Friday, October 23, 2009

Week 7...

Wow...need I say more! haha... never a dull moment at Wilson High in PE.

Here are the highlights of my week this week...Derrick came into class and was super pumped. He saw where I was and came over to shake my hand and thank me for having sent an email to the principal telling him how well he had behaved in class with me. He was so excited and couldn't believe that I woudl tell him that he was behaving and how proud of him I was. The principal emailed Derrick adn congratulated him for his behavior and how so many people at Wilson are behind him. We had a make-up day in Health class. Anthony was overwhelmed by what he had to make-up. I gave him his assignments one by one so he could take it step by step. He did much better that way. He worked diligently the entire class period and got through a few assignments. We talked about how much easier it is to just do your work the first time. It would work better for his grade as well. He worked hard and when he didn't understand something he woudl call me over for my help and we would work through it. Antoine is still a struggle but he worked well on his work and got a lot done. The kids were so much more well behaved. They ahd the freedom to do what they wanted, within limits, as they worked on their work. But, when the teacher is infront of the class, their is instruction going on, they can't refrain from having loud outbursts and disrupting everything. Derrick looks at me differently know. Even though he has outbursts, is disruptive, and disobedient, he now apologizes and says, "my bad, my bad, I'm sorry." Whereas before he would just swear at you. Baby steps.

Yet again...PE is a WHOLE different story! ay ay ay. Our student Aldo continued to tell me more about his mother being in El Salvador and him being home alone. His father died when he was 9. He was sick, left and never came back. He doesnt' really know what happened to him. He is on the HS soccer team and works on weekends. He earns his own money for food. He is lonely. He doens't do much because he needs to save his money.

Yazmin went to the burial of her god-brother who was shot. She comes into class with her anger issues and attitudes. I just try to refocus her energy into things that are positive.

Stephanie was getting bullied a little bit more by the students who were involved in the bathroom incident...uffff. We talked about how she needs to be resilient and unmoved by those other students. We had kids trying to kill squirles with tennis!?! hahaha The list goes on right...there are so many things that happen sometimes I can't even remember them! It makes me laugh.

We are finishing up our tennis unit. We started our tennis tournament today. The kids really did well with it and really enjoyed it. I had a student, Artis, who when they were picking who they wanted to have as their doubles partners come up to me, stand right behind me (I could feel him behind me) smiling huge and say, "I got my partner, Ms. Pratt is my partner." haha He was so proud of himself. We had an odd amount of students. So, I was his partner. It was fun. The girls we played gave me all special rules that no one else had! :) Artis and I didn't advance in the tourney. HE followed me around the rest of the period. haha He tends to have a difficult time participating regularly, not getting sucked into the loud/disruptive kids even though he is quiet and a good kid. We had a fun time with our kids in the tourney today.

This morning we got there really early to have a team meeting with a student, Francis, his mother, and all of his teachers. Francis and his mother arrived about 40 min late. All of the teachers talked about Francis in the classroom, how he behaves, what he needs, etc. They are looking into seeing whether or not he is special ed. They are looking into hooking him up with the school psychologist. He has very loud outbursts. He has anger problems. He follows and mixes in with the girls who are very bad influences. He can't sit still. He is very hyper. He can go from totally calm to 100 percent angry, yelling and swearing at you. He is a sharp kid when he does his work. He can focus and do well but only for limited amounts of time.

Francis and his mother finally arrive. The mother is willing to share all. He has had problems for a long time. He is the fourth of 4 kids, last one at home. The mother works graveyard. There is no father figure in his life and never really has. They have no contact with his father. His older siblings all have kids. His 18 year old sister has a 1 or 2 year old. He wears the same clothes all the time and has had the same braids in his hair since at least the beginning of school. He has bad friends. He has been mugged by people with knives, he has been stripped of his clothes and left practically naked in the street, his friends have robbed, graffiti-ed, and vandalized their home, etc. He has a prole officer. He had an incident over the summer where he got into serious trouble. He has a urine test every Thursday. November 16th he has a court hearing that will decide whether or not the judge is going to lock him away for 7 years or not. The crime was that serious. Francis would not allow his mother to divulge all that happened. Appartenly, Francis didn't realize what he did was as serious as it was. He didn't see it or interpret it for what it really was. We feel like it was something to do with drugs and drug dealers. But we really have no idea. The judge is going to look at how Francis is behaving at school and at home. So how he acts at school right now is a deciding factor of what the rest of his life will be like. One of hte teachers told him that if he behaves and does well in her class she will go to court and testify for him and be his advocate. He doesn't think that he really will be locked up. He feels invincible, that the judge will just let him stay home.

So, this morning for some reason, I felt impressed to wear my BYU sweatshirt...hahah..weird right?! to wear a certain article of clothing? the Spirit? crazy.

As we get up to say goodbye to Francis and his mother, I shake her hand and she reads my sweatshirt and says, "did you go to Brigham Young University?" I was surprised because you wouldn't ask that if you didn't have any background knowledge of it. I told her I did. She asked me what I studied, what am I doing here, etc. She suddenly totally changed, her countenance changed, and her face lit up. Then she says to me with all the pride she had in her..."We are members!!!" hahaha I did EVERYTHING in my power to not make a SINGLE facial expression...sooooooooooooo much was going through my mind! Wow! SO MUCH! Francis, one of our worst behaved students...a MEMBER!! I wanted to ask so much but didn't know how much I could since we were at school. I said, oh really...what ward are you in...i wanted to know so I could contact the ward leaders. She said, "yeah, well Francis is not fulfilling his Priesthood duties as he should..." I looked at Francis and he was like, yeah...that was a sign to me that she has been to church more than I initially would have thought, using Mormon jargon. When I asked her what ward she was in she responded immediately, "the Capitol Hill Ward". We leave and the first thing Nicole says to me is..."THEY ARE MEMBERS OF YOUR CHURCH?!?!?! WHATT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" We were dumbfounded and laughed! I told her I woudl contact the leaders of his ward immediately, find out all I oculd about them, send them their home teachers, YM, boy scout, etc. HOLY COW. I suddenly felt a huge responsibility to help this young man and use the church as a means. Nicole was all for it and agrees. I already called the ward building, no answer. I will keep calling and try to get more contact info from my Bishop to be able to talk to Francis's Bishop. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT! All brought about by a silly sweat shirt...the Lord works in mysterious ways.


That was a lot of my week!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Love NYC

Walking to the subway...
Best waffle and fruit ever! Love Manhattan!

My favorite part of NYC...drum roll...CENTRAL PARK!
Castle in Central Park

Dad, this one is for you...they are eating street vendor hot dogs in central park! Just for you!

Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Bridge...don't worry we got off and didnt' have a map and didn't know where to go! We have an impeccable sense of direction luckily!

We walked across the bridge!

The sketchy "hand bag" store in Chinatown. This was the secret door you had to use to get down into the "shop".

Dinner in Little Italy! Delicioso!

sooooooooooooooo tired...we rocked the subway! I can get around anywhere in NYC! What, what?!?!

Time Square, at night...what else can I say?!