Thursday, September 13, 2007

Our Most American Princess

First off T.G.I.F. I cannot wait for Friday. I swear there is sugar in the water my students have been drinking that or they all have totally lost their minds; but enough bitching on to the fun stuff.
So every day when the students come in there is a question they have to answer. Typically it is about what they are studying but these first few weeks have been questions about them and the world around them. One of the questions they had to answer this week was
Who is the most important American in history? Be sure to give at least two reasons why
One of my students wrote.
"The most important American in history is prences (sic) Dianna. She is important cause she is so pretty. She was nice and wear teeara (sic) (that should be Tiara )"
Apparently this student took the phrase "The People's Princess" to heart and felt that Princess Diana actually was an American, that or this student is totally F*cked.
So in appreication of our most important American here is a picture of our princess.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

How can she, she is still a baby.

One of my students came up to me yesterday to tell me that she couldn't do all her work from that week because she was busy. I know that busy is a cover for something else so I decided to probe a bit to see what this "busy" really was. When probed she got all quiet and looked white uncomfortable but finally said I have to take care of my baby. At first I thought she meant baby sibling so I said how old is your sibling. She replied with My DAUGHTER is five months old. I looked her and said "your daughter" and she nodded sadly.
JESUS Christ she is a baby.
How could she possible raise a baby, someone still needs to raise her?
How can she care for someone else when she needs so much caring for herself?
How can she dry the tears of her child when she is just a child crying herself?
How did she and those around her let this happen?
How can I teach her history when she needs to learn so many more important lessons?
How can I try to convey to her the importance of staying in school when she can hardly stay awake due to middle of the night feedings?
How do I help this girl who has a little girl herself?
So I told her I will do what I can to help her be successful and that we should check in often. I told her that her daughter needs a mom who can give her what she needs and a mom who does not graduate high school let alone 8th grade cannot do that.

What is so crazy about it and what made me take a SHARP breath in was the realization that when her daughter is her age she will be my age. I could be a mom to a 13 year old.
Thank GOD for allowing me to learn how to tak care of myself and my needs before I have to take care of someone else.
I am not sure if it is luck or smarts but more likely a combination of both that my life is no my timeline not someone else's like my potential 13 year old child.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

When I say Immigration you Say RUN!!!!!!

Today we started to work on vocab. Why you ask because if it a word you don't see in a text from your friend they probably don't know it. So one of the words we learned today was immigration.
I gave them the word and the definition from the book. They had to re-write the definition in their own words and use it in a sentence. I was walking around the room checking their work when I saw a sentence that caught my eye. One of my students wrote "When immigration came to my house my uncle had to run out the back door." I realized that I was dealing with a very different population with a very different view of immigration. So I stopped to class and said I was talkign about immigration as in movement to a new country. One of my students they asked what is it called if you have papers. I wanted to say a good idea but a refrained and said immigration is immigration papers just make it legal.
Well at least they know something already and I learned today that if La Migra, as my students call it, show up run out the back.
More fun stories tomorrow. We are playing the history matching game. Cant' wait to see the matches they make.

The 51st state Chicago

This week has been assessment week at school. I am supposed to find out what they already know about US History (NOTHING) so I know what to cover this year (EVERYTHING). One of the assessment I gave them was a map test. I gave the students a blank US political map and a list of the 50 states in alphabetical order. Now I knew that they would not be able to label very many correctly but their answers really threw me. During the quiz one of my students called me over to his desk
"Ms. Naretto" he says (this is a statement not a question), "Chicago is not on the list"
"Yes" I say, "You're right Chicago is not on the list
"But it should be there right under California."
"Why" I ask
"Because Ms. Naretto it's a state"
I just about lose it now because the realization of how ognorant they are is becoming more and more apparent
"No" I say "Chicago is a city not a state"
"No Ms. Naretto you're wrong. Chicago is a state, I've been there."
Apparently if you have been some where it is a state and I am going .... I am not sure but where ever it is it will be a new state.