Thursday, May 5, 2011


I randomly got assigned to substitute teach for an English teacher I was introduced to a couple weeks back.  She teaches freshman English and CAHSEE English (which is pretty much teaching English to students whose English skills are not so great so they can pass the CAHSEE - California High School Exit Examination).  For many of these students, English is not their first language.  These students are great students but can be difficult at times (I have had my battles!).  I have taught these students in many other classrooms so I have a little (as much as a little white girl can get) "street cred."  Some of these students will walk into my class and get excited and tell the other students that I am "chill" and not to mess with me.  Others, not so much but I have a feeling they are like that with most of their teachers (just a feeling).

I was introduced to this classroom during STAR (Standardized Testing and Reporting) testing.  During the Science portion of the test, I have maybe 4 students.  During the History portion of the test, I had maybe 7 students.  So it was my surprise when I taught the actual class the following day, that I have 15 students (there are only 18 students enrolled in the class).

That day we were scheduled to go to the computer lab so the students could type out their narratives "they had been working on" outside of class???  I believe one student had completed his narrative (which I read and was good) and maybe one or two others had brought in their narrative to type in class. Most of the other students were looking at random websites, deciding what to wear for prom and then there were a couple individuals that were doing the assignment they were suppose to do if they did not have their narrative.

One student was "trying" to access his student account for the website.  All of a sudden I hear "mija!"  I ignore it because he could not have been talking to me.  "Mija!"  So I look up and the student is looking right at me.  He asks, "Mija.  Can you help me get on the website."  I was a little startled.  Really?  Mija. He is a nice kid but we are not friends, let alone, homies (I don't mean that as a stereotype ... I am saying we aren't close and you shouldn't be talking to me that way, I am your teacher).  I looked at this kid and I said "Don't mija me."  And he looks up at me and says, "Mija.  Come on.  Help me out."  I just kind of laughed.  This kid had some balls -  1.  As I said, we are not friends and 2.  I am not your girl.  The way he was looking up at me was hilarious because he knew he was on thin ice but I couldn't not help but help him.

Now the kid is on the website, supposedly doing his work.  I look up to survey the class and what is my little friend doing?  Looking at a website entitled "Barrio Girls."  Now, if you want to look up the website, be my guest but I am not going to link it because it was wrong.  It was so wrong.  Especially at school!  I asked the student to close the window of the screen and he looked at me like I was crazy!  Really?  This kid had some serious balls.  We talked it out and I told him that if it was any other teacher he would be in sooooo much trouble.  It was the day before Spring Break and I just couldn't do it.  However, I did tell him that if I ever teach for him again, that was NOT going to fly.  He nodded and smiled because he knows he got away with it.  Now I see him in the hallways and he says "Hi Ms. Stuart" with the most friendly tone.  And that is why I like this kid.