School – Week 1

School started on Monday, so we just finished our first week (unofficially).  We have a half day on Saturday but nothing on Friday so the week is really over on Thursdays (we can’t give homework on Saturdays).  For those who don’t know, I teach 6th grade History and Bible, 8th grade Earth Science, 9th grade Physical Science, and 10th grade Biology.  I was a little nervous to teach science, since I didn’t really take a ton of it in college and I was never super excited about it in school.  I like it well enough but it’s no English or History (my two favs).  Anyway, the first week has been WONDERFUL!  Let me tell you all about it.

This was what I wore for the first day of school!

This was what I wore for the first day of school!

I started each of my classes the same on Monday.  “My name is Miss Laura.  Not Miss.  Not Laura.  Miss Laura.  I will not respond to anything else.  Now, clear your desks for a quiz (it was a “tell me about yourself” quiz).”  As soon as the quiz was handed in, I passed out the syllabus and started in on that.  Then if there was time we started the first section in the book or an activity.

My 8th graders are the first period of the day.  Heeheehee.  They looked as though they were going to wet themselves!  But as class progressed I saw their personalities start to come out!  They are a great group of kids.  Most are very inquisitive which is great for a science class.  And smart!  Boy, o boy they keep me on my toes.

My 10th graders are the 3rd period (second period is my prep).  There are only 8 students in the 10th grade and they’ve all been going to school together since 6th grade!  They LOVE to talk in my class and their goal is to get me off topic and not teaching!  What they don’t know is that I only “let them succeed” if I want to … not because they’ve somehow found a way to make me forget I’m supposed to teach them!

My 6th graders are 4th and 6th periods but because of schedule changes this week I haven’t taught them yet.  I’ve met some of them on the playground though and one little girl came up to me after school on Thursday, “Miss … Miss Laura, when are you going to teach our class?”  Smiling I said, “I’ll be there on Saturday!”  She nodded, smiled, and ran off to play!  Cute, cute, cute!

My 9th graders are 5th period.  the first day they acted all indifferent to me.  It was as if they wanted me to know they weren’t going to like me or my class … no matter how hard I tried!  But by the end of the school day they were chatting with me before their rides came.

Every morning I go out to the courtyard to hang out and chat with the students.  Most of the girls will at least come over and say “hello Miss Laura.”  Some actually seek me out for a conversation!  YAY!  We also have one break during the day – like a lunch/recess.  I only have to be out at break on Mondays, but I’ve been out during each one because it’s another chance to get to know these kids and find a way into their worlds!

Teens here are not too different than teens in other parts of the world.  They want to get out of work, they want to be understood, and they want to be cool!  : )  I love teenagers!  They are definitely the most interesting people in the world because that stage in life is so … dynamic!

Since this was our first week of classes we were on half days.  The elementary school used their Monday through Thursday schedule and just cut it short, but the high school used their Saturday schedule (hence the schedule changes that led to no 6th grade classes this week).  But because of this, I got to be outside for the elementary school breaks too!  So fun! Those kids are super cute but mischievous.  They try everything to get under the rules.  One of the other teachers would stand at the door to the school and not let a single kid inside unless they could tell her where they were going.  The kids are only allowed inside during break if they are headed to the bathroom or canteen.

Another plus of the schedule issues: I got to play Save the King (dodgeball) with the 4th graders!  I joined one team and we easily won because I could actually catch the ball when it was thrown!  Then the losing team said I HAD to switch teams for the second game.  So I was the one everyone tried to get out!  It was SO fun!  But the best part was the kids’ reactions to my tattoos.  They just didn’t get it and kept asking why I wear those (pointing to my right arm).  I didn’t really know how to explain tattoos to 9 and 10 year olds so I just said “because I like them.”  This seemed to be enough for them.  But a few would then ask if I could take them off and things like that.  When school ended, one of the little 4th grade boys came up to me and was continuing to ask about my tattoos.  After a minute or two he innocently looks longingly into my eyes and asks “can you get me one?”  I was speechless!  “Ummm… you have to have money,” I said with my arms up.  “I have money, Miss.”  He was excited now!  “Ummm…you have to be 18!”  In my head I’m thinking, this is bad.  This kid is going to go home and ask for tattoos like the cool teacher at school and his parents are going to freak out!  But he had to leave then so the conversation was dropped.

Even my high schoolers ask me about my tattoos.  “Why do you have them?”  “Do they hurt?”  “Do they come off?”  “What are they?”  “What do they say?”  “Let me see it!”  Etc.  It is nice that I don’t have to cover them up for school (unless our superintendent is around).

A few of my students are … inquisitive (a handful!).  They will take a little extra love to get through to but I know that God has me here to be that person for these kids!

Yesterday I had 2 of my 3 high school classes taking quizzes (the 3rd took theirs on Wednesday) and as we graded them I was laughing … hard.  “Miss?”  “Miss who?”  Eye roll, “Miss Laura?”  “Yes?”  “Is planets and stars okay?”  Yes.”  “Miss Laura, is planets and the sun okay?”  “Yes.”  “Miss Laura, is meteors and planets okay?”  “Yes, guys if planets was okay for one of you, it’s going to be okay for all of you!”  Heeheehee.  That is what I deal with!  “Miss?”  “Miss who?”  Eye roll, “Miss Laura … then they ask the same question that the last 5 kids asked!  It cracks me up … hopefully we’ll work on listening skills and get that taken care of by the end of the first 9 weeks.

Well, I think that’s enough for Week 1.   I know my kids will fill more blog posts!  Stay tuned!


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by scottexodus on August 28, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Very cool to hear about your week. Sounds fun 🙂


  2. Posted by Christa Conley on August 28, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Sounds like you are off to a good start and that your students took a liking to you right away. Great!


  3. Posted by bethlehembabe on August 28, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Thanks Christa! Now all I have to do is keep it up and help them not only learn the subject I’m to teach them but how to be the great people God made them to be! Creativity will be the name of the game!

    Thanks for the kind words folks!


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