Okay. I've known for a while now that this junior theme thing had the potential to drive me over the edge. I've even talked about it on here...to you, my blog-buddies. I'm so focused on the kids staying on track, and keeping up with their assignments...that I'm internalizing WAY too much of the stress.
I have kids that simply do not care about doing their junior theme, even knowing that they will most assuredly fail for the 6-weeks, and most likely the semester. (Como sedice 'repeat the class'?) Yet they still won't kick it into gear and get busy...instead opting to go on walkabout for weeks on end, only to show back up and ask "what'd I miss?" as casually as if they just went to the bathroom during the commercial break.
At which point my head spins, split-pea soup pours out my nose...and a horrific roar comes from deep inside my chest cavity.
Or even worse...they come to class and attempt to sleep through the 90 minute class...or try to have social time and keep everyone else from working. So, I'm constantly telling them to wake up or stop talking...or having little cometoJesus talks in the hall. Which pulls me away from helping the kids who desperately need and want my help.
Apparently all of this has turned me into a walking stress-ball, visible to all I encounter...and I don't mean just to grown-ups who know the Hell That Is Junior Theme. No sirree bob, I've become so neurotic that the most non-observant of the species are noticing...and not only noticing, but commenting.
Yes, folks. Today I had not one...but two...at two different times in the day...TEENAGE MALES tell me that I need to not let this project get to me so much.
That I need to not worry about the people who are deadset on failing.
And they weren't being snotty...or trying to get me to get off their back because they're trying to be slackers. Nope. These are two kids who are caught up...and were having a warm&fuzzy intervention.
It really bothered them that I was wasting so much energy on these kids that don't care. They both said, "Miss, I know it's because you care about us, and want everybody to pass....but some kids are gonna have to learn the hard way. Let 'em fail if that's what they want...you're worrying about it too much. You're going to get sick."
And you know, they're right. I know it...but it just KILLS me to let kids sit there and do nothing but waste valuable oxygen when other kids are working their butts off.
I would write them up....except that is so NOT going to be effective. Especially with Mr. PissyAP. Can you see that AP-teacher conference about the referral? I can only imagine how supportive he would be. (note: that should be read with extreme sarcasm.)
Nope. Gotta find another solution.
hmmmmmm....Maybe I'll give them the grammar book and tell 'em to start on page 1...and they can stop when, and only when, everybody else gets to the Turning-In-Of-The-Essay.
Which is May 12 for A-day and May 15 for B-day.
Holy crap, that's a lot of grammar.
Yes, I have a problem with the fact that I'd be using part of my content area in a punitive manner. But seriously, how many of these children are going to be so totally turned off by the busywork that they will then be persuaded to turn down a brilliant career as an English linguist simply because I made them diagram their butts off in 11th grade?
On the upside...at least, when they finally do retake Junior English, and finally do decide to write the damn Junior Theme...they'll be incredibly well-equipped for Peer-Editing Day. They'll be the stars of the show.
All in all, I guess if it comes down to them or me....it's gonna be them.
Get ready, you annoying slackers.
Ms. H is loaded for bear.