Monday, March 14, 2011

A Great Way to End the Day

I have a HUGE class 8th hour.  8th hour is a difficult time as it is, being the last period of the day, people are tired and cranky and hyper.  Instead of getting things done, they watch the clock, pace around, look out the window.  And you should see what the kids are trying to do!

Anyway, like I was saying, I have a class of 28 students.  Technically, I have 2 classes, one that has 24 students in it and one that has 4 students.  Yes, all at the same time.  And of these students, 24 of them are freshmen and sophomores, 2/3 of them boys.   Now if you are not a high school teacher, you really don't understand the ramifications of the statement I just made.  Stay with me here- sophomores and freshmen (young and immature), vast majority- boys (yikes), 8th hour (did I mention how difficult... oh, yes I did),  art supplies, and 9 (count them) window to stare out of.  Not an ideal situation, let me tell you.  They are a pretty jovial group of kids, overall a bunch of lively, agreeable students who are crammed into one room, with uneven results. The few upperclassmen I have are barricaded off in the 2nd art room- the clay room- and the young 'uns are not allowed in.  This is good,  because they need constant monitoring!  Ok, I'll stop begging for sympathy here.

So it was the end of the day, and the natives were getting restless, and one student said some little irritating thing to one of the other boys in the room- I, like I always do, tried to diffuse the situation by making a comment that sort of made the statement seem like a back-handed compliment.  I try to use my powers for good.  After a bit of minor discussion about said statement, one of the other kids said to me- I am still pretty amazed by this- "Mrs. Oswald, you always try to make us feel good about ourselves."

Silent pause.

Wow, that was a great way to end the day. From the mouth of a boy who I never expected would say such a thing. I was so surprised, I was rendered slightly speechless.  I had been standing there trying to figure out if I was ever going to let any of them ever go to the bathroom, drinking fountain, or LMC again for the rest of the semester..... not to mention grace me with their presence during study hall.  Ha!  If they think that I need to have them pestering me during my small class, they have another thing...... oh, man.  That was a great compliment.  Sigh.

This is why I am the Mad Art Teacher, I guess.  Those little comments are my paycheck and my benefits.  And the governor can't take that away from me.

Hope springs eternal!
We are in the home stretch for the scenery.  The backdrop is about 95 % complete and really what needs to be done is the little kid fish hats and the giant eggs.  The fish hats are partly done, a couple are paper mached, and need to be fitted and painted. The eggs are being worked on.  This will be an interesting week!

Until next time- be a joy giver, you never know when someone is going to notice!  :)


  1. Aww, love that. You just never know the lives you touch in your role as a teacher. Your positive words and approval can make a student with a low self esteem think twice about that! I love your attitude towards life Deb, and it all comes out in your work!

  2. Deb you really paint a picture that all of us can see...whether we are teachers in a classroom or in life.

  3. What a great story! Those kids really surprise us sometimes, don't they?