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Showing posts from August, 2005

T - 7

Last night my step-mother called to wish me luck on the first day of school... Thank God!! it's not today. Would you believe I found more boxes? Excluding furniture, I think I have more in my classroom than my apartment!

I've gotten most things put away, hung up and organized. However the area around the doorway is feeling very crowded. I can see the students coming in, grabbing their notebooks out of the file cabinet and creating a huge grouping halfway in the doorway, clustered around my desk. Crap.

I'm about halfway through re-reading Fred Jones' Tools for Teaching. Personally, I think it's better for secondary teachers than Harry Wong. I'm in the midst of creating Visual Instruction Plans for various classroom procedures and have so far planned the first two weeks about three times. Sadly, nothing of real substance has come to mind... how did I do this last year? I think, perhaps, I was too busy trying to make it through the day to even realize what I was do…

S-A-T-U-R D-A-Y Night

Sometime in July (remember July, when summer seemed so to stretch out before you?) I got an email from the teaching placement department of my college. A student who graduated from the same masters program was hired by a district close by... there are approximately six school districts within a 20 mile radius of me. The placement department asked me if I would offer help or information on finding a place to live, things to do, etc. So I sent off this long letter about the crapy quality of housing (shockingly bad!) and the equally crapy quality of real estate professionals (ie. no professionalism). Yesterday, we met for the first time - apparently, she recognized me from the presentation I gave about classroom management (ha! I still can't believe anyone would believe that I should give advice on that topic!)and we went to see Wedding Crashers. I think she's going to do really well. She seems really prepared and capable. They even offered her a coaching position to bump up the …

Day 3

I finally got into my class lists. Surprisingly, given that I have the same number of sophomore classes as I did freshmen last year I don't have a lot of the same students. Although I've been nervous all summer about which returns I would have... I've been surprisingly calm about the whole thing now that I know.

I can now see the top of my desk, for the most part, and got most of the classroom decorations up. I still have one last poster, but I really need a ladder for that - plus, I'm think it might be too much. There's an intersting discussion going on Teachers.net regarding the issue of high school classrooms and decorations. Some say "go for it!" and other's say "no." For myself, I would probably shrivel up and die in a classroom with blank walls. I need a certain amount of external stimulation to keep focused. While this is not always true for my students, rest assure that 3 days after school starts, nary a one will remember what, if any…

More Unpacking

Instead of unpacking my boxes, I helped to unpack all our new text books. We organized everything for the librarian and even put the books on carts so she doesn't have to pick them up. Aren't we all nice?

Ok, we were looking for all the teacher materials and trying to figure out what goodies had been sent along with the text books. For the upper level teachers, it was quite a haul... for the lower level, not so much. We're hoping that there are more boxes hidden somewhere or on a truck speeding towards us.

Back to School

I finally went back to school. Cue Darth Vader music now.

Tuesday I stopped in to see if I could get a key to my new classroom, previously I had been told that I couldn't until all the teachers came back. Officially the first day back is August 30th. Imagine my surprise to see a sign-in sheet on the secretary's desk with almost every teacher's signature on it... in fact, most of the dates listed were from the previous week. Great! Now I look like a total slacker. Just the impression I wanted to give our entirely new administration.

On the plus side, I did finally get my key.

Yesterday was spent unpacking boxes. Mounds of boxes. And a stack of notebooks approximately 2 feet high. My mother's office generously donated a huge box of supplies to me, my brother and Aunt for the coming year. I gave a lot to my aunt because she really can't afford to buy any on her own... and I've got to shop for something (total shopaholic). While unpacking, I discovered a shocking abu…

Huckleberries

Taste Everything Once is a foodie blog. Me, I love food. Good interest match.

The other day, the author wrote about huckleberrie hunting. Huckleberrie hunting is not for the faint hearted... or for those who prefer the suburban lifestyle. It is however, fun for those who enjoy dirt, bugs and wildlife. You see, huckleberries are not domesticated. Many have tried - including members of my own family, but as far as I know it still hasn't happened with the best possible outcome. It's the last outpost of pioneering ways in a world were people can barely recognize a cow*.

So if you want to get your huckleberries without paying up to $35/gal. here are a few tips...

1. The season starts earlier than anyone will tell you. If you hear it from friends, your local market or see them for sale on the corner, it's almost too late. What really helps is to ask aelderly relative or friend on drive to see if the berries are ripe. If it was a mild winter start going on these drives around the 4t…

Rural Education

While on vacation, we took a break from camping to tour the town of Molson. It is listed as a ghost town, although as with most "ghost towns" in this area, people still live there. At it's height, Molson's population was about 700. Most residents were homesteaders or gold miners. (FYI - thar's still gold in them thar hills! All you need is $10 gold pan.) The town's only school was closed in 1969. However, the building was still used and maintained for many years after - school buildings were the center of life in these areas. At some point, the town decided to create a museum in the school building. They also transported several old homestead houses, a bank, an assayers office and several tons of farm and mining equipment to create a "real" ghost town on the edge of the city limits.

Molson School, K thru 12 - built in 1914 Those hills in the background are not in the United States - the town just skirts the border with Canada. Cows can wander interna…

Local Control

Just back from the annual family reunion - photos later. Today was the first chance I had to peruse the Carnival of Education. A blog entry about school management caught my eye. It's a short entry, but it basically boils down that individual schools should control their own schools without any goverment interference. Parents and school administrators should decide where to spend their money and what is a priority in their own community. Sounds like a good idea.

So here's a questions... what happens when the local community doesn't necessarily value a top notch education? For example, I attended a rural school. It was small and the school board was made up of parents and grandparents, most of the teachers graduated from the same school, etc. It was back in the dark ages prior to our more recent state and federal laws. Testing was done to decide who went to the resource room and that was pretty much it.

Still with me? So here's a problem... our science textbooks were pub…

Where were you last year?

Over the summer I've had three separate school districts call me for a job interview. That may not sound so strange... but they were all districts that I applied to last year.

Last year, when I was sure I'd be eeking out a living on a substitute's pay check and working 2nd job at a coffee shop... last year when I was sure that everyone hated me and my references were held some dark hiddeous mistake Id made that no one ever bothered to tell me about... yah, that year.

Beginning Again

August is here! Where the heck did that "boring, uneventful vacation" go?

I don't report to school until the end of the month, but this year I'm determined to go in prepared. (CurriculumPlanning - the mating call of the teacher) We've got new text books with all sorts of fancy add-ons and to be honest, I haven't even taken it out of bag. I did move the bag from near the front door a couple of weeks ago.

My plan for today -> Work on Online courses (finish by August 22)Start outlining first weekMap out units for the year for freshmenIt sounds like a lot doesn't it?