Sunday, May 18, 2008

control freaks need not apply...

This is the last week of school and as usual, I am hating 8th graders. Every year when we get to the last few weeks of the year my kids have mentally checked out and think they are already in high school which of course makes it difficult to keep them focused on actual work.

Well believe it or not I usually spend this last week doing a project where in groups the students need to design a way of dropping an egg without it breaking.

Yes, I give raw eggs to the hormonally challenged the last week of school - but hey, it works. They are engaged, work hard and for the most part they stay out of trouble.

On Friday I let all my classes know that I would be in my room at lunch time and they could come in and finish their projects. I guess I probably had about 50 kids in there working when one of my shining stars came up to me shaking his head and said:
"Mr. S, I do not know how you can deal with this kind of chaos and not go crazy"
I just laughed and told him that I if you are a control freak, you would never survive this time of year. But I asked him to look around the room and even though everybody was doing their own thing and going all different directions you have to appreciate just how organized this chaos is.

I see so many teachers this time of year want to actually get stricter and try bringing the hammer down on every little thing and it generally backfires on them. I find that the only way to survive right now is to have an incredible sense of humor and make sure you give enough slack on the leash so they can move about but not enough that things get out of hand.

But even with this frame of mind, this is soooo going to be a long week...


Betty said...

As a retired middle school teacher, I am with you on this one. Now is the time to let them get together and be creative. Good luck with the last few days of school.