.  From here on out I am going to call him…Glorious.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Glorious, goofball, Speedy G, Twitch

Update: Mista’ Moustache

After class Twitch went to the restroom to wash off his “facial hair”. He seemed to get most of it off, and apparently his mother was pretty amused, he suffered no serious consequence.  I generally let kids use the restroom whenever they want, but for this one I figured that he took the dare, he should live with the consequence for at least the rest of class…and it was too funny too look at! 

1 Comment

Filed under Twitch

Mista’ Moustache

At one point during my morning class I looked up from a group of kids I was working with and saw that Twitch had flipped his collar up and pulled his head nearly all the way into his shirt. 

I went over to his table and sat next to him. 

He turned to look at me. 

Only his eyes were peeking out from the top of his shirt and it seemed that something was a little off.  It took me a second to realize that the reason he looked odd (other than that he had his shirt pulled up to his eyes) was that he had colored, in pen, between his eyes so it looked like he had a uni-brow! 

“Twitch, could you please pull your shirt down and wear it normally”

He responded with a muffled “But Miss!  You don’t understand! Can I go to the bathroom first?”

“No…just pull your shirt down…please…”

He reluctantly returned his shirt to a normal position, thus revealing his reason for wanting to go to the bathroom.  He had drawn a curly moustache, gigantic sideburns, and a thin beard all over his face!  WITH PEN!!  Really, it was all I could do to keep it together!  He explained that he had been dared (and well, who can refuse a good dare?) but was now regretting his choice and was nervous that it wouldn’t all come off.  I’d be willing to bet it didn’t all come off (I wouldn’t let him out of class to wash his face…it was just too entertaining to look at!) but I’m also willing to bet that he won’t be in as much trouble with mom as he thinks he will be. 

4 Comments

Filed under Twitch, Why I heart middle school

Finally!

It’s about time I had a day that didn’t make me want to throw myself off the roof!  Things have been ‘meh’ in class lately, and it’s not all about me not sleeping, it’s just that we have been in a rut.  We keep having interruptions at school – field trips, more predictive exams for math, assemblies, you name it, it’s kept me from teaching more than 3 days in a week. 

We somehow managed to wrap up our last unit and have begun the new quarter with all new material, including, whole class novels!  This is the first time I have taught a whole class novel.  I have wanted to do so in the past, but didn’t have the resources.  We finally managed to purchase a whole set of books that is appropriate for the class, so it can finally happen!

I have been really worried about how this is going to work for The Beasties since pretty much half the class refuses to do anything on any given day.  Most of them say they ‘hate’ reading, likely because their reading levels are pretty low so they get easily discouraged.  I have been wondering what the heck I am going to do if I can’t get them to participate in this unit.  Turns out, that might not be as big a problem as I expected.  We are reading Crash, and I started today by checking out the book with them, and then reading the first few chapters aloud.   Twitch was giggling the whole time, and at one point was laughing hysterically and falling off his chair.  The rest of them seemed to enjoy it as well, so we’ll see if they can manage to read a little bit on their own in the next few days.  My hope is that they got hooked in enough today to override any ‘hatred’ of reading for at least a few pages. 

Leave a comment

Filed under students, Twitch

Reason #362 Why I Love Middle School

We have been working on a fairly large poster project for the last few days, and today the kids were finally done with the drafting phase and ready for the actual poster making materials.

My first year teaching, these kinds of projects were a disaster. My supplies consisted of a rag-tag assortment of used colored pencils and any markers I could find. Half the markers were running out of ink, and some of the colored pencils were worn down to itty bitty nubs. It was such a mess that last year I used all my teacher-choice moola on art supplies for the classroom.

This year I took it a step further and created station boxes for each of my tables. I know, here comes the nerd…

Each box has sets of skinny and fat markers, colored pencils, crayons, scissors, and lots of glue sticks. The boxes are numbered, there’s a list of the contents taped to the top of the lid and the tables have to nomitate a supply leader to keep track of their supplies and keep the box organized. It might be anal, but it works like a charm.

They’ve used these boxes a whole bunch of times already this year, but they still get all excited and riled up when I let them come collect the boxes from my ‘teacher closet’. It must be something about the fact that I keep them in my closet…it makes them ‘special’.

The kids were buzzing away at their tables when I happened to notice Twitch.

The glue sticks were brand new and each one came sealed with a plastic wrapping. Twitch was unwrapping all of his table’s sticks and kept exclaiming, “Aarrgghhh!!! I ripped it again!”

I kept watching him and he eventually managed to get one of the wrappers off without tearing it apart. He then meticulously rolled it up into a very tight tube and proceeded to glue it all together.

Now, I have a bit of a peeling and rolling habit (things like the top layers of coasters, beer labels, gum wrappers etc), it’s a fidgety hand thing that I had even before I quit smoking so I sort of get it that he wanted to play with the plastic. I just let him be and continued to circulate around the room.

After a while I started hearing some giggles coming from across the room and I headed over to investigate. I get to the disruptive table where I find Twitch, happily bouncing around in his seat. As he turns to look up at me I realize he has gluesticked the plastic wrapper to his upper lip. He stared up at me, puckering his mouth so as to help his newly acquired moustache stay put. “Yes Miss?” he asked.

“Nothing…just…carry on…”

3 Comments

Filed under Twitch, Why I heart middle school

Fitting them all together

Seating charts. I hate making seating charts. I have 30 students in one of my classes, who from this point on will be known as The Beasties, and we don’t have desks, we have tables. Big, ugly, awkward tables. Tables that seat 5-6 students. I have to arrange The Beasties so that they are basically productive and not causing tons of havoc. There are 10 ‘un-seatable’ students in this class. Un-seatables are those kids who really should be sitting by themselves because they just can’t manage to behave properly when they are with other kids. 10 problems, 5 tables. It’s like putting together an impossible puzzle! At this point I am just trying to minimize the chaos.

I haven’t written much about this class…I guess I was waiting for them to settle down or something? Riiight…. I obviously wasn’t thinking clearly. Let’s have some introductions:

Mouth II – That’s right, remember our lovely friend the Mouth from last year? I have been blessed with her younger sister, who is not quite as mouthy as the older version, but it’s still early in the year so we’ll see what happens. She is part of a group we’ll call the “Surly Girls”, who might be the death of me this year. These ladies make up 5 of the 10 un-seatables.

Twitch – He just CAN’T stop moving. I really think it might be physically impossible for him to sit still, but I have to be forgiving because he’s one of the teeny-tiny ones and he is just so freakin’ cute.

Clingers – This kid needs so much attention. He wasn’t particularly successful last year but he is attempting to do better. His self-esteem is really low, and while I’m really pulling for his success, he drives me nuts! He lies, lies, lies, which just gets old after a while. He is also a bit unbalanced… it’s hard to put into words, but there’s just something…off.

There are so many more, but I’ll introduce them another day.

3 Comments

Filed under Clingers, Gangsta', Mouth II, Surly Girls, Twitch