Thursday, May 19, 2005

Discipline and Letters to Ourselves

Did I write about the students who didn't come back after the photojournalism trip last Friday? And JB, who was part of the group, who didn't come back after being given a pass to the library (and when I checked on him, he wasn't there)?

Two of the members from that group confronted me about it, claiming they only had ten minutes (they had 25) and how they didn't know they were supposed to come back (!!!). I remember one of them, EV, who is SUCH a sweet student, even said something about how much time they had left. I pointed out that they only needed fifteen minutes, and they still had twenty five left in the hour. I sent them out... I said something at the beginning of the hour, I put the time on the pass, etc. Amy even said, "Yes, I remember you emphasizing that." I feel awful about giving my first set of detentions. I hate it. These are such good kids, and I am not happy about it at all, especially if they were truly confused, but they still never came back to class. Not even after the bell rang. And I still didn't see JB.

So I watched ER tonight... I used to watch it constantly when I had the time! Anyway, while I was doing 100 other things, I watched it, and there was a moment of good advice for anyone who is serious at the beginning of any journey--write a letter to yourself now, as a novice. For teachers, write a letter that includes what you have learned as student teachers and what you hope to achieve as teachers in the first year. Seal it up. Read it when you are about to move on--to another district, or another career (hopefully not though--as far as I can tell, this is a really great place to be).

Speaking of letters...

Sarah S. spoke of teaching The Things They Carried (can I just say that Tim O'Brien is amazing?). She has set up a kind of correspondence with her students (who were interested) at Patrick Henry and soldiers in Iraq. Although I may have my issues (huge issues) with the war in Iraq, I have also personally been linked to it in that my good friend Dan Roberts (hey Dan-o!) lost his foot there, and my good friend Jesse (who has a beautiful son and wife in the Carolinas... keep your thoughts and prayers with them...) is currently there.

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