Archive for March, 2010

Busy, busy, busy…

March 31, 2010

I am not looking forward to the month of April.  Things are starting to get crazy and it is only going to get worse.  We have TAKS coming up on April 30, and we have a lot to do.  We took a practice test to determine who needs tutoring and I was less than pleased by the results.  I do not think the test was hard.  You can try it here (http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/resources/online/2003/grade8/socialstudies.htm).  Luckily, the school was able to find money so we can do tutoring during the day.  We have a lot to do to get ready for that.  I am so excited for the three day weekend.

On the plus side, I have a job for next year.  They passed out contracts and I got one.  Not that I was worried. 😉

-J

Some thoughts…

March 25, 2010

First, let’s start off with the history nerd in me.  Yesterday I saw a a preview for a new miniseries on the History Channel, called “America: The Story of Us.”  You can see the preview here:

http://www.history.com/videos/america-the-story-of-us-trailer#america-the-story-of-us-trailer

The teacher in me immediately thought this would be great to show my kids.  They always want to watch exciting videos and apparently I do not show exciting things.  Then I found out that the History Channel is giving a copy to every school that wants one (http://classroom.history.com/america-dvd/event/form).

I had a revelation today.  I don’t know what brought it on, but I was thinking that I have not been nice, I have been a mean teacher and have not been personable or friendly.  So I am going to try to change that.  I think that I started off the year too nice and have become mean and grumpy, as the year has gone by.  Hopefully things will change.  I never wanted to be the grumpy teacher.  Fortunately, I am far from being the grumpiest.

-J

Freaky Friday…

March 13, 2010

In honor of Public Schools Week, we had Freaky Friday yesterday.  We allowed the parents to come and shadow their kids.  It was also the last day before Spring Break and the kids were crazy.  It was nice to meet parents, but it was also a near disaster.  We had an activity for the kids to do with their parents and another for the kids without parents but they did not last long enough and I did really have anything else for them to do, so there was a lot of down time.

Also, I had a kid in one of my classes who was blowing bubbles.  I sent him to the office and he was mad at me.  I heard him tell someone else that I sent him to the office for it.  He said it with the tone that he could not believe he was getting in trouble for it.  Really?  You thought it was ok to do that…with parents in the room?

I made it to Spring Break!

-J

The worst idea ever…

March 11, 2010

Today the kids got to register for their classes for high school next year.  Do you remember the days when we did that?  You filled out a form and waited until August to see what you got.  Well they do things a little differently now.  It is basically how we registered for classes in college.

The high school counselors came and worked with them to set up their schedules.  They went in a picked their courses and sections; the only thing they didn’t get to pick was the teacher, because those have not been decided yet.  Terrible, terrible idea.  Of course all of the kids went in a tried to schedule classes with their friends, while I was fighting to keep them quiet so they couldn’t.

Of course towards the end of the day it got harder for them to get into their classes and kids were getting frustrated.  Some kids would write down their schedules and give it to their friends to copy.  I had one boy during my last class who I thought was going to cry because he was getting so frustrated that he couldn’t get into classes with one of his friends.

That has got to be a nightmare for the teachers if all of the kids can have classes with all of their friends.  It got me thinking if they do that at my school too.  Looking at my classes and the friends they have, I would not be surprised.  I will be on a mission to find out.

On a side note, I have a funny story.  After 6th period, a girl left her purse in my class.  I immediately knew who it belonged to, so I looked up where she was and took it to her.  If it wasn’t bad enough that I walked into that class carrying a purse, you need to know what it looks like.  It is zebra striped with a blue, almost turquoise, handle and large enough to hold a small dog or child.  Did I mention that the blue handle was the exact same shade of blue as my shirt?  I don’t think I could have found a closer match it I tried.  I think she may have left it there on purpose so she could embarrass me.

Tomorrow is the last day before spring break and is Freaky Friday.  I’ll explain more later because I am sure I will have some good stories.

-J

Sometimes I wonder…

March 8, 2010

How I get some of the responses I get.  We took a test on Friday and the grades weren’t good.  I told the kiddos that the test was difficult and they needed to study.  But did they? Let’s look at some of the questions.

For example, #8 says, “In the dispute between the state of Georgia and the Cherokee Nation, which side did Andrew Jackson support?”  Without any prior knowledge, you would think it is either 1) the state of Georgia or 2) the Cherokee Nation.  I was surprised with some of the answers I got, because there were 2 choices in the question!  Oh yeah, and this question was on the review, only worded slightly different.

Or let’s look at #17, “What caused the outbreak of the Mexican War?”  If you put “a border dispute between Mexico and Texas,” great!  But for #18 which says, “List 2 results of the Mexican War,” and you again put a border dispute, that just doesn’t make sense.

Ay dios mio.

-J

The importance of making friends…

March 7, 2010

In any work environment, it is important to be friendly.  It is good to have people who will help you out when you need it.  It is always good to have the custodial staff on your side, because they can hook you up with things.  I think I have that one covered at school.

I have discovered another strategic friendship for working in a middle school: the ISS teacher.  Whenever someone gets in trouble, she always knows what happens.  When I ask her and she doesn’t know, she will find out.  Of course since I like to know the gossip, I have a friend who will kepp my in the loop.

-J