I'm slowly getting the room ready for summer and I think i should try and write down some things I've learned about teaching. I really should try and make them funny--but I'm just so tired at the moment.
#1 Organization--do as you go--dedication time each day to this discipline.
A. Separate, separate, separate into major categories.
B. make a class set and a file for each student with a documentation log for each to begin with. Keep each class in it's own notebook with parent contact info. Also make a computerized version--make the time to do it at the very beginning.
C. Have an absentee box.
D. Have students volunteer for chores--calculator check, absentee file check, straighten up, floor check, ...
E. file a master copy immediately into a notebook for the six weeks
#2 Don't be nice. It only caters to the problem of irresponsibility and egotism wired into so many of their brains.
Take up all electronic devices--document when you take them up.
Don't let them eat candy.
Explain and make them feel that their choices determine the end results of being in my class.
Immediately assign after-school detention where they will be given work to fit the crime on the second problem. Let the sheet be the classroom rules sheet with space at the bottom for them to explain what rule they broke and how, than provide space for a signature.
#3 Don't procrastinate grading. Give preparedness and participation grades--dock them if they don't have something to write with or if they turn in work late.
Keep tests in a file. Give all other papers back--make this another chore for student to help you with.
#4 Keep them busy until the bell. If they get finished with work before others, they can have extra credit assignments of entertainment value--hunt the web for math related material, art, extra problems, classroom chore, reading a book, logic/math puzzles, even a game with another students
Somehow, somehow, I need to be there around 7:30 each morning and let the students see this.
#5--very very very important: Pray daily.
Tomorrow is the last day for students.
Friday is the last contractual day for me.
The classroom is slowly getting cleaned out and ready for reorganization and a fresh start next year.
I think only have 7 failing the year--I believe it was either this or 10 last year.
My exams have all been given. Tomorrow is movie day.
Last night was the last night of Romans Bible Study for BSF. It was a good night and God made it a blessing in my life and on my mind.
I will fix the blog links on the sidebar...
for now, I point you to a new blog I shall be reading--
that of one of my youth leaders from many moons ago. They were in town today presenting at our old home church so we went and had lunch afterwards. It's been 10 or so years, but they're still as cool as ever and It's awesome to see how God is working in their lives and in their new ministry as they get ready to help out a hospital in Africa through air aide--transporting people and supplies in a 1.5 hour flight vs 12 hour bumpy drive.: website link The Straws
Keep the Branch family in your prayers. Andrew, Emily, and Christie were all LU students when we were there and Charlotte works as a secretary for one of the offices. Their father Ken, an accounting adjunct died today in a motorcycle accident.
I think I'll blow it up on a poster for my wall...
A couple of days ago, waiting in the car for Josh I heard this vicious ad on the radio railing against State Senator Kevin Eltife for not letting SB 1643 go to debate. Well, in my daily browsing of local news I noticed that things have gotten a bit further. Essentially, the bill would have allowed the state to take control of teacher appraisal from the districts and increase the ability of schools to fire teachers for "ineffectiveness" (based on such things as student test scores....) Anyways, from the brief bit I've read of the bill and such I'm grateful for Senator Eltife's opposition to the bill. Josh sent a thank you email his way.
The pressure on teachers with standardized testing is bad enough. I'm not sure what these businesses think an "effective" teacher is and I'm curious to get some more definitions from them. I wasn't pleased with an opinion editorial I found supporting the bill and wish that people would go into the schools and walk in the shoes of teachers every once in awhile.
Maybe we should be talking about "effective" students. Many in the school are down to the last wire dealing with snotty students and snotty parents... really, you should hear some of the stories from one of our school secretaries. Quit babying your kids parents! They're old enough to learn some basic responsibility such as putting their dance clothes in a locker, or bringing their lunch or money to school....
Other links to info about SB 1643, now dead!!!!!
grading...what grading? I don't have a 6 inch stack of papers to grade...
anyways, The Scholls had quite the weekend between various and asundry celebratory activities. Pictures posted below.
Friday night was our 3rd Senior Banquet of great fun. I also visited with Melissa and saw the new baby. Melissa is the wife of the friend who lost his leg in Iraq two months ago.
Saturday morning we went to graduation. Then, after the traditional meet and picture taking at the library, we went to lunch at Olive Garden with the Barbours and Lewises. Then, after saying a quick goodbye, we headed out of town for a 3 hour drive to my cousins who were celebrating the adoption of their new son. This was great fun with a crawfish boil, church dedication the next morning, and than a lasagne lunch of yumminess. After which, we regretfully left for the 3 hour drive back home, stopping at the LU for dinner with the Wheelers and Randy and than went back home to crash.
That's the short version. Enjoy the pix. THose of you who are featured will eventually receive the full copies (not the downsized version) as I have both originals and postables.
these are the better pictures. If you've been left out, it's because I'm still practicing my leet camera skills.... and photoshopping...
Today, the adoption of a new cousin became official! (My cousins adopted a deaf boy).
It's a case where ya see the positive aspects of CPS. A few years ago, my cousins decided to start foster parenting. They took in two kids at first-- a sister and brother. The older one, the girl, had hearing problems but was not completely deaf. T, the boy--I think he was 2, was completely deaf. I can't remember exactly why they were removed--neglect I think, but my cousins took them in and loved them. I guess about a year or so ago, the kids were given back to their parents. The girl was faring pretty well, but the parents were refusing to learn how to sign and deal with T. So CPS removed just him and gave him back to my cousins and they then started the process of adoption which had always been their goal. He still visits with his sister. There were difficulties, but pretty much everyone with sense was on the side of my cousins, and the 6 month waiting period ended today. The adoption is now official and we welcome T into the extended family. Pictures below. Apparently, the judge was all smiles with the whole process and let T bang the gavel twice :-)
Also below with the picture is a picture of my niece and nephew at Easter. Caedin looks more and more like my sister (and that's her expression too) and Sarah looks more and more like my brother-in-law (that's his grin)