Archive for August, 2010

Kids are stupid…

August 30, 2010

Does that make me a bad teacher because I think that?  I’m sorry, but for those of you who know me, I can be blunt.

I knew from last year that my students did not know much US geography.  I decided that I was going to somehow work it in this year and it began today.  I told my students to write down the names of as many states as they possible.  I did not expect them to get all 50, I was happy if they knew 10.  When we were going over it, I told them that I was going to call off every state and the should mark it.  Whatever is left over is not a state.

Well, of course they had things that were left over.  The following are some of the places that the kids asked me if they were states:

  • Mexico
  • Canada
  • Europe

This list is not exhaustive, but were some of the more disappointing answers.  It is sad that kids get to 8th grade and ask me what a state is and do not know the difference between a state, country, and continent.  The worst part is that it is more than just a handful of students.  It really makes me wonder if the kids are stupid, or if they just don’t teach basic US geography anymore.  Can any of you who teach elementary school help me with this one?  I had to learn my state capitals in elementary school.

In other news, I made it 5 days into the school year before one of the kids found out where I live.  I have seen some kids in my neighborhood while driving and I also had a girl tell me that she saw me running with my dog around the neighborhood.  I just told her that she is crazy because I do not have a dog.  I neglected to tell her that I was running with my roommate’s dog.  But today, a kid (who I don’t have) asked if I lived on a certain street.  You see, my house is kind of on a corner (yes, I mean kind of).  At that corner there is a bus stop.  I don’t recognize the kids at that stop, but I one of them recognized me.  Let’s see how long it is before the whole school knows where I live.

-J

Cell phones…

August 27, 2010

Lead to great stories.  Today we got an email telling about a 6th grade student who got caught using his cell phone in school today, but it is not what you think.  The school got a call from his mother.  Apparently he was in a stall and ran out of toilet paper.  He texted his mom and told her, so she called and asked that some toilet paper be delivered to him.  I wonder if they made him exchange his phone for the tp.

-J

Jaywalking…

August 25, 2010

Today I gave a quiz in class called “Answers Every American Should Know.”  I gave the same quiz last year at this time, but this time I knew to lower my expectations.  The quiz is 25 questions and are basic US history questions. Some of them include: What are the 3 branches of government? and What was the name country formed by the 11 southern states that seceded in 1861?

I explained it like this to my kids.  Do you ever watch Jay Leno?  Are you familiar with the Jaywalking skit?  Well, I don’t want you to be those people.  A few kids knew what I was talking about and laughed.  However, I got a few Jaywalkers.

I got some great answers.  Some kids surprised me (in a good way).  Here are some of my favorite:

  • Who was American named after? Miss America
  • What are the first 10 amendments of the Constitution called? The 10 Commandments

This day did end on a good note, because I realized that it is payday.

-J

1 down…

August 24, 2010

179 to go.  Today was exhausting and I don’t feel like typing much.  I did way too much walking, standing, and talking and my body is not used to it.  It was also my sister’s 21st birthday, so not much partying for me.  I do have one story to share from today.  When I introduced myself, I tried to answer all of the questions I knew they would ask, such as how old I am and if I am married.  One girl asked if I had a girlfriend and I said no.  She replied, ” You should go to a bar and find a girlfriend.”  I was like, thanks, I do love getting dating advice from 13 year olds.

Today was much better than last year’s first day.  I was not nervous at all and I am sure the kids could tell I was much more confident.

-J

Another year begins…

August 23, 2010

Most districts started back today, but mine was one of the few that starts tomorrow.  Today was a good day at work.  This was the first day that we had all to ourselves to work in our rooms.  I was able to get a lot done last week, but I was still productive throughout the day, but not rushed.  It was hard going back to work after having worked on Saturday and having only one day off.

As I prepare to begin my second year of teaching, things are a lot different than they were a year ago.  It is nice not being the new guy anymore.  I definitely have a new perspective on things, as I am beginning to see things repeat, but with some history behind me.  Last year at this time, I was very nervous.  This year, I feel much more confident and prepared.  It almost feels like just another day of work.  I know a lot more of what to expect and I know I am going to start the year off much better prepared than last year.  The first days of school are very important in setting the tone for the entire year and things will definitely be smoother.

Here’s to a great year (hopefully not full of too much excitement).

-J

The end is near…

August 16, 2010

My summer break is officially coming to an end tomorrow, when I go back to work.  We had today off, unlike most teachers, since we have to work on Saturday (orientation for the 6th graders).  I’ve said this before, I’m getting kind of ready to go back.  It will be interesting doing everything over, but with a lot more experience and confidence behind me.

Tomorrow we have convocation, which is not much fun.  I am not happy about the dress code.  Last week, the district sent out an email and said they want us to wear a school shirt.  A few days later, they sent an email and said we cannot wear jeans.  So we will be wearing t-shirts and slacks.  Lame.

-J

Classes…

August 9, 2010

It’s hard to believe that I go back next week and school starts in 2 weeks.  I guess after the longer summer breaks I had in college that this shorter break is noticeable.  I am actually kind of ready to go back, as much as I hate to admit it.  The break has been relaxing and eventful, but I am starting to get bored.

Last week I went up to the school to drop off some things.  I was just trying to get some boxes out of my new place and they needed to go up there anyway.  Of course when I got to my room there was a class going on in there.  It was the only class I could see going on.  I don’t know what it was for, since summer school is over.  I still went in to take care of my business.  The instructor thanked me for letting them use my room and I said, “Sure, no problem,” while thinking “I had no idea you were here.”

While I was there, I went to talk to the counselor.  I wanted to get a student moved out of my class.  I had his sister last year and had problems with her mother (you may remember her).  I don’t know how her brother is, but I didn’t want to take the chance.  As soon as I told the counselor that it was because of parent problems, she had no problem.

While I was talking to the counselor, I found out something interesting.  She was going through student schedules, making sure that certain students were not in classes together.  She told me she had notes from last year, so she would remember everything.  I was glad to hear that (especially after I was worried about registration).  Hopefully this will make it easier on us.

Speaking of my classes, I am excited about how things are looking.  Right now, my classes are small.  I have one class that has 26, and the rest range from 18-22.  Now, I know this can (and probably will) change somewhat through the second week of school.  At least for now, there is something to look forward too.

-J