The first week went pretty well. As usual, I wasn't mean or strict enough with my new ninth graders, and by the end of the week they a) loved me and b) acted a little K-RAZY. On Friday, though, the crazy factor wasn't entirely their fault.
It was our first day in the computer lab. Of course, all but three didn't know their passwords and the nice IT help desk lady was at lunch, so I had to sweet talk the PC tech guy* into breaking into help desk lady's office and getting the passwords for us. It was a laborious process, and the tech guy and help desk lady, once she returned, complained for some time about how the students keep having to get their passwords over and over. I nodded in commiseration, but it was a bit forced. I mean, if my password was "iU8pC4l1", case-sensitive, and I wasn't allowed to change it to something I would remember, I no doubt would be visiting help desk lady on a regular basis for a refresher.
So that took awhile.
As students logged on, I directed them to Edublogs to begin creating their own blogs. Unfortunately, due to site traffic or local weather or some other magical, mystery techno-beastie, the site's homepage would come up, but none could get past that screen to start accounts. My edublog would come up, however, so I randomly decided to show them how to leave comments on mine. I don't know what the kids think about blogging after that semi-lesson because it was all so anti-climatic, but it wasn't a total wash.
And I did get about four comments from girls in my class pretending to be girls from that show "Gossip Girl," filling me in on the activities of their characters and anticipating the new season of the show. So, I learned something too: some of my students have a natural ability to write cheesy copy for TV ads AND I better at least check that show out so I can have some clue about what the hell they are talking about all the time.
We were left with a few minutes in the period, and we are under strict instructions not to allow ninth graders to leave early for lunch, so OF COURSE, one boy goes right to a video of my band on YouTube (word gets around fast in a small school like this). They all rush over to watch it, but one kid who can't see it from the back of the group asks, "Hey, is her husband good looking?" A football player type with blond hair that falls across his forehead in a wave turns around and says, "Yeah, he's hot," which makes all the girls totally fall out laughing. One girl yells, "Dude, you're a boy. You're not supposed to say that!" And football boy is all like, "Yeah, but what was I supposed to say? I didn't want to be rude!" And that's the point when I just started marching around the room booming, "LOG OFF AND LEAVE. LOG OFF AND LEAVE."
So that was awesome.
The next time we go to set up our blogs, I pray everything works according to plan, and they can use any extra minutes creating avatars and experimenting with widgets instead of watching embarrassing YouTube videos.
*the same gentleman who once told me that it was not one of his job responsibilities to ever, ever talk to students. This he informed me of directly after asking me to ask a student to move six inches to the left so he could get to the computer he was supposed to service. We were all sitting within five feet of each other and the whole thing was a little awkward.