The basic classes' essays were not as terrible as I'd feared, once I'd properly adjusted my expectations. Some of them were even actively good. I was a bit disappointed that a couple of students who ought to be getting As based on intelligence were thrilled to get a B on this essay. On the other hand, I suppose I should be happy that those students are willing to put in effort worth a B for me, as they're apparently not willing to do that for some of their other teachers. Not that I'm spectacular: I have a few students who won't do any work for me who will work for other teachers. I had one student ask me today if there was another physics class she could transfer into. Unfortunately for her, I teach the only two in-class-support physics classes, and she's one of the students whose IEP specifies that she should have a coteacher or an aide for this class. Then again, I suspect that some of these students complain about how hard the material is, or ask why they have to learn it, more to derail the lesson than out of any immediate frustration or curiosity.
In my alleged college prep class, I had one student threaten to bring in her mother to have words with me because she didn't deign to turn her essay in on time and squandered the extension I gave her as well. Apparently she's of the opinion that she ought to get infinite extensions just for the asking. And there were also any number of students seemingly convinced that they can spend the first three minutes of a timed (4 minute)question goofing off and gossiping and then complain that I haven't given them enough time and get more time. The mind boggles at the image of them attempting this on their creditors. And, there was yet another incident with the student who can't seem to stop making inappropriate comments and quoting off-color lyrics. Why they think that "It's a rap!!" gets them off the hook for using obscene language is beyond me. The only positive on that student is that his mother answered the phone when I called, so I could express my disapproval of his behavior to someone whose words might possibly have more of an impact than mine have.
Fortunately my honors class was their usual pleasant, interested, inquisitive selves, and we discussed the relative magnitudes of the electrostatic and gravitational fields. Tomorrow the honors and college prep classes have a quiz and the basic classes have more review for said quiz.
This week's lab is a tides lab involving rubber bands. I may not survive Friday.