Archive for January, 2013

The second time around…

January 31, 2013

I can’t say how glad I am to be teaching this subject for the second time. Not having to do everything from scratch is wonderful. For the first time, I have my lesson plans for next week already completed on a Wednesday. Usually, they get finished (if not started) on Sunday afternoon. I may even be completely ready for next week by the end of this week, with copies ready and all.

I am also looking forward to next school year. I have some great ideas, but some will need some extra time (over the summer) to be completed.

-J

Dropouts…

January 27, 2013

One thing that I have encountered that I haven’t dealt with before is dropouts.  I have not seen much of it, because many students who are on the verge end up at the alternative school.

We started our semester last week and I have had several students who I have not seen yet.  I believe that some of them are sick, but not all.  I started looking at the attendance of those students, and one student has 60 absences for the year.  I am not sure when the last time it was that he was present.  I am kind of surprised that he is still enrolled.

What I think is the saddest part about it is that I work with seniors and they are so close to graduating.

-J

I can’t go anywhere…

January 24, 2013

We started our the second semester this week.  On the first day, I usually have the students tell me about themselves, including post-graduation plans, extracurricular activities and employment. 

Here is a sample of their responses just based on their jobs: Wendy’s, Chili’s, Cotton Patch, Babe’s, Chili’s, Cotton Patch, Spring Creek, Wendy’s, and so on.  They are making it hard for me to go to restaurants without being recognized.  I knew a several students last semester who worked at restaurants, but not nearly as many as this year.

I really should use this to my advantage to get some free food.

On a side note, here is a quote from a student from the other day.  “I like to party, I got an MIP a few weeks ago.  You know how that goes.”  I replied, “No.  I don’t know how that goes.”

-J

Contradictions…

January 21, 2013

When I first became a teacher, I had some things in my mind that I wanted to do and not do.  I had had some great teachers and some awful teachers and those experiences helped me create this idea of what I wanted to do and how I wanted to act.

When I was in high school, I was in band.  We had to miss school some for contests, band trips and other things.  I had some teachers who got frustrated when we missed class for this.  I did not want to be one of those teachers.  After all, I know that it happens.

Well, I am already starting to contradict myself. 

Soccer season stared when  we got back from Christmas.  So far the boys soccer teams have been out all day for tournaments on both of the Thursdays and Fridays that we have been back.  Who knows how many more they will miss.  The worst part is that last week, they missed finals.  I think it was pretty stupid for the coach to put a tournament on the schedule during the day while the students were taking finals.  I don’t think that should be allowed.

I try not to get angry at the students, but I don’t always do that.  And really, I don’t get mad, I just make sure they know that I am very annoyed.  It is not their fault.

At first, I thought that I was contradicting myself, and I was/am.  I cannot, however, think too much into that.  The ideas that I had going in to teaching were based on my experience as a student.  My ideas now are based on my experience as a teacher.  My goals in each of these are different and may contradict each other. 

That is something that we all experience in life.  Whether it is in a job, as a parent, or as something else.  We cannot worry about contradicting ourselves in what we do and how we act over time, because circumstance changes and we change along with them.

-J

One semester down…

January 21, 2013

I know it has been a while since I have posted and I am going to try to make an effort to post more.  One thing that I have noticed in teaching seniors is that I do not have the same crazy stories that I had in middle school.

Friday was the last day of our semester; we did not finish our semester and Christmas break.  Tomorrow we will start the second semester and my feelings are torn towards it. I am most excited about getting through the course one time and will not be doing this all from scratch, however I do have a number of things I will be changing.

Last semester, I had 3 AP classes and 3 regular classes.  Next semester, I will have all regular classes.  I am excited for this because it will be less work only having to prep for one class.  Last semester I planned my AP class first and spent the remaining time planning for my regular class.  I will now be able to put more effort into that class.

I am somewhat apprehensive about getting these classes.  The economics teacher has had more discipline problems and issues with getting students to pass.  I will also have more special ed students.  I think I will be able to better handle these students than he was.  I think I have better classroom management, in  part because of my time in middle school, whereas he has only ever taught seniors.

I am also not looking forward to starting the new semester because the part of the school year I hate the most is when I do not know the students.  It always takes time to get to know each student and class in order to try to figure them out and how to handle them.

Finally, I am interested to see how this spring goes.  We all know about senioritis and even the best students suffer from it in some degree.  I had started to notice it somewhat last semester, but I can only imagine that it will get worse throughout the spring.

-J