My after school club had some of the worst students I’ve ever had the displeasure of interacting with. I had some of them removed from the roster but it didn’t stop the bad attitudes, selfishness, and general too-good-for-you bullshit that some middle schoolers have down to a science.
After all that drama of having them removed I got the green light to interview students personally for clubs and even camps. This was supposed to stop students from signing up just so they could take advantage of me (I don’t enforce school rules because, quite frankly, I don’t know what they are until it’s too late)
The most interesting part was because of budget cuts I wasn’t going to have a Korean co-teacher at my camp for the whole time – only half of the time. So I really needed to make sure I had a decent group of students.
When summer camp neared I was able to interview them. I had over 35 second grade students sign up and had to interview all of them down to 20. Some were kicked off the list for wearing makeup to the interview – I can’t trust you to follow basic rules like no makeup on a normal school day I know you’ll be a nightmare for me at camp.
For first grade students we had only 16 sign up. I pestered them weekly to try to get to the golden number – 20. Soon we only had 20 signed up and one of them could barely speak English. My coteacher outright bribed (with food) some of her students to join my camp. It was just not a very good group but, of course, we didn’t know that at the time.
So I had my handpicked second grade camp and my begrudgingly accepted 1st grade camp. I worked for ages to come up with fun things. In the end, the first graders were lazy and had pretty bad attitudes throughout. Nothing was fun – woe was them. Ohhhh sigghhhhh god no I don’t want to decorate my own t-shirt. That’s just the wooorrrsssttt. So much wooorrrkkkkk…. Ohhhhhhhh whine whine whine, I don’t want to paint this. Oh whine. Pizzas are so hhharrrrddd.Nnnnooo I wooonnnttt cleeann up after mysellfff I’m just going to texxxxttttttt even though I shouldn’t have my phooonnnnne.
I hope that was as annoying for you to read as it was for me to listen to for 5 days. The first graders left a terrible taste in my mouth to the point that I outright hated this job. Both Chris and I had been slowly decending into hatred over the past month – after finals we had to babysit all our classes for about 3 weeks and everyone had an attitude about it. But camps are supposed to be fun for everyone – I create games and a sort-of curriculum and they are supposed to just relax and speak English without worrying about tests. But the first graders were just terrible. Fortunately the 2nd graders arrived with their can-do kickass attitudes. I asked them to put their phones in a box so that they couldn’t use them – did they whine about having to do it? No. They did it and remembered to do it everyday without me nagging them. They were creative, open minded and asked fantastic questions. They were just what the doctor ordered for a burned-out I-don’t-think-I-can-do-this-job-anymore-attitude I’ve been stuck in for over a month.
I’m glad to have had the 2nd grade camp and be reminded there are some good students at my school (even if I handpicked the best of the best) – because I had honestly forgotten.
Here’s some pictures from camp-
Making paper mache monsters. The big mistake I made was making it with flour and water. In this summer heat (we’ve been getting emergency alerts about the heat – it moulded over the weekend. Whoops).
This picture looks staged but that’s just how studious they are:
Presenting about the Bermuda Triangle-
End result on monsters – I had silver spray paint and as a middle schooler you can’t pass that up. Many monsters ended up being chrome even if it didn’t make sense for them to be shiny.