Saturday, August 28, 2010

A few funny things

I haven't posted since I started school. I am teaching at a Middle School. I thought I was only teaching 8th, but I also have one section of 6th. Boy are these kids funny. Here are a few stories....

1. I was lecturing about the Aztec Indians, and I was trying to build up the anticipation for the Religion part of the Aztecs. The whole lesson I was saying "Wait until we get to the end of the Aztecs! They did some CRAZY things." We finally get there and I write on the board, the gods required. I stopped and pretended that they didn't want to hear it, and that it was dumb. They were so upset "Please Ms. Cogdill tell us!" So I wrote living, and acted like I was going to stop and the kids shouted out again. I wrote human. The kids started guessing what it was "organs!" "arms!" "legs!" They all got quiet and had these funny grins, and a boy in the back yells, "PENIS!" The whole class laughed and I said "NO! Hearts! It's just Hearts! Y'all are trifling! Stop putting your minds in the gutters!" It was so funny. 8th graders are so hormonal. It's ridiculous.

2. This is again my 8th graders. They had done so well working on their study guide for a long time. They started to get restless the last 20 minutes, so I told them they could ask me any question within reason the last 5 minutes of class if they worked really hard the next 15. They did. They worked so hard. When I told them time was up hands shot into the air. The first 3 were the usual.... Are you married, do you have a boyfriend, and do you have any children. After each question the kids would freak out because my answer was no, no, and no. The next question was "If you could eat anyone in history who would it be?" "You mean, if I could eat with anyone in history who would it be?" "No, for example, I would eat Santa Claus, because he would taste like candy and cinnamon!" I didn't answer the question, because I just didn't know how. I had never thought about eating someone before. So weird where their minds take them.

3. Background: 6th graders are so small! I don't know if you have seen one lately, but that is still the age range where girls are taller than the boys. It's ridiculous. So most of my boys do not come up to my shoulder.

I have this cute little boy in my class. He is one of the littlest and really quiet in class. He listens pretty well. The other day I was walking past his desk to help the girl behind him, and he grabbed my hand. "Ms. Cogdill! You're not married?!" "No, I'm not." "Why Ms. Cogdill, why aren't you married?" "I'm just not" "Well, don't you have any kids?!" "No." "Why?" He was so worried about me not being married, me not having kids... It was cute.

A lot of this is a cultural thing. In their neighborhoods, girls get pregnant at a really young age. Everyone has at least one child, or is in a relationship with someone. It's interesting to see the difference in this particular neighborhood even from Whitehaven. There are much higher rates of poverty and higher interdependence. The kids share everything, walk home in groups (mainly for safety), know all the same people... I don't know if there is true correlation between poverty and interdependence, but it's interesting to see the way that it has changed the dynamic of the classroom. Most of the time, it's for the better.

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