Sometimes what we learn is totally unrelated to my planning.

Yesterday, as we were working on writing topics lists, I got a truly fabulous question from a kid. I'd been modeling, and I'd mentioned how my dislike of Insane Clown Posse is something I could potentially write about someday. A kid had inserted that he thought juggalos were weird.

After, when my kids were working on their own lists, another student raised his hand. I trotted over to help. He said, "Miss Teachin', I thought juggalos were fake."

What? "Um, I think they think they're real...."

"Oh. But....wasn't there a movie about one of them?"

I stared at him for a second, totally lost, till another kid piped up, "No, dude, that's gigolo - Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo."

"Oh, riiiiiight." And work resumed. Temporarily.

Then a third student joined in. "Okay, yeah, but what's the difference between a juggalo and a gigolo?"

I couldn't tell if he was kidding or not. Luckily, my movie buff scoffed at the foolish question. "Juggalos, like, wear makeup and do weird stuff. Gigolos are male prostitutes. Pfft. Duh."

"Ohhhhhh," responded the questioner, clearly embarrassed.

I don't know how much else this kid learned yesterday, but at least his vocabulary expanded a bit.

Today it happened.

Today it happened.

Today we gelled.

Today we were a community.

Today I started to love my new students a little bit.

I haven't been posting because...well, for a variety of reasons, including some things going on that I just don't post about (for example, an issue with a coworker that I don't want to get into), and being really, really busy, and just not feeling like writing....

But mainly because really I just wanted to say, "I miss my old students! Waaaahhhh! These new ones aren't as good! Waaaaaahhh!" And how fun is that to read? Not very.

But today it started to come together. I'm sick right now, and honestly probably should have stayed home today but I thought I'd feel better than I did and it was too late to call a sub without a true emergency, so off to school I trudged.

Anyway, the kids were great - everything we did, they did right away, without complaint, fully engaged. At least 10 kids finished books over the long weekend, and were super excited to get new ones and talk about what they'd finished. Several kids who'd been absent on Friday came in to get their makeup work (I know, it's a little thing, but OH it matters). They were kind to each other, asking questions when we shared work and bringing up things they'd heard from other people that they'd been interested in or excited by. A bunch of them told me they hoped I'd feel better as they left. It just....went really well. And I started to think, okay. I can do this. It's going to be a good year after all.

I may never love them quite as much as last year's kids, but that was my first class and they were just all-around remarkable (most of them, at least). These kids are great too, I know that, and as long as I'm starting to love them some, it'll be fine.

(Image credit to Shermeee)
"I'm a dreamer but I ain't the only one Got problems but we love to have fun" -K'naan, "Dreamer"

I teach eighth grade Language Arts at an urban school. My kids kick ass and will change the world. I want everyone to know.
Copyright 2009 I'm a Dreamer All rights reserved.
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