Thursday, November 29, 2007

Switching Bodies...

Yea, that's it! That's why 3rd period acted like actual human beings and 7th period acted like a bunch of jackasses on a sugar high. To make matters worse for them, I had Karlana come in and observe that class today. I have not read all her notes, but the most honest assessment I can come up with to describe that period would be grease fire. Although train wreck, total disaster, and perfect example of how not to teach would fit as well. Those are the ones that don't involve the seven words you can't say on TV. Let's just say it was an embarrassment and a real learning experience. It was nice to have an extra set of eyes to point out the things I was missing and to confirm some of my suspicions.

On the other hand 3rd period which normally drives me to drink was by far the best class of the three. There are two reasons for this and neither involve yours truly. One of the big trouble makers got himself suspended pending expulsion and I had three other students move out of the state so now that class is down to 33 students, way better than the 40 I had when I started. They did all the things that 7th period didn't do. They knuckled down and got their work and took really good notes on a rather lengthy PowerPoint on the Presidential Cabinet. They have a test on Monday and hopefully they'll study their notes.

Well, I have three big projects to get to work on, so I'm off to actually do some homework myself.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Wow, that's all I can say after my first two honors classes had their discussions on their big project. Not only did they understand the material but they really caught on to what the candidates were saying, what they were not saying and what they were implying.
For those of you who are not familiar with what you're reading let me recap this quickly for you. My 9th grade honors students had to pick two foreign policy essays, one from a republican candidate and one from a democratic candidate. They then had to read both of them and take notes. Then they discussed their findings with the other students who had chosen the same essays that they had. Any new information was to be added to their notes and then put onto either a Venn diagram or a double bubble map. Then they would start on their essay drafts finally finishing them around the 11th of next month.

Right now two of the three classes just did the notes and the discussions and boy did they pick the essays apart. Hillary and John Edwards really got hammered in 8th period and the criticism was spread around pretty evenly in 2nd period. It was also nice to see that the periods had different opinions and views about the six essays. 7th period is going to do their discussion tomorrow and I am going to add a second set of discussions next week because it was so helpful for everyone today.

If this project is going to be my finale at this school then it looks like I'm going to go out with a bang and not in a ball of flames.

If you want to read the essays in question go here.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Winding Down

Well, my long term assignment is starting to wind down. I only have about three weeks until I go back to day to day subbing, something I'm not excited about. I did start my big project with the honors classes, I hope it goes well. It's nothing if not ambitious and if I'm going to crash and burn I might as well do it right the first time. Third period is still third period and they're not about to change although my goal is to do just that so that when their regular teacher comes back she won't have a stroke when they start to act up again.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Too many kids...

Sometimes I feel like I'm more of a zoo keeper than a teacher. Officially, I have 282 students over 6 classes. That's way too much some days. That averages out to 47 kids a class, but the most I have registered is 45 in two of them. Now some of them are suspended and others are sick but normally I have about 42 kids a class most days. . Now the good thing for me is that I was able to get semi caught up with my grading, which was a stack literally six inches high of assignments and projects that I had to grade. This will allow me to get caught up on my observation hours which I am behind on because of all the grading that I was doing for the last week or so. 1st and 3rd period get a pop quiz when the come back since they didn't feel like doing a flipping thing on Friday before the long weekend.

It's not wise to piss off the teacher and give him a headache.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Coming Storm by Vegas Art Guy

Grades come out this week. It should be interesting. I'm sure there are going to be some unhappy parents. And yet I don't seem to care, not one bit. Each student earned the grade they got and despite their best efforts I have not moved that 79.8% to an 80%. Maybe they should have studied harder on the test maybe? The one that most of them failed...

Maybe they'll study harder next time. But judging from the quick look at the amendment test, looks like they have not learned their lesson yet.