I started summer school yesterday at 7AM after having approximately 4 hours of sleep and being woken up early by a nervous Miss Sophie because it was raining and starting to thunder. She had enough courage to have shower time with me and then retreat under the bed for the duration of the storm.
I.am.exhausted.today. I teach two sections of summer school: English 9 and English 10. Each section is 2.5 hours long. Most of my students either qualify for special education services or could be classified as at risk. I have 7ish kids per class provided more don’t show up today. They were wild yesterday. My English 9 kiddos were far more rambunctious than my English 10 ones, surprisingly, because English 9 starts at 7:30am.
Summer school is a great opportunity for students to make up an entire semester’s worth of work in 12 days. That’s more than a bargain. I know they don’t want to be there but I try to remind them of this. It’s no surprise that I’m having the same misbehavior creep up that I did when I had them in my school-year classes. It still surprises me that I have to tell them to get their work done. Honestly, you don’t have a choice to do it–you need to complete everything to pass. It amazes me that some students continue to push back even after all of this has been explained. However, this is the “clientele” that I teach: attitude-y, sometimes lazy, sometimes disorganized, and sometimes awesome high school students.
The schedule that I’ve created:
English 9: We start with DOL (daily oral language) as a “bell ringer” and do vocab relevant to what we’re reading. I have chosen Steinbeck’s The Pearl. I read to them (which they like, most of them are not good readers) and they have a study guide to use/complete as well. Tuesday and Thursdays I’ve decided we’re going to do something parts-of-speech related because so many of my students lack basic writing skills. I’m hoping they will be able to write a basic five paragraph essay about The Pearl.
English 10: We start with DOL again, discuss the chapter we read in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and then write a journal entry. Then we move onto Chapter 2, I read and discuss plot points, and they have a study guide. Their final project will be writing an in depth autobiography.
All of the above is happening within the first three weeks. I have something completely different planned for the second three weeks.
So that’s about it–nothing special. Did I mention I’m exhausted?