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Thursday, October 6, 2016

My fourth hour is that class.

Yesterday there was a miracle.

An honest to God, I never thought it would happen, miracle.

My fourth hour was both silent and productive for almost forty solid minutes.

Now, let me explain.

My fourth hour is that class.

You know the one.

Every kid needs your attention every thirty seconds.

Fully half are diagnosed with ADHD (most erroneously, none medicated).

Several have serious self and impulse control issues.

They all scream constantly.

One is the director's commentary on her own life you can't turn off.

And God gave her a voice you can't NOT hear.

Because of the fidgeting, the screaming, the sheer neediness, it takes FOREVER to get even the simplest tasks completed.
This is the class that makes you dread getting up in the morning.

The one you want to make sit in silence for weeks until they calm the hell down.

The one you know needs interactive experiences the most.

The one that breaks your heart as you learn their stories.

This is the class that irks your nerves to the breaking point.

It is that class.

And today, they gave me hope.

Maybe they are finally settling down.

Maybe we can NaNoWriMo.

Maybe, just maybe, they will have enough good days to succeed.

Of course, one strategic absence definitely helped, but that absence has happened before without such drastic results.

This was our first real workshop day.

I asked students to write a story.

Last week, we planned the stories.

Today, they wrote.

I can't remember the last time I sat down during this class.

Today, I wrote 300 words in one uninterrupted session.

We all wrote.


It wasn't perfect.

It took us about ten minutes to finally get all settled in and working.

There was a lot shushing.

A lot of dirty looks.

I even threw a stress ball at someone's head.

One young lady came and shared my desk.

I fed her questions every sentence or two to keep her writing.

My CT partner had two crowded up at the back table with her.

Several were plugged in.

Technically, independent music is not permitted, and I should stop them.

But they were writing.



Without complaint.

So I let the earbuds slide as long as no one else can hear the music.

And a miracle happened.

My fourth hour sat and wrote for over forty miutes.

If that is not a good thing, I do not know what is.


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