Friday, October 26, 2007

End Of Quarter by Vegas Art Guy

Well, the quarter ended today, well yesterday actually and there are going to be some angry parents and grounded kids next week. It's not like I didn't bend over backwards to make sure their assignments were turned in, (I did) and it's not like I didn't warn them over and over again about the end of quarter and what it meant because I did (even 3rd period) that as well. It's that they figured that somehow they'd pass without actually doing the work. Boy are they in for a rude awakening. I have 17 out of 40 kids failing in one class and 14 out of 42 failing in another. Toss in the fact that the mercy ended when school did on Thursday and it's going to be a long quarter for a large number of kids in my classes.

Oh, and one more thing, I have a new rule...

If there is no name on the assignment, I throw it in the trash.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Not just a bunch of rules... by Vegas Art Guy

We're in the middle of our unit on the constitution and the quick write that I asked ran along the lines of what do you now think about the constitution since we've been studying it? The most common answer had this in common:

1. I never realized how many rights we have.
2. It's not just a bunch of rules and regulations.
3. I learned a lot about how it was written.
4. The framers worked really hard on this and I'm thankful.
5. I have a lot more respect for it now.

It made my day to read things like this. Now they didn't all have these answers, but you would see at least one of those in a good 60% of the answers that I've read so far which is about 100 or so out of 265 kids.

Yea I have 265 kids to teach...

Yes I'm nuts...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Class Discussions by Vegas Art Guy

Last couple of days have been interesting. My last quick write asked my students (even those in 3rd period) what the most important issue facing the US was. Not surprisingly, immigration was top along with the war on terror (including Iraq), economy and education. What was surprising was they had a genuine desire to learn about those things. I am trying desperately to clear space on the schedule to have a class discussion. The honors classes are going to tackle immigration and the regular classes that understand 'sit down and shut up' get to deal with illegal street racing. It should be interesting to see how it goes but I'm just as tired of worksheets as they are. Worksheets are good and all but two weeks straight?

Me either...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

3rd Period... By Vegas Art Guy

Well, I now know what class is going to be the albatross around my neck. 3rd period has laid claim to that title and shows no signs of letting it go. Today they got a visit from another teacher who is Ms. Fogila's best friend and let them know that Ms. Fogila was not happy rant moan blah. She would have been better off banging her head against a wall, because they quickly reverted to form.

So now they get the bookwork treatment. From now on it's worksheets and bookwork. No group projects, nothing fun. And when they start talking they get booted out of class. Now this is on top of the essay they are working on and some of them actually had a draft done today. Those kids got extra credit points which meant some of them went from getting grounded to not getting grounded for their grades.

Wednesday they get to see the evil me, they've had flashes but this has not changed their behavior one bit. In addition I'm going to start moving people around and put all the yappers close to me so I can either keep them in line or kick em the hell out of class until they get a clue, their choice, because right now I no longer care about their feelings or what they think, I have a job to do and I will not allow a few bad apples screw it up for everyone else.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Irritated... By Vegas Art Guy

An irritated teacher is not a good thing if you're a student, especially if the teacher had previously warned you about talking in class after you had been told to stop. Sooooooo, I have not one but two classes of mine that are in the doghouse. Why? They can't keep their yaps shut. Looks like I need to start switching seats along with the Bill of Rights essay they now get to do.

It's so flipping frustrating because my other 4 classes are very good and yet I hate cracking down on them, but I don't have a choice. Tomorrow I have the day off and my daughter and I are going to go decorate my room for Halloween and I'll start coming up with more little assignments to keep them busy. Plus, I need to alter the essay to include a power point on how to cite a source because these kids have little or no experience on how to do that. PLUS I need to make sure that I'm not violating any IEPs with the time frame, rant moan blah. What part of be quiet do people not get? Welcome to the realities of teaching.

Don't get me wrong, I love LOVE teaching kids, the coolest thing today was helping one young lady who was totally frustrated and had gotten nowhere. I spent about 10 minutes helping her out (and chewing the class out) and then she just got BUSY. I think she has an IEP but I'm not sure. That was cool, I spent a couple of minutes helping her out and boom! She's off and running.

There's hope for me yet I think.