Tuesday, March 16, 2010


First I want to apologize for not replying to the comments that were left at my blog. Haloscan, which I have used for the past few years for comment moderation has gone the way of the dodo bird and I will have to find a new system since it's replacement is not free. That is the official change to the blog.

As far as my classes go, I had to change the plans for the week due to my mistake and my students not getting the lesson I used Tuesday for figurative language. They simply did not get similes, metaphors and personification. To complicate matters, our copy guy got fired and the graphics department (AKA copy room) is now locked up, including the self service copiers that I used all the time. We do have small copiers around campus but now they get more use than they were really designed for so they break more often. And teachers don't bother to let the staff know so they can call the tech. This meant that I needed to come up with a different lesson for Wednesday that did not require the use of copies. Fortunately I was able to find a couple of power points on figurative language that will allow me to better teach the material without needing to make copies. At least when the education student shows up on Wednesday for his observation I won't look like a total putz. I wonder if he hates the Danielson book as much as I did?

The mistake part of it was not marking my key correctly for the scantron part of the Romeo and Juliet Act 1 & 2 test. So I will have to rerun the scantron forms so I can discuss the results on Thursday and have the students who failed correct them and get some points back.

The interesting part of the test is that I asked the students which film version of Romeo and Juliet they liked better: The 1968 version or the 1996 version. The surprise winner was the 1968 version by about a 60/40 split. Most of the comments said that the scenery and the characters matched better in the older one than the newer one. Almost all of them said watching the clips helped them better understand they play (no surprise there) than just listening to it and reading it. As a movie fan the 96 version has it all over the older one. Claire Daines, need I say more? As an English teacher the older one is better, plus that balcony scene is awesomely done.

Should be an interesting week!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Guest Speakers

Today my students had a treat, Casey Hendrickson and Heather Kidd from KXNT came out to speak about the radio industry, how they got their start, and even how they keep callers from cursing on the air (it's called the dump button). To say they were good with the kids was an understatement. They were great with the kids. They answered questions and gave them examples of how they approach shows that dealt with issues they face on a regular basis, including combating the ghetto image their school has. And the kids were also able to teach Casey and Heather a couple of things, most importantly that while Western has its share of issues when it comes to things like fights and drugs, it's much safer than people think. Not one of my students felt unsafe while on campus. In short they helped dispel the myth that Western is a school not worth saving.

Days like this are worth the bad ones.