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Showing posts from April, 2009

Recession and Achievement

The ASCD blog posted yesterday regarding a new economic report that basically stated that the achievement gap has a significant economic impact that has lead to recession and will keep up there, if not remedied. Of course, all the bigwigs have the remedy for this... data collection and breaking union contracts to get rid of all the super-bad teachers (of which there must be millions because everything wrong with education is due to contracts that keep super-bad teachers in their jobs). Really, I can only offer my anecdotal evidence that to a certain extent, the economic report is true. There are signifcant number of my students who are completely convinced that school is a boring waste of time until they get a JOB. Not a career, not a profession... a JOB. What the job will be is, well, at tad unrealistic. Part of this lack of reality is due to the fact that they're teenagers and everyone over the age of 25 is viewed as an idiot. No matter what is said, adults aren't really beli…

random questions

1. First thing you wash in the shower?
my hands
2. What color is your favorite hoodie?
grey - they're all grey
3. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again?
4. Do you plan outfits?
sort of - I try not to miss-match and generally only wear my fav combo of green and red during the holiday season
5. How are you feeling RIGHT now?
6. What's the closest thing to you that's red?
the scarf on my grizzly bear christmas ornament/computer montior topper
7. Tell me about the last dream you remember having?
I dream a lot, but don't really put effort into remembering unless it's really weird... like the time I a co-worker borrow my foot for her medical school disection assignment.
8. Did you meet anybody new today?
Luckily, no. But it's only the middle of the day. Usually all new students are dumped into my afternoon class.
9. What are you craving right now?
Lunch. I forgot to bring on.
10. Do you floss?
Yeah, but not as much as I should.
11. What comes to mind when I say…

How To Get Your Students To Really Listen

The box was finally mailed off to the National Boards grading conglomerate (or is it conspiracy?). Life can begin again...

Plus it's spring and we all know what that means! Yes! Shakespeare! Willie the Shake! Woot!

Seriously, it's my favorite time of the year because this is when my students listen with rapt attention to almost every word I say. Especially if it's Romeo and Juliet. Can't get your students to pay attention to Shakespeare? Well, you are not focusing on the right spin. Bathroom habits, boys kissing boys and lots of dirty jokes. (once we had a grant to take students to SEE a professional show of Romeo and Juliet... the ones who didn't take my class were stunned at all the dirty jokes. My students giggled like 5 year olds.) If they're not listening, they may be insulted in words they don't understand or miss out on a joke.

Yesterday, I started with my usual, "this is the globe theater. It has a floor and three tiers of seats. Unlike today, se…


I've made it passed the first half of the day - it's all down hill from here. I ended up changing my plans at the last minute for the "class of evil" and the VP was so impressed with my idea*, he wants to see it in action tomorrow. I told him it will probably suck, as these students rarely do anything, but he was cool with it. I have to say that the coolness in work environment is one of the reasons why I like my job.  I'll find out if I get to keep it when the state legislature finalizes the budget. Apparently, every school district in the state is thinking the same way because there are almost no jobs posted anywhere for the upcoming year. Not even in places where no one wants to live or the schools that have huge turn-overs. Nada. Granted it's early, but in five years, there has never been this few job posting for the state. Yes. I do check on a regular basis. You never know what will come up... and right now, it's nothing. The Evil class filled out job a…

Last Day

It's the last day of break and I really don't want to go back to school. Actually, I just don't want to attend one class - I can't say "teach", since I can't really say that I teach that class. I'm pretty sure that they have learned nothing during this year... certainly, there has been no improvement in their writing, grammar or reading skills.

Eight months into the school year, they still cannot summarize anything they've read. Nor do they know the difference between summarize and paraphrase. Unless the answer is basically written out in the text, they cannot answer questions about anything they've read. Not that it matters since everything printed is "stupid" and "gay". After 8 months, only one out of 35 can tell me what a thesis sentence is (and I'm pretty sure he/she already knew) or why any supporting detail is needed in writing. If you asked, the best answer would be "'cause it's on the WASL". U…