assigned seat
Thursday, November 20, 2003
tuesday there was another fight in my room. this one really ticked me off. i don't think either of the students wanted to fight. i think i may post the writeup later. during the afternoon announcements, several of the teachers were called to the principal's office. i was wondering if it had anything to do with the skirmish. she passes out a sheet of paper to all of us. i'm thinking...crap. more paperwork.

when i read it (ignoring errors like using "there" for "their"), i was hoping i would get more paperwork like it. my school was identified as having over 80% of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch Or having 50% or more below grade level in Algebra 1 or Biology. (if every "or" had been an "and" we'd still qualify.) what happens to the science/math teachers because our students are poor or behind? a bonus.

i think it's for recruitment and retention. i didn't expect to be paid more to go to this school as opposed to the other high school math job for which i had been recommend. it's not much, but it feels like free money. (november's check will be retroactive too!)

i missed a textbook meeting tuesday because i had to go to another required meeting at the building across the street at the same time. i would have forgotten to go to the one today, but i was writing a letter to go to the parents about dates where i would provide tutoring/remediation in preparation for state given tests. i figured i needed to make sure i didn't schedule a tutoring day when i'd be dealing with textbooks...and then i saw one of the dates was today. i wasn't too late, and i'd already seen the presentation anyway. however i now will be sent quite a bit of materials instead of continuing to fill up my car.
Monday, November 17, 2003
mom's funny story
i mentioned to my family a recent lunchtime where i was sitting with colleagues and the intercom blasted out. Mr. Archimedes please come to the lunchroom. we all just looked at each other. i eventually just went to the office (which it seems was the intended action.) mom then recounted what she said was her favorite lunchroom story.

she was a kindegarten teacher (back before i existed) at the time. she was quite hungry but was continually interrupted by child after child and was not able to eat. she turned to quickly eat when yet again there was a tap, tap, tap on her shoulder. Mrs. Lastname...? she turned around. Mrs. Lastname, can i go to the bathroom? she said yes and then turned her chair back to hurry up and eat.

soon there was a tap, tap, tap...she ignored it since she knew it was the same girl, and she had just answered her question. yet the girl was persistent. tap, tap, tap...she ignored it again, however the girl still stayed there. tap, tap, turned around. Mrs.'re on my shoe.
Sunday, November 16, 2003
been awhile
blogger sucks on safari (either that or they've made it crappy since i switched.)

since last time...let's see. report card pickups. textbook fair/preview. staff development day. observed at another school (the other one that offered me a job.) i've not been feeling great.

i've been reading other blogs somewhat regularly, so i felt i should add something for those that read this.

after observing, i tend to think accounts like the following are more rare than i first thought.

Student’s Name: Firstname Lastname 11/05/2003

Referring Teacher: Me Period: 3

Reason for Referral: Student was repeatedly quite rude, lewd, disrespectful, and confrontative.

Student arrived late to class. He threw a piece of paper on the floor. I instructed him to pick it up. He refused and told me to do it. He eventually picked up the paper and then threw it at me and told me to throw it away. I told him to pick it up again. He eventually did so and then proceeded to repeatedly fake like he was going to hit me with it again.

I handed out books and the notebooks which I had collected and reviewed. I also gave Firstname his old notebook which had been on the bookshelf. When I switched bookshelves Tuesday, I removed it and put it with his new one. When he saw it, he proceeded to yell at me. He accused me of having it and hiding it and damaging it. I told him if he would sit down and ask a particular question, I’d be willing in answer him. Apparently this was too much to ask. He eventually sat down but did not ask a question (just kept using this as an opportunity to berate me). So I continued teaching.

About 10 seconds later he says he needs to call home because he’s sick. He gives his word that he’s telling the truth. I told him I would write him a pass in a little while. He continues to interrupt asking to leave. At 11:43 I write a pass for him to go to the office to call home. I instruct him to get a signature from Ms. Secretary regardless of what she says prior to returning. At 11:52, he returns and hands me the pass. It was signed at 11:45 by Ms. Secretary. I ask him where he went subsequently. He tells me the lunchroom.

He then proceeds to pull food out from his pockets and eats chicken strips and drinks a chocolate milk. He refused to put the food away. When finished he starts playing with a handheld 2-way radio. He sets it to make a beeping noise. The lunchbell rings. In the hall, he pretends it’s an explosive and that he’s blowing up the school.

After lunch, he was late and I found him and another student next door in Mr. Nextdoor’ room. They eventually returned to the classroom.

I reviewed what had been covered prior to lunch and then passed out a worksheet. As I was explaining the worksheet, a student interrupted and stated that I "needed some ass." Firstname then jumped in and asked if I was a virgin. Despite my apeals to return to the lesson and to work on assigned classwork, this was not the case. Firstname continued into extremely lewd and descriptive stories. This continued for some time. More specificity is possible if required.

I had returned to my desk to make notes of what was happening. Firstname soon walked up to my desk and tried to take the pad away from me. He then started looking at papers on my desk. I told him repeatedly he needed to return to his seat. Instead he wanted to read the announcement sheet. I had it in my hand and told him to sit down. Instead, he snatched it away and then gave it to another student when he was done. He then proceeded to just wander around the front of the classroom, settling at the overhead projector. At this point he started drawing a stick figure on a transparency. I removed the transparency at the point when he started drawing something in the crotch area of the stick figure. He then picked up a ruler that was on the cart and put it in my face. I took it away from him, and he continued to come towards me. He refused to sit in his seat.

I tried to ignore him and pick up a transparency lying on a desk next to him. However as I leaned over, he moved into me and bumped me. I would not accept anymore of this behavior. I went next door and asked Mr. Nextdoor if he was willing to have Firstname spend the rest of the class in his room. He was amenable.

I then returned to the classroom. Firstname was in his seat with his head down. I told him he needed to go next door. He pretended to not hear me and to be asleep. After much effort he eventually left. Mr. Nextdoor took his notebook and book. He had both a classwork assignnment and a homework assignment. However, when the bell rang, he dropped his book and notebook off.

Prior Action taken by the teacher to correct the problem: I have written numerous discipline referral forms. I gave Firstname multiple chances to change his behavior.

Sunday, November 02, 2003
new week
so friday came and went. i got there and started setting up. first period is my planning period, and i'm quite relieved that i'm not having to proctor or cover someone who is proctoring. i brought some extra lights to use as spots and some music to go along with the slideshow/presentation/thing. about thirty minutes later, the counselor comes into the gym/auditorium and tells me that she needs me to proctor. i'm quite adamant that i don't have time to proctor, if i was to proctor today, i needed to be told in advance, and that there has to be someone available to cover. she pretty much just ignores me and says there's no one else. i am quite perturbed. i don't see how i'm going to be able to set up in time.

i start proctoring. i use the time to make out a quiz that i fell asleep doing the night before. about 25 mins later, there's a knock at the door. the counselor talks to the other teacher. she tells me that someone will be relieving me in a minute - which then happens. i guess there was someone else available.

i get my quizzes copied and get back to work. the sound is pretty much setup as much as possible. i start working on the camera. while it's not great (vhsc), i determine it does have a 20x optical zoom. this allows the camera to be set up in the back, but of course there are no outlets other than by the stage. i just hope that the battery was charged up sufficiently.

a fellow teacher (he's the man) covered me second and third period. (i'm not kidding.) since it was the last day of the 6 weeks, they had one last quiz and to finalize their notebooks (and redo any work they'd done poorly on).

when i went back first period for some things i needed, the counselor knocked on the door. she introduced me to a new student. he'll be taking pre-algebra during 2nd block (along with all my algebra 1a students). same thing happened thursday - except on thursday the kid was a SEVENTH GRADER taking introduction to algebra. next week will be me trying to get him into a different class. he's clearly not mature enough to be with older students and often working independently.

practicing for the rap competition was a bit of an ordeal, but i got through it. the other person (she's pretty cool) planning the assembly disappeared to get prizes so we weren't able to do a runthrough. (it would have been nice."

i got a teacher to tape the event, but she'd never used a videocamera before. i figured it can't be that hard. i show her how to zoom in/out and to start recording. there are some bumps/delays in the show, but overall i think it went pretty well. the 13 lights i added to the front of the stage plus the two spots really made a big difference. (note to planners of events - lighting can make or break an event.)

i did choose to use imovie and went overboard with the ken burns effect. it came out pretty well considering i'd never used the program before and did much of it friday. (hard to do it in advance since i had to add all the pictures from friday after they were taken...on friday.)

it seemed the principal liked the event and gave me some credit; that can't be bad. takedown went quite well as four of us worked together. i tend to judge people on what they do when no one asks. i made the mistake of not asking for a cleanup crew; i ended up with a very good one and more confirmation of the quality of individuals with whom i work.

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