Tuesday, April 13, 2004
days like this
i need to really start posting about good days; i don't want to only remember days like this. it started off poorly as i was late since i woke up quite sick. things didn't get better.
attendance was not good the first day back from spring break (yesterday), but i think everyone showed up today. of course they weren't there to learn, but i think they just got bored at home (or someone got tired of them being at home).
my first class is full of students who like to talk but not math. (this is the class roster that made the secretary respond "we really do like you" since it would make one think otherwise.) the loudest, most belligerent is actually one of my favorite "students." considering she hasn't done any work in any of her classes, she's no real student - but she's funny. i like funny. she's extremely rude and crude and a very bad influence, but it'd be fun to have her as a classmate. she was in fine form today.
there are two students who will attempt to pay attention or do any classwork. one i sent to the office due to him obviously deliberately interrupting me. the other one must have still been on break. since tomorrow is the end of the six weeks, i was trying to get many of them to makeup a test. the test was given the friday before spring break and many skipped that friday and yesterday. three obliged by putting a name on a test. one actually attempted a problem.
i knew i was not responding well when i realized i was standing in the front of the classroom considering other jobs/careers. the rest of the class pretty much involved me attempting to begin again every 10 minutes or so. the only student who did anything was the student who was sent to the office.
some learning took place in the next class, but it must have been a gift. the one student who was responding at all with reasonable (and nearly all correct) answers is a student who informed me monday that he was not going to do any work until thursday. (i found out later, he's told all his teachers this.) he figures he'll fail the six weeks so no reason to do anything until the next grading period begins. he must be committed to this idea as he correctly answered the first half of a worksheet but refused to write down anything on the page.
i have a new student in fourth block. i am now teaching an eighth prealgebra student along with my tech math class. i really don't know what to teach the kid. i requested some info as to what has been taught and what his class is doing. the outline i received makes my syllabus look like a thesis. he's a good kid and works pretty hard. today he asked "why are you teaching me?" i just responded - "i have the same question."
remediation started today. that was some needed sleep. i wonder if i get paid extra for these hours. if so, i need to start bringing a pillow.
Sunday, April 11, 2004
break me off a piece
last week was spring break. i got the heck out of dodge - spent the week with friends in nyc. (btw, you guys rock - thanks again) i might post a couple of pics. it was very nice to be with intelligent, interesting creative people my own age. i seem to have lost some of my debating edge. i do need to get back in the habit. (supporting evidence of an opposing view is much different when dealing with students.) hopefully brandon and mark's colorful metaphors and adjectives stayed behind.
the week before spring break was as bad as you would imagine. tuesday felt like a friday...as did wednesday and thursday. as to friday, let's not talk about it. i worked my ass off (guess i still have a few left) thursday. i found out how long i can stay until i become delirious; aparently it's 9pm.
i made copies of all the work that students have yet to turn in (despite opportunities and reminders daily), printed up to date progress reports, and wrote a letter to the parents. for those who are facing state tests, i also created a calendar of remediation dates. i fully intended to call the parents to let them know that the work was coming, but i did not. i crashed at a friend's friday and my flight was sat at 7am. in the letter i gave my home number (like i did in the syllabus) and told parents to call if they had any questions. when i returned, there were no calls to return.
i'm considering persuing a one year masters in teaching math program for this fall. if i did that, i'd like to teach in nyc the next year. we'll see.