I'm teaching summer school again this year. It is my third year teaching in a credit-recovery program. These kids are with me because they failed their class the first time around.
My class is MUCH larger than in the past. I've got 24 American history students, and 1 world history student. In the past I've had not more than 12 kids at a time, though at least right now I've only got two classes happening, instead of four.
With a group this size, all taking the same subject, I feel like I should be able to treat this as a "normal" class. However, I discovered very quickly that such a tactic does not work. Those 24 kids are with me because they failed American history for first time around. I have to keep reminding myself that I've got EXCLUSIVELY the kids that "don't want to be there." This session started Thursday of last week, and every day I've had to remind students about what's at stake.
I love teaching American history. It's fun, interesting, and (frankly) really easy to make relevant. However, with this group, I find myself just telling them, "if you fail with me, you'll have to do it again, for an entire semester."
Today I had a student eat three grease-bomb breakfast sandwiches during our first morning break. He bragged loudly about it at first, but it didn't take long for him to turn white and sit quietly holding his stomach. When I asked what was up, he said he felt really sick. I didn't have any pity.
Later, while in the hallway during a break...
Random Girl: "Oh God, I'm gonna have to pee like a banshee after all that coffee."