So, my dear friends, I have survived my first full week of teaching. Oh my god, I am tired!!!

So on day one I asked my kids why were they taking Spanish. Predictably, most of them said they needed to fulfill a foreign language requirement in order to go to college. One of my cheerleaders said because she wanted a boyfriend that looked like Enrique Iglesias. One of my funny boys mentioned Spring Break in Cancun. Another boy mentioned how beautiful latin women were. I told them I appreciated the honesty. A couple of them said their parents were making them, and my personal favorite: "I have too. If it were up to me I would not take it and if they come here they have to learn English." My response was: "OK. But you want to go to college don't you? So you will do your best, right?"

I have three one hour and a half blocks of 30 or so students. The first one is 28 and smart and sassy. They know their Spanish I, they brag about their accomplishments, and are full of smart wit. I hate to play favorites but they just are. A couple are on the school paper, a couple of cheerleaders, some JROTC, a great bunch. The last group has a couple of athletes, some girls from the choir, good kids. They are smart but it is their last class so they tend to get rowdy. On day one I found out that the one girl I knew in advance is 17 and pregnant. Better yet, she is excited about it. Yeah.

My second group is the reason I have not blogged yet. 32 of a real mix of kids. I have a couple that have either been or were close to being sent to alternative schools. I have a few football players, track guys, female softball players, female basketball players and band guys that hang out with football players. If I had to break it down I would say I have ten good kids that are smart and want to learn. Ten that could take it or leave it. And twelve who could care less and just wish they were outside and act like it. It has been a little hellish.

Now I took a class on classroom management and everyone told me to be mean the first day. I thought I was tough enough. My regular everyday personality seemed to be enough for the other two groups, so why change it? Well I am turning into a Nazi, at least with group two. They only respond to aggression.

Oh, and did I mention I am replacing a teacher that was fired? Yes, she used to sleep in the classroom, and give the kids the answer to the exam questions. Nice huh? When I read them the riot act today I told them I don't wanna hear "Mrs. Whatever would do this" ever again. She is no longer here. I am and if they don't like it they can go talk to the principal about dropping out. I warned them that I will call parents, coaches, and anything else I needed to do to get them staright. They are going to leave speaking Spanish in December-period. I told them that if they felt they needed extra help I was available to tutor them. Right off the bat the problem football player said "I need help I'll be here on Tuesday if you talk to my coach". It was awesome.

I think I have connections with some of them. Even the xenophobic kid promised me he would do the work if I kept him next to his buddy. I told him I would let him sit next to his friend for as long as they did their work well.

I survived. It was soooo hard but I think I can make it at least through the semester. I have to say the staff has been amazingly supportive. They even found a way to take my tables away and give me real desks. It is heartwarming to have so many great people behind me.

I should also say Michael has been awesome. He makes me breakfast every day. He helps preparing meals if I'm grading work. Without him, I would have quit. Oh! And without my mentor Laura who has taught in this school for 3 years and is my lifeline.

I will tell you some other time about the test I gave them one week into the school year...

Much love!


  1. Glad you survived the first week! Remember, what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger! Michael is spoiling you, but that's what hubbies are for:)

  2. Hey Lisa it's Elizabeth! Ha ha sounds so much like my highschool and to think that it's just the first of the year!!


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