Monday, June 6, 2011
When Life Gives You Lemons
It's hot in New York.
This is the time of year I read blogs about teachers all over the country being out of school and the end still seems light years away for us.
And most of the day is still spent in unairconditioned rooms.
But this guy showed up on the corner a few weeks ago and he sells delicious fresh squeezed lemonade.
The junior girls and I went for a walk to the Day Care Center a few blocks away looking for summer volunteer work. (For them, not me I don't even want the paid job)
On the way back I managed to make a ten dollar bill magically disappear at the lemonade stand.
What happened to the one cup for a nickel?
We switched the mandatory extended day session (mandatory for teachers- It appears to be completely optional for the students) from test prep for the middle school to Regents Prep for the high school.
At least its supposed to be- anyway. The ninth period makes students magically disappear.
But I have a loyal following- the eleventh grade resource room students.
Three young people who arrived from Haiti with lots of enthusiasm for an American Education
And very little preparation.
So we cover World History in a nutshell every day.
It goes something like this.....
Me: pointing to the map of South East Asia. What country is this? (note the geography question)
Me: come on
Me: Africa is a continent not a country
First Student: South Africa
Second Student: No South Africa is a continent stupid
And so on until we establish its India
Me: And who is the famous world leader we studied from India? (World leader question)
Me: Come on - think about the clue. it sounds like this...me pointing to the treat bag
First Person: Mahatma Candy
Me: Close enough, and what was Gandhi's big accomplishment? (history question.
And so on until we have run out of time and energy (mine not their's)
The other day because of the mandatory assignment of teachers and the not so compulsory attendance by students, three teachers watched as we circulated through our free association, capture what you can, try to remember something- crash course on World History.
I had forgotten. Not how hard it was for students with little formal education, second language issues layered over learning disabilities- to access a curriculum, but how I could continue a rapid fire barrage of questions and hints and encouragements without getting frustrated.
The other teachers were amazed.
But I loved this.
I miss my old self contained class.
When life gives you lemons....
Go buy an overpriced cup of lemonade.