Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Shhhhh.....don't tell anyone, but my classes have been much better behaved this week. Maybe they all need to eat more turkey.

Starting the unit on motion. I really want them to get a lot out of this unit. I started off by having them read the state standards, so now the kids know what the state expects of them. Then, they chose and defined some key terms that would help them be at standard. We are doing more math and using graphs this time. I hope it works out.

I had a nice Thanksgiving weekend. It is dangerous having 3 teachers in the family. We spent a lot of time talking about all the crap we deal with in schools. I shared with my sisters some of the speeches I've said/yelled in class. They were surprised to learn that I raise my voice in class! They said I always seem so calm and laid back. I guess they don't know about my inner control freak!

Well, it now begins; Independent Study. It is the time of year when 25% of the students leave for weeks on end and we (the teachers) have to make up work packets for them to do/not do over their vacation. bleh. One student is already gone, and another leaves on Thurs. and both won't be back until after New Year's Day! Of course, it's always the wrong kids who leave. It's as if the parents of the bad kids don't want to have them around any longer than necessary.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Well, it's that time of year again...report card time. Grades are due in on the 17th. There is no school on Thurs or Fri this week, so last minute entries are tomorrow. Overall, my class averages are in the B and C ranges. Isn't that good?

Saturday, November 06, 2004

5 November 2004

Lesson Learned: Accentuate the positive. It could help me live longer.

Well, this message arrived at a very important juncture in my career:

Friday, November 5

A New Attitude A sunny disposition may help protect you against age-related physical decline.

Positive thinking may help older people remain physically active and strong, whereas a negative mental attitude may quickly lead to cognitive deterioration, a new study concluded. To see the glass as half full, spend time contemplating the good things in your life and try to avoid repeatedly mulling over negative experiences.

Bleh. I had a very rough Wed this week. So bad, that I asked the science chairperson for advice on how to keep your cool when the kids get you frustrated. She basically said that last year's 7th graders (my present 8th graders) were the worst bunch of kids she had ever seen in her 20+ years of teaching, including her time as a special day teacher (working with students with learning and behavioral disabilities who cannot be mainstreamed)! In fact, she had sent a student to the principal's office last year and after class met with him and the vice principal and chewed him out in front of the VP, she was that upset with him! I will admit that hearing her story made me feel better. Here is an amazing teacher who seems so calm and in control who just totally lost it. She told me what I was feeling was very normal, and she felt the same way often last year.

However, I don't want to always feel that way! It's bringing me down. On Wed, I had two beers and a fistful of chocolate to settle my nerves. Yesterday and today I tried to focus on the positive behaviors. The kids aren't evil; they are an immature group who cannot control themselves so you need to ride them each and every minute of each and every day. I cannot relax in any class. In fact, in my afternoon classes, I cannot even stand at the door like we are supposed to (to monitor the hallways), because the students in the room just wander around, hitting each other and whatnot. I do not trust them. According to today's health tip, my job may prematurely make me old and decrepit. I'll be that cranky old lady, mumbling to herself and yelling at strangers for chewing gum.....oh, I do that already! :-)

So, in order to stay sane, I should "
...see the glass as half full, spend time contemplating the good things in your life and try to avoid repeatedly mulling over negative experiences." Ready, here goes:

The GOOD things in life (ranking not in any particular order):
1. Tim
2. Getting married--was about to give up on that!
3. Knitting
4. Employed--big plus!
5. Lost weight--55+lbs gone for good, thank you very much!
6. Good friends--Marcy, Crystal, Jessica, etc.
7. Work with good people--see above, and many more!
8. The girls--sometimes, the rats make my evenings.
9. Can now run 3+miles at one time--hurray!
10. Big wool sweaters and Ugg boots
11. Those of you who read my blog--thanks, Chris!
12. Carpinteria/Santa Barabara--beautiful beach communities
13. A large and healthy (mostly) family who all love me very much.

<> Wow! it worked! I feel much better now. Just gotta remember not to let the turkeys get me down.


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Lesson Learned: Teaching and politics don't mix. Something I picked up in the lunch room today.

Well, the kids are all aflutter, what with Halloween on Sunday and Voting today. So they're buzzing around on sugar and propaganda. For most of the day, I had "Yes, I'm voting today. I am voting for Kerry" written on my white board, knowing that I would be questioned about that today. I didn't see anything wrong with sharing with the students who I was voting for.... Then came lunch. Some of the teachers were adamant in their view that we should not be telling the kids our vote. Their reasoning was that at home, it could be interpreted as preaching our point of view to the kids. Or, that as authority figures, the kids would see our choice as the "right" one and any opposing views as wrong. And they shared a story of a teacher in some state who was fired for telling the kids their choice for president. etc. etc. Being the probationary teacher that I am, I erased the my choices for the afternoon class. Go ahead and say it, I know you're thinking it: I'm chicken. However, I did have a good time stating my point of view in my advisement class. I did state that this was my opinion, and these are the reasons for voting as I will, and someone voting for Bush has just as many intelligent reasons for their vote, too. And that is what makes America great.

Some of the boys were shocked to discover that I am pro-choice. But, they brought it up.