Monday, October 31, 2005

Drama Club

Every year I have a Drama Club at my school. We meet after school and basicly work together to put on a production. All you have to do to get into Drama Club is turn in a form. I ususlly get around 200 forms and pick 20 names out of a hat. This gives me a group of about 5 kids that want to work and 15 who want to goof around and a act crazy. Usually, it is the parent who signs the kids up for Drama Club. Most of the kids who are in the club don't realize the amount of work it takes to put on a play. You know, hard work like standing still and speaking loud--tough stuff like that. Hey, for some kids, standing still is almost an impossibility.

Anyway, this year, I decided to audition the kids for the club. I gave all of the 3rd and 4th graders a sheet of paper with 9 girls monologues and 9 boys monologues. They were told that if they wanted to be in Drama Club, they would have to memorize one of the monologues. I never officially told the parents of the audition. A few of them would ask about Drama Club and I would tell them the deal. A couple of times times a parent would come up to me and say that their child had lost their monologue sheet and request another one. I would tell the parent that part of being in the club is responsibility. If they lost their sheet, they could borrow one from one of their classmates--they all received one. The best thing about the whole audition was that out of 250 3rd and 4th graders, I now have 15 kids who all have memorized a monologue and that I can count on.

The kids who auditioned were fantastic. I was able to work with them on finding the right emotion or feeling and get them to do the monologue again and see the improvement right away. It really was like molding a piece of clay--or play dough.

Monday, October 24, 2005

buckin' broncos.

I had a rare treat today. I actually got to smile with the class that never makes me smile. It's crazy, but no matter how hard I try, I can never seem to be myself with some of my classes. Some groups of youngins get me so furious in the hall as they walk up to my room, that I am a real bear of a teacher. I know it's not the whole class' fault, but It's hard to narrow it down to one kid, and you hate to make a scape goat outta anybody.
Well, today I get this class coming to me, and they are usually a handfull. These guys are 2nd graders and they like to tattle, argue, cut in line, hit, push and shove each other all day long. You get the idea. Now, for some reason, today was different. First, they were really nice walking down the hall, no problems. I started to praise them right away--they love that. I kept easin' em into the room nice and slow, continuing to point out kids, individually, who were trying real hard to use their *self control. After I got 'em settled down and in their seats we had a real nice lesson and I was able to teach them something besides discipline. They were all smiling at the end of class and so was I.

*One time, I had been talking to this kids' class about self control. After school, as I was walking to my car, one of the after school program teachers offered me a slice of pizza. Of course I accepted. As I was getting a slice, I hear this kid say, "Mr. Bowers, self control." I told him thanks and gave him the thumbs up signal and left the pizza alone. In the car on the way home, i really regretted teaching them self control.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A New Generation of Houston Fans

As I sat watching Albert Pujols's ball crack the window of Minute Maid Ballpark, I tried to find a silver lining. I know the series isn't over yet, and who knows how it will end, but I found something good about it. All the kids at school are learning the pain that is necessary to be a Houston Sports fan. I tell them that if you are gonna be a Houston Sports fan, you have to give up on your team for them to succeed. You have to think that there is no chance for them to win before they do. (I think that the Texans have no chance of beating the Colts this Sunday. We'll see what happens.) Maybe the 'stros will pull this out. If they do, there is no chance of them beating the White Sox. It is only fitting that the day of the game was the 45th anniversary of Houston being awarded a franchise (a ceremony that took place in a hotel room in Chicago--where this year's world series will be partly played. The team was the Colt 45's. We lost 4 to 5. The losing pitcher was wearing number 54. aaaaaagggghhhhh!!!! That's the kind of things that the Houston fan has to do, find a way to deal with the insanity.

Friday, October 07, 2005

I want to be bothered!

Yesterday I had a 1st grader who kept bothering the kids around him and disrupting the lesson. I asked him to stop several times. Finally, I asked the class, "Is there anyone in here who wants to be bothered? I need someone who will sit next to this guy so that he can bother them and we can go on with the lesson. Is there anyone?" I had it all planned out. No one would answer, and the botherer would realize that no one likes to be bothered. Well, the sweetest, little girl in the class raised her hand and said, "I will sit next to him." "You don't mind if he bothers you?" I asked. She said, "No." Now, I know this little girl and have taught both of her older brothers and one of her older sisters, so I kinda figured she could handle anything that the other boy had to dish out. I let her sit next to him and went on with the lesson. The boy poked her shoe. She did nothing. He poked her shoe again. She did nothing. After that, he settled down and didn't disrupt the lesson again and at the end of class I complimented him and told the little girl, "Thank you, you made my day." She just smiled and scurried on down the hall. This is the kinda thing that makes teaching fun for me.