At the beginning of the school day, the halls are mostly empty. A few students straggle through the halls and wander into classes. The official start of the day is 8:15, but most students will not be in school at that time, and the students who are will wander into class sometime before 8:30. Who knows when announcements will happen.
First Period Advanced PlacementAt the start of class, 50 percent of class is not present. Twenty-five percent are absent, 25 percent are late, and many of those are late by at least half the class period.
I pass out copies of “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” and give a brief background on Douglas. No one takes notes.
I next assign the introduction and preface for reading in class. Maybe six of 20 students open the book and start reading; other students open the book, but put it face down on the desk and get out their cell phones, although they are repeatedly told to put them away; a fair number do not open the book at all. One student asks if he can listen to music while he is reading, because, he says, “My brain doesn’t work in silence.” I tell him he needs to practice silence.One student refuses to take the book.
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