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Showing posts from August, 2006

It must be time to go back

Last night I had my first school related nightmare. It wasn't that bad, really. I guess I'm getting used to the dream students not listening to me, loosing important papers, running out of time and loosing the seating charts. My dream self didn't seem as stressed and I didn't wake up with my heart pounding. In fact, I woke up thinking "man, I miss that kid - such a PITA, but I really miss having him around."

The school secretary also called me yesterday to remind me that I need to use my 7 hours of prep time before next week. I wonder how many other slackers got the call... ?

The family reunion was great. From the outside it probably seemed a tad strange, but it's us. We had 3 dogs and 6 kids under the age of 10. All of the ladies over age of 30 were knitting/crocheting most of the evenings and my great uncle told his 87th rendition of the story of the Keopke Brothers. The Keopke brothers were neighbors of my great-grandparents. "Bachelor boys;" t…

Into the Wilderness

strawberry mountain
Originally uploaded by Hedgetoad.
I'm off for the annual family reunion in the wild's of eastern Washington. No TV, radio, cell phones, computers or news of the outside world. (every year, it get's a little hard to leave it all....) This will be a good thing because I have several books that I want to finish reading and need to finish reading, could possibly do some planning for the coming year (probably not), and be generally relaxed. It's also good because I'm sitting around waiting for a phone call that does not seem to be coming any time soon, and I'm not really sure it should be coming soon but really want it to come soon - how's that for cryptic? Yeah. Anyhoo, it's not coming this week so I might as well go to place where I have to hike 3 miles up and climb up a particular rock to get a cell signal where messages can be checked. At least I'll be doing something productive with the waiting time.

Money for nuthin'

There was an intersting post on I Thought a Think about possible changes the state will be making soon. I found it interesting that the salary schedule is being looked again. I always find it intersting that teacher salaries are such a huge issue... because we're so overpaid, obviously.

If you're not from Washington state, you should know that all teachers are paid the same basic wage. The "salary schedule" lists what salary at teacher would be at based upon number of credits and years teaching. COLAs are not included, and let's not get started on them. What this means is that I make pretty much the same amount as someone who lives in Seattle (with the same education and experience "steps".) Hence the reason it's being examined once again. Seattle is an expensive town and apparently, so are the Tri-cities. Other places, not so much. It seems unfair doesn't it?

Well, yes and no. The salary schedule came about because some school districts with lo…

Birthday Party

Harbor Seal,
originally uploaded by Hedgetoad. How did I celebrate my birthday? With raw fish!

A friend and I drove down to Seaside, OR and fed the seals at the aquarium. I thought that the babies looked a lot like my little baby Keavy (who's not so little, and has had babies of her own)... but still I missed her. I'm going to be one "those" mothers some day, depend on it.

I also bought my first raincoat. I've lived on the west side of the state for 2 years now and never had one. I'd say I finally broke down, but actually, it was a 70% off sale at the Eddie Bauer outlet that did it. It was so cheap, it was criminal not to buy it. I also bought a really cute wallet - again so cheap, there's no way I couldn't buy it! Of course, this means, I'm totally broke for the rest of the month... oh well.


originally uploaded by Hedgetoad. My garden is going gangbusters! When those tomatoes finally ripen, it's going to a salad extravaganza. The Zuchini will be shredded and frozen to be added into everything this winter. Did you know that you can add vitamins and fiber to almost anything by just putting in some zuchini? Oh, yes. I will be full of vitamins this winter.

I guess garden is kinda a misnomer. It's really a couple of areas with plants. The back yard was totally planted with grass. No beds at all. Removing that grass is quote a chore! Digging, "lasagne method", what ever... it takes forever. And you have to vigilant about straggling grass that tries to reassert itself... weeds, weeds weeds! Even more shocking? I love it.

Sometimes, I wish

I wish I could write about the things that really bug me... but then I realize I'd just be pissing in the wind.

Then again, what the hell. The Science Goddess wrote a post about dress codes. Apparently, her school doesn't have one - which is a little shocking, but maybe they also have parents who actually pay attention to their kids and aren't usually high. Who knows.

My school does have a dress code. I believe it applies to anyone who overweight, a minority or acts like a bitch to their teachers or has one of three classes. For the last month of the previous school year, one student wore a garbage bad to protest the enforcement of the dress code. It seems that it is regularly applied to her (minority!), usually while sitting next to a female student in blatant violation. Using the WASL prompt "what rule would you change and why" guarantees a dress code diatribe from every girl over 140 pounds. It really pisses me off. Especially when I say something, the response …

Summer School is Over!

Final Analysis of the writing and reading modules from the students:

Most said that the writing modules helped them create better essays. Their body paragraphs were more detailed and "layered." Overall, they were more organized and made sense - or at least they got fewer comments like "what does this mean?" and "what are you trying to say?" Several mentioned that their conclusions were stronger and they finally understood what write in the conclusion. Other mentioned that their introductory paragraphs had "hooks."

The reading modules... well, teaching reading in high school is tough. I think we can all agree that everyone expects that students are able to read in high school with no problems - even the students themselves. Reading smarter, rather than harder is a little difficult to teach to those who believe they already know how to do it. They did get some good during-reading strategies from it, but how often they will be used outside of this co…

School Supplies continued

I've been noticing a lot of posts about spending on school supplies, how much to buy, what to buy, etc. For a new teacher this can be an exciting but daunting process. (who doesn't love to buy school supplies?) How much do I spend? Actually, not a lot. Most of it is replenishing my "prize drawer."

My secrets: Golf pencils. They're never on sale, but you can get a box of 300 for 7$. When I'm close to running out, I make the frequent users give me a nickle (they usually don't have one, so give me a quarter and feel really generous). to buy a new box. I never give out pens - they can borrow from a classmate if needed. Try hitting up friends who work in offices. My mother sets up a box every August for people to donate school supplies. When the box is full, it get split between my brother, my aunt and me. I still have paper from last year. We get everything from crayons, calculators and lots of paper!

For new teachers - at the end of the year, ask your students…