Archive for April, 2011

TAKS…

April 28, 2011

Today and tomorrow our 8th graders are taking the science and social studies TAKS.  The science teachers had the idea to write a note to each student to encourage them.  Part of the problem is that they do not have to pass science of social studies to move on, so we want to encourage them so they will want to try harder.  Each teacher signed up to write a note for some students.  I wrote about 15, some were to my favorite kids and some were for kids who I thought needed extra motivation for the social studies TAKS.  Each student got 1 note.

The students were so excited about their notes.  Most of my kids came up to me and thanked me, which is rare for 8th graders.  Some were also jealous because of who did or didn’t write their note.  The science teachers passed them out in their classes and they were telling us about that.  It sounded like their were several who were upset that I didn’t write one for them.  I know there were some kids who were disappointed because they got a note from a teacher who they didn’t really like.  I even had one kid ask why I didn’t write one for him.  One of my students was very proud of the note I wrote him.  He was so excited that I did this for him and he went around showing all of his other teachers.

I want to wish my students good luck today and tomorrow.  They have worked very hard this year and they will do great!

-J

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Staff social, part 2…

April 11, 2011

Previously I had mentioned about running into some kids at our staff social.  Well, I got a lot of comments today.  In most of my classes, a student said something about hearing that I was at Main Event.  My 6th period had a lot more to say.  I came in to the room and got comments like “I heard you were drunk on Saturday” and “How was your hangover on Sunday.”  I explained to them how I had beaten, nay, destroyed the students at laser tag and that I wouldn’t have been able to play so well if I were drunk.  I had a kid say something to the effect of “You can do a lot of things better drunk, like drive.”  I finally got them to drop the conversation so we could move on.

-J

Staff social…

April 10, 2011

Last night, we had our annual staff social.  This year, we went to Main Event.  Several of us went out to dinner before.  Then, it was off to Main Event for bowling and laser tag.  I was doing terrible at bowling, for some reason, I just couldn’t get into it.  With laser tag, on the other hand, I did quite well.

There had been a lot of teach talking about laser tag in the weeks preceding the event.  The AP who planned the event had been trying to form his dream team.  Well, they lost…by a lot.  I was quite proud of my performance.  I came in 4th out of about 24.  I also managed to get a huge bruise on my leg, when at the very end, I ran into a wall pretty hard and hit where my cell phone was, pushing it into my leg.

After laser tag, we were just hanging out and drinking.  Then one of my coworkers came up to us and said what we had all dreaded: there were students there.  They weren’t the students who you hope to never run in to, so it wasn’t too bad.  Although, I wonder what we are going to hear tomorrow when those boys tell all of their friends that they saw half of the faculty out drinking lots of beer.

While we were sitting there, on of the students (the only one of the three that I knew) came up to me and asked if I wanted to play laser tag with them.  I agreed, knowing that I might not play as well as I did the first game, since I had had a few drinks since then.  I asked if I was supposed to be on their team or a different team, and he his answer was what I assumed.

I thought I was going to get destroyed by them.  I knew that they were going to gang up on me.  I held on.  It felt like every time I turned around, my student was shooting at me.  Well, the game ended and I was satisfied with my result.  I finished in 5th place.  I found the students and asked how they did.  My student came in 11th and his friend came in 12th; I never found out how the other kid did.  I will have plenty of gloating to do (I mean continue) tomorrow.  I have a new nickname for that student. “Eleven.”

These next few weeks at work are going to be exhausting.  We are now three weeks away from TAKS.  We will be reviewing hardcore.  I can’t wait until it is over.

-J

TAKS Testing…

April 5, 2011

My kiddos took the TAKS yesterday and today.  It was mostly uneventful, which is a good thing, but it is also very boring to give the test.  Although, there was something that made it interesting.  When the kids have to break the seal on the test book, there is always a phrase that we have to say.  It is something about if you need help, raise your hand.  On Monday, I had a kid who was having difficulty breaking the seal and he reluctantly raised his hand for help.  I opened it for him, but it was very hard to laugh.  But it gets better.  After I opened his, I had 2 other kids raise their hands.  I guess they didn’t want to be the one who needed help opening their books until they saw that other kids needed help.

So today when it came to that point, two of the three kids didn’t even try to open their test books, they immediately raised their hand for help.  Despite how boring these days are, this brightened up my day.

-J

Massachusetts…

April 4, 2011

Back in February, I applied to some workshops for the summer.  These workshops are located around the country and include a $1200 stipend to cover transportation and lodging (if interested, see http://www.neh.gov/projects/landmarks-school.html).  I applied to the Constitution workshop in Philadelphia and the Industrial Revolution workshop in Lowell, MA.  Friday was the day they were supposed to tell us.

I was disappointed.  I did not hear back from the Philadelphia workshop, which was my top choice.  The Lowell workshop told me that I was an alternate, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up.  Today I heard back from them.  I was selected to go to the workshop!  That totally threw my day off, because all I wanted to do was look up flights and hotels.  I plan to spend a few days in Boston as well.  I am so excited!

-J

Dodgeball…

April 3, 2011

On Friday, the PTO hosted their annual dodge ball tournament.  Apparently, the dodge ball tournament is a really big deal at my school.  Most teams had custom-made, screen-printed shirts.  Each team needed to have an adult sponsor and I was the sponsor for the Big 6.  The Big 6 is legit; they won the tournament in 6th and 7th grade and they were going for a threepeat.  Of course, I had to go all out for my team.  They were supposed to get me a shirt, but the kid who was in charge of that did not have time to get mine made.  I told him that I was mad at him and that I wasn’t going to go to the tournament, which meant that they would not be able to compete.  I wanted my team to be prepared, so I brought them an ice chest with Gatorade and orange slices.  They loved the Gatorade, but did not touch the oranges, but I did.  I was starving, so I went to town on them.

I also competed in the tournament.  There was a teacher team that played against the winning team.  I was excited about competing, mostly because of my uniform, which consisted of soccer socks, wrist bands, a head band and eye black, and gloves (I had too much fun shopping at Academy).  My team won, so we had to play them.  They killed us, but it was fun.

In other news, I received my contract last week and immediately signed it.

-J