Noah's Ark

Teaching Speech for the last five years, I have had some odd groupings of kids for class.  There was the class of all high achieving girls and one bad boy. There was the redneck and jock class. But my 8th hour class this semester beats them all.  It's kind of like Noah's Ark for high school classes.

The first group are the Mona Lisa girls who sit towards the back or the side, straight backed They maintain that half  smile at the antics going on. They stay on the fringes of the action, never really participating. A couple of them think they are cool, above the rest, but they aren't nearly as cool and popular as they think.

The next group I find hard to name. At first I called them Slackers. But they aren't. They come to school every day (except the first day of each deer season. Did you know in Iowa there is more than one) and they do care. They just don't show it. They sit in the back of the room, slouched down in their seat, chewing their gum. They have a smirky smile on their face and a twinkle in their eye, like they just got away with something sneaky.  I have had them in class before and know their tricks. They don't get by with much.

There are my special ed kids. The girls sit in a corner and laugh and giggle at whatever the boys in this group say. One of the boys loves to flirt and talk to them and get them giggling.  The other boy just likes to fish.

And last, but certainly not least, my Crazy Geniuses.  One is so smart it's scary. They are much smarter than anyone in the room. They are sarcastic, snarky and irreverent. Nothing is sacred. Never ask them a question you really need an answer to because they might not tell you the correct one. And they are very creative. Their speeches and activities push boundaries while fulfilling the requirements. Every day they play word games of their own making with the writing on my white board--erasing letters, changing letters, creating their own little messages to me.  It started small to see if I would notice. Now, they take over the whole board.

What did I tell you?  Noah's Ark.


  1. Oh I could sort my students into these groups...I wonder what we can do with those deer hunter types.

    1. They give LOTS of speeches on hunting! When I had them in reading, the read about hunting. As long as I let them choose, they are pretty good. I really like them...but they are always snickering about something!

  2. A fun taste of your classroom! I loved the pictures you found to illustrate each group. The "Noah's Ark" idea is so funny and perfect!

  3. What a great post and they are very lucky to have you. Yes, you have tagged them as "Noah's Ark" but you rejoice and are realistic about the "groups". It appears from the tone of your writing that each in the ark are precious...and interesting! The smirky faces and twinkling eyes would help me through many days. The ones I would hold close to my heart are the students in special ed. What a class --- OH and eighth hour. I bet you are tired by the end of the hour! A joy to read. Thanks.

  4. Deb, I do not envy you, although through reading your SOL, I am sure you can handle yourself well with these kids. I love how you notice the different groups and their antics.
    I must tell you a side-note funny: being at the elementary level and working closely with our language pathologist, I misunderstood you. I read "Teaching speech the past five years, I have some odd groups of kids. I have the high achieving girls and one bad boy." By the time I read redneck and jock, I thought, "Wait a second. These are some big classes for speech services. What are they doing?" Then I reread. Let's just say the laugh is on me. Just had to share the laughter. :)

  5. I especially love the way this slice reflects how much you know about your students. It shows how much you care! And Noah's Ark is such a clever metaphor!

  6. Snarky, that's a great word and so appropriate for that kind of kid. What a challenge to meld this group into a community that will let the kids take risks with their speeches. You can do it. Want to share some of the board play?

  7. Such a neat post. It's fun to categorize the kids, and figure out what makes them tick. I've got Noah's Ark in my tiny groups most years! :)


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