I thought eighth graders might be more…what’s the word I’m looking for? Not mature. God, no. I just thought that they MIGHT have a bit more savvy, maybe be a little more “together” than my seventh graders, many of whom still think they’re in elementary school and put only their first name on papers. No date. No period.
Anyway, I was thinking that maybe I’d have a whole class full of kids like my servants. You know, my hand-picked eighth graders who can actually follow directions and think for themselves and figure stuff out, and not bug.
Alas, this is not so. I forgot that last year’s geniuses are THIS year’s geniuses in eighth grade. And I was SO looking forward to gloating at the eighth grade teachers about having their turn with the glueiest (yes, that is now a word…because I am using my English teacher’s license to make up words and have them be words) crew I’ve had in years. And now I’m stuck with a class of them!
Actually I mostly like this class. They just have very little self control. They are actually worse about the reflexive “I’m sorry” than my seventh graders. But I finally have them to the point where they at least catch themselves, and notice they’re doing it.
“Caitlin! Stop it. Again.”
“I’m sor– I mean, excuse me.”
At least they’re not lying about being sorry any more.
There’s one kid in this class for whose seventh grade English teacher I have nothing but sympathy. I would have spent the entire year removing my specs, rubbing the bridge of my nose, and pounding my head against the wall. This poor boy writes KBAR responses that contain asides about forgetting to take his meds and how he starts to drift halfway through his one page. He really worked hard one week (I think it took a lot out of him because he was sick most of the next week), and got an A- on the Friday test. That was also the week one of the smarter kids in the class only got an 85%. “Jason” was stoked:
“Yea! I’m smart!”
It was fun while it lasted. Today, one of the warm up questions was an analogy:
superfluous : flood :: insufficient : __________
Our spelling list theme is silent letters, and the answer we were looking for was drought. Superfluous was a vocab word last week, and Jason had no trouble remembering that one (well, maybe a little trouble). But, still…
“I don’t get number 4…”
“You remember superfluous from last week?”
“I think so… (prompt prompt) it’s when you have a (pantomime)…super amount, like a lot.”
“OK. So when you have too much water…?”
“But what’s flewed?”
His partner jabs him with his clicker and fills him in on the spelling/pronunciation of the word flood.
“OK. Are we back?”
“I still don’t get it.”