North American Bear Center last fall is the perfect image to represent me tucked up in my editing cave--bleary-eyed, confused, hungry, and rather annoyed with anyone who dares to desire my attention. (I'm sorry, family!)
So last night I sent another draft back to Melanie, my lovely editor at Marshall Cavendish, and I'm hoping that as she reads it she will find things that she thinks are improvements.
I'm now in the middle of the third week of school, and I'm working on my sixth graders, trying to get them all shaped up into middle school students. They're a lively, spirited bunch, and my "homebase" group makes me laugh constantly, even when their exuberance gets a little frustrating.
So, reeling a little from a Friday afternoon session of craziness and everyone-talks-at-once and everyone-blurts-every-thought-without-filtering, I decided to put together a little list of talking points for Monday morning. I called it How to Be a Human and a Sixth Grader Instead of a Little Monster in a Sixth Grader Uniform. I don't really think my sixth graders are little monsters, but...we all have our moments, right? rawwwrrrr.
I organized my points into "R" words. Sort of. They listened, and I think they thought I was moderately funny. In any case, I feel like maybe we may have a future that doesn't involve growling at each other. I'm pretty sure it still will involve lots and lots of shouting and jumping around, but they're getting used to my quirks, I hope.
1. REALLY. We are here to help you, not torture you. Give us a chance to do our jobs as teachers.
2. REMINDERS and REDIRECTIONS don't mean you're in trouble. RELAX and just do what we're asking you to do.
3. RESPOND with a simple, "OK". We're not interested in what you didn't do or why you were doing it or who did it first.
4. RESPONSIBILITY: take some. for your actions and your words.
5. RESPECT: we all have to earn it.
6. RETALIATE, and you will get caught. No, we won't see the person who struck first. That person's actions alerted our spidey-senses that something was off-kilter, and now we see YOU.
Then we spent our afternoon playing a team-building game that involved possibly excessive amounts of volume but also excessive amounts of smiling and cooperation, so that was cool.
/boring teacher post*
* it's okay, though. I was thisclose to boring you all to tears with a Teaser Tuesday, so you can thank me in the comments. :)