Monday, August 20, 2007

The Wild World of Teaching

Needless to say, it has been a wild and strange few days. The first days of school have shown me a great deal of new things. So far I've been trying to figure out the stories these kids are trying to tell. They hold their heads a certain way, project body language a certain way, and use words a certain way. What kind of things have these kids had to deal with at the tender age of 12 and 13?

Today I was greeted by several of my kids covering their notebooks with graffiti about a teenager named Fat Head. Fat Head was the street name of a young person named Aaron. He was shot and died last night in the neighborhood where some of my students live. This is the second teenager to be shot to death in our area in the past two months. We are a small Southern town. We have less than 68,000 people in the entire county. You wouldn't expect to have this level of violence in the little backwoods area where we live.

How did these children react to the death of someone they knew? There were no tears. There were no sighs. Just drawing and writing. Frankly, the lack of emotional display bothers me almost as much as the ending of this young life.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Photog Friday - See

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
-Mahatma Gandhi


Monday, August 13, 2007

Coming up for air

I'm trying to take a moment to come up for air. So far I've been working for 8 days straight and don't really see myself taking a day off in the next week, possibly for 2 weeks. Because of the fact that I've spent most of my past days in meetings, I've had to spend evenings and a good part of the weekend getting my classroom ready for the first day of school on Wednesday.

Tomorrow is another morning of meetings, and then I head over to my school to try to pull together a simple lesson plan for Wednesday. The meetings have hit all parts of the the spectrum as far as their usefulness. At the top of the usefulness index would be the meetings presented by the publisher of our new textbooks. This was informative, to say the least. Going lower down on the scale of usefulness would be the county's presentations. This vacillated between very useful and 'wake me up when we are done.' Finally, at the very bottom, was the presentation by the state representative on standards. Seriously, dental work would have been less painful.

What I have been both delighted by and grateful for is the support being given to me by my colleagues. These are truly wonderful people. Not only do I have the great fortune to have an amazing mentor assigned to me, but our department head and another senior teacher have taken me under their wings.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Teacher Question

Busy, busy week. I've been in new teacher orientation and training the past couple of days. Fortunately the soon-to-be ex has helped out by taking Monkey Boy with him to the Michigan House, so I can focus on my work. I have a question for those of you who are teachers: Is being asked to join a school district committee a good thing?

I was wrapping up at orientation this morning and someone asked me what my last name was so I told her. After telling her, the trainer whipped around and asked, "Are you [insert real name here]?" I suspiciously asked, "Why?"

"Human Resources forwarded your resume to me because they were so excited about it. They said that you could do some teacher training and we want you on our technology committee."

You see, I'm not just a geek. I'm their queen. I've written several books and once upon a time, I was a trainer for Microsoft. I was informed by the trainer that my resume has been circulated around the county already. Very scary.

Hmmm, is this request to join a committee a good thing? Seems like a good thing, but I'm such a newbie, I don't know if this is something I should get involved with. Any feedback would be appreciated.

New topic: I'll try to get photos of my room posted this weekend. I'm in a trailer, which they actually call trailers at my school. No pretty names are being used for these things like 'pods' or 'instructional cottages' or 'mobile training units.' Nope, they just call them plain ol' trailers. I have decided that my students and I will not be calling it a trailer. I've renamed mine to the Cabana. I like the sauciness of it. How about you?


Sunday, August 05, 2007

Ramblings From a Glass Half Full

Terri of terri terri quite contrary tagged me for a meme. I'm actually behind on responding to a few memes and figured I would work in reverse order.

Steve Harper of The Ripple Effect tagged me to participate in the Starbucker meme, which was created by Terry Starbucker of Ramblings From a Glass Half Full.
The instructions:

Here’s an opportunity to let your creativity flow.

Tell us:

  1. How full is your glass?
  2. What kind of glass is it?
  3. What’s in the glass?
  4. Reasons for #1, #2 and #3.
My responses:
  1. My glass is half full.
  2. A tall, glass tumbler.
  3. Gin and tonic, heavy on the tonic and lime.
  4. I don't need a reason to drink, you silly bunny! If you want details, the answer to #1 is because I have been known to suck down drinks rather quickly. Don't worry, there's more to drink in the kitchen! #2 because to me is the perfect glass; it can be used for everything from Diet Coke to gin and tonic to ice tea. #3 is my favorite summer drink and seems appropriate since it's summer, literally 100 degrees outside and the humidity is 90%. Besides, it's yummy!

Here is the list of tagged bloggers:

Ellie Bee





Thursday, August 02, 2007

Where are you, PeachPod?

I'm down on the Mississippi coast visiting Mom and Dad PeachPod. Between the fact that they have a [gasp!] dial-up connection and that I'm trying to take it easy to recover from an exhausting summer, I'm haven't been on the computer much. Look for my return later this weekend and definitely next week when I start the new job!