Finally, a class I can blog about. For the last six months or so, I’ve been subbing almost entirely with intellectually disabled students and it is quite illegal to blog about them. Middle school students? No one cares.
Dixon Middle School is where all my kids went to school as well as my brothers and sisters. When we moved from Oklahoma to Utah, I was already in high school, so I was the only person in my family who did not go to school at Dixon. Dixon is very old, but is in fairly good condition. It looks a lot like the school in Back to the Future. There is a little modernization, but it is easy to tell where that was added in with occasionally poorly placed wires, drill holes, sprinklers and computer cables. The class I was teaching in was originally a storage room for the neighboring biology class room and so was smaller than most of the English classes I’ve subbed in in newer buildings. Dixon is a Title I school where most students are minorities. This is the exception in very white-bread Utah County. Many of my students today asked if I could explain the lesson in Spanish. I answered in Korean and from that point on everyone spoke English.
We were learning how to do compare and contrast using Venn Diagrams. The text was Johnny Tremain comparing what Johnny was like before his accident and afterwards (when the forge cracked and spilled molten silver on his hand). The kids understood most of the physical problems, but many of the psychological/personality changes Johnny went through were lost on them. Fortunately, the teacher left a nicely designed, self-guided, fill in the black questionnaire to help them figure things out. The challenge came during the last fifteen minutes when I was required to spring a five paragraph essay on them that was due at the end of class. Ninety percent of the kids got it done with the remaining ten percent loudly complaining or saying they weren’t gonna do anything a sub told them they had to do. I taught seven periods and had the exact same reaction to the writing assignment.
Middle school! Loads of fun as always.