Hi there.

Mar. 16th, 2011 12:54 am
possumcowboy: (Default)
Mexican food. It's incredibly enjoyable when you eat it. Not so much when it wakes you up later. I'm crunching Tums as a late-night snack. This isn't a total gastric disaster, mind you, but I had coffee later in the day than usual and it's woken me up pretty well.

Yesterday (Monday), a playground fight broke out just as I was coming out of the building to pick up my class, at the end of recess. One of my students was involved, and is now on a five-day suspension (which is what we do for fighting). I'm bothered, as my student has been making a solid effort to keep out of trouble. My student will fight back, though, rather than just stand and take a beating. The nerve of the child! The other student involved isn't from my class, and I don't know so well. My student, though, I feel concern for. I don't want my student out of my class, even though the rules require this. I like to believe that I provide a safe environment for students to learn in, and what really irks me is when someone disrupts this by starting a fight. My entire class was unable to "reset" after the event, and the afternoon was pretty close to a total loss, academically. Today (Tuesday) when I picked up the class from recess, everyone was a-buzz due to a visit from the principal. He'd come into the area where movies are shown during rainy-day recess and said something to the effect that the grade level would be having study hall instead of recess for the rest of the school year. I tried to get the entire story from the kids, but have no official version; I needed to rush out of the building at the end of the day.

The 4th quarter has started. The final grading period has commenced. There are some students who are likely to be retained due to inability to perform at grade level. There are some other students who are likely to be retained due to unwillingness to complete work for me to evaluate. The rest are either performing where they need to be, or working so hard that I'm willing to help them get that last little bit they need to be on track.

As you know, union teachers only care about teachers, and don't put kids first. At least, that's what you'd know if the only people you listened to were politicians. If you've been listening to them, have you noticed that the union teachers who only care about teachers have been too busy in the classroom with students to get out and throw the cow dung back? Have you noticed that our "political rallies" are held after the school day or on the weekend? How many of us have driven up in a new Mercedes? Bah.

Here is me, hoping that the union teachers who only care about teachers continue to care about kids and care about the culture of learning. What a terrifying world we'd live in if all the Chicken Littles of the political world were telling the truth.
possumcowboy: (Default)
1-year wedding anniversary with Leah. I'm a little shocked that a year has gone past already, I must admit. I'm also pleasantly surprised at how nice it is to be married to this woman. And I don't mean in a gushy, honeymoon-phase kind of way, either. Sure, there are days when one or the other of us can use some improvement in one aspect or another, but for the most part, it's been a time of enjoying happy results of a wise decision.

For whatever reason, Clyde isn't in here on the bedroom floor to frustrate the laptop and me, and I sort of miss the wrestling we do before he calms down enough to drape himself over my lap while I type.

The end of the grading period was Friday. I got all my grades entered on time. Thursday, I printed out grade reports from the online gradebook I've been using, SnapGrades. Ms. Fleming, an ESL assistant, translated my handwritten comments on the papers: "Based on his/her grades in math and/or reading, [student] is being considered for retention". On a couple of those, I wrote "is being seriously considered for retention". That got a couple of heads to snap around. My hope is that several of these students will start to pick up the slack for the next grading period. I'm going to refer all of them to the BBT committee for possible retention, and I'm going to do all that extra paperwork. Last year, I had one or two that I probably should have retained that I didn't because I thought that they'd improve if I just taught better. I realize, now, that my teaching isn't always to blame for how they perform.

Thursday afternoon, as they were lined up in the hallway waiting to be dismissed to the busses, one of the boys I get on almost every day said that he was going to miss me. Several kids gave me hugs, which they don't usually do. One girl brought in a gift for me, and a gift to take home to Leah, as well as a card in which she wrote a little paragraph to Maddie, Macy, and Nathan. I'm pretty sure she spent her own money to get us these gifts. My is a little metal candle holder which has the word "HOPE" in front of three votive candles. The outside of the box said "$3" and I'm pretty sure it's from a dollar store. I almost cried when I opened it. I don't know if she'll be able to understand how much a dollar-store gift can mean to someone. I know that colleagues in some of the nicer parts of town rake in the loot, with gift cards and baked goodies and such. I wonder if they're as touched as I am, or if they take it in stride?

Ah, well. Things are good. My eyeballs are starting to burn again, and I'm going to follow them back to the warm blankets and kitties and the soft sleeping sounds of Leah.


possumcowboy: (Default)

April 2015

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