Saturday, May 31, 2008

Summer, summer. I love the summer.

Hard to believe I'm coming up on the last week of my first year of teaching. I have a lot of mixed, confused feelings about it all. But most of all I'm ready for a good long break. The School of Bloggers are making travel arrangements for a trip to Guadalajara for Chris's sister's wedding, then on to Bolivia for the rest of the summer. We'll be there long enough to see the UrkupiƱa festival in mid-August, then get back just in time for staff development before school starts again!

Graduation's on Monday. I think I'll breathe a huge sigh of relief to see my seniors walking across that stage.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Fashion police

One of my students said to me today, "Do you even think about your outfits before you put them on?" I said, "What do you mean?" And she said, "Like on Friday, you were wearing these khaki-ish pants, a green shirt, and a blue sweater. It just really didn't work."

I invited her to come to my house every day at 6 a.m. and be my personal wardrobe adviser.

Seriously though, it's amazing what kids notice.

I had another couple of students -- seniors -- in my office today talking to me about an issue they were having with another teacher. Right before they had to leave to go to class, they looked at each other conspiratorially and asked, "This may be a personal question, but are you okay? We have noticed that you've been sort of sad recently."

I was touched that they had noticed and that they'd said asked about it. It's nice to have little reminders every now and then of why I keep chugging along.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Chug chug chug

Minnesota's giving me a hard time with my teaching license. It's a pain but apparently it's something of an unofficial policy: making it hard for out of state teachers to get certified in Minnesota. The line they're drawing in the sand for me is the fact that my undergraduate major was Urban Studies and not history, economics, sociology, psychology, anthropology, political science or geography.

Oh well, just keep on chugging. This week the kids in my contemporary U.S. history class will write their interview questions for their oral history project, and hopefully we'll have two guest speakers: a student's great uncle who was a scout in World War II, and a member of the Minnesota Eight.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Why did Humpty Dumpty have a great fall?

To make up for a horribly depressing spring. Last week we had our staff development week in which we started planning for next year. There was something so energizing about taking a break from thinking about all of my "failures" from this year and starting over, learning from my mistakes.

One of my many hats is as the advisor for the senior projects, which the seniors have been working on all year. The students will be presenting these this week, so I'm excited and nervous to see how they will turn out.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Not quite this bad, but close

The Onion

Economic Stimulus Check Burned For Warmth

HELENA, MT—Saying the extra bit of kindling material couldn't have come at a better time, 43-year-old school teacher Tim Donaldson received his...

Monday, May 05, 2008

The dumps, and being down in them

The other day in my reading and writing lab we went over subject/verb agreement, and then as an informal assessment of the students' understanding I asked them to write a little story in which they played around with the S/V rule by using it both correctly and incorrectly. When I was grading them this morning I saw that one student had written this:
This IS such a boring class. July [sic] IS just about the worst teacher in the school.
I don't know if it's just first-year-teacher syndrome, or if it's just me. But if today hadn't been a professional development day I probably would have gone home sick at that point and never come back.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Zombie Prom

My usual Friday Night Syndrome is being too exhausted after a week of teaching to move very far from the couch. Tonight, however, I am finishing up my job as prom coordinator. A job I will NEVER DO AGAIN.