Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Out of desks
It is Thanksgiving and my desks runneth over. I got student #31 on Tuesday, and I am now officially out of student desks. This one has a seat, but the next one won't. I told our curriculum specialist this and she responded, "No problem, we've got more desks in room 59." Dang it, that wasn't the point!
This last new student is a doozy though. He is about to be 14 and got moved to my 7th grade class from 6th grade. Yes, you read that correctly. He was held back twice for varying reasons, and they realized this year that if he completes 6th grade this year, goes into 7th grade next year, he'd be 16 while in 8th grade, and we're not legally allowed to have 16 year olds on our PreK-8 campus. Hence (or thus, as my students would say), he'd have to go straight to 9th grade after 7th. (Can you start to hear the splintering of the system going on here?) So, the new genius plan is to put him in 7th grade for the rest of this year (effectively skipping 6th grade), and then he'll be on track. However, he's already falling far behind 6th grade standards, so how in the world is he going to survive 7th grade standards, and jumping into them in the middle, to boot!
At lunch, I mentioned that I got this student, and the 5th and 6th grade teachers all got this slack-jawed look of fear in their eyes, and said, "You got HIM??? Good luck...." Then stories came pouring out explaining how terrible this kid is for every teacher he's with. Needless to say, a feeling of dread soaked through me at that point. After day 1, he did ok, but I don't know... On an acadmic level, I don't know how it will every work. On a behavioral level, if I can keep him scared stiff of the 7th graders (which he currently is), it might work. I know, I know, that's not a good strategy. I'm mainly just hoping that his behavior issues were a function of being stuck with age-inappropriate peers. Time will tell...