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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Weapons of Math Destruction

Okay, we've finally broken out the big guns. Despite being in school for nearly, what -- eight months now? -- these kids are still acting like second graders on crack. And I use that metaphor because the school counselor has even been to all of the classrooms to read them the very entertaining bedtime story, The House That Crack Built. What's that? You didn't read that as a child? Well, neither did I, but just FYI it's out there.
Anyway, it seems like Mrs. Educator and I (not to mention the other third-grade teachers) have tried just about every course of action that we can think of to keep these kids' behaviors in line. When they don't do their homework, they get a zero and they lose their recess -- most of them don't seem to care. When they get into a fight, they get suspended -- most of them don't seem to care. And the other kids, who have just witnessed these kids being suspended, don't even stop to think that maybe THEY shouldn't get into a fight. BRILLIANT!!
So it's that time of year, the time when teachers parade out the biggest incentives they can. That's right, my friends -- we've started to take away field trips. (Gasp of horror)
After the big math test next week, our third-grade has no less than three, count 'em, THREE field trips planned. We finally decided that the time was right to start holding them over our kids' heads, and see if we've hit upon something that they actually do care about. So far, we seem to have enjoyed pretty good success. We set a rule that not doing a homework counts as a strike against them, and with three strikes they lose the right to go to the Science Place (our first field trip). I've given two homeworks since then, and I've only had to dole out three strikes -- thankfully, not all to the same child.
Of course, now the trick will be not to get to the day of the first field trip and find that the group consists of seven teachers and four students.


Anonymous said...


Do you take requests?? I was thinking about some of my TX teaching experiences....and one of the topics keeps popping into my head. When I had subs in DISD...we had a lot of in-services. Anyway, I never knew what was going to be the guest of honor for my classroom...but one sub I won't ever forget was a man about 6'5 probably about 300 pounds that had shoulder length hair and wore panty hose and sandles...and painted his nails and carried a purse. My class nearly had a heart attack telling me all about him. The one thing that got me was that he sat at my desk and clipped his giant long fingernails....and LEFT them for me to find when I got back...and yes, they were painted blood red. I have many funny sub stories from DeSoto ISD. What about you?? I would love to hear some of those!!

Mister Teacher said...

Oh. My. Gosh.
Had this man escaped from some sort of, oh I don't know, carnival or some such? Wow, that is quite a scary image that you have planted in my head.
I don't have a lot of sub stories, but because you've requested it, I'll try to talk about this in my next posting.
ALSO, if you'd like to hear a lot of truly funny stories (though not many about substitutes), pick up a copy of Learn Me Good. (SHAMELESS PROMOTION)