assigned seat
Thursday, October 28, 2004
good advice
tomorrow is the end of the grading period. while there is officially a "workday" on tuesday, it will be taken up (like the last one) entirely for staff development. so after doing some after school tutoring until 5, i'm sitting here grading classwork/notebooks. like last time, i've found some interesting materials which seem to have put in the wrong notebook. while i'm no keno, i'll post some "finds" as i go.

Theirs a distruction in our youth today its teenage smoking. If only teh teenages knew what shat teenage smoking could lead to, Well they will find out today because I am going to tell them. It can lead to Health Problems, Adddiction and what a lot of grown people suffer from now stress.

First of all you will have lots of Health Problems, like not being able to run for a longtime, Breathing issues and also what a lots of people are catching everday lung Cancer. Thats very serious people don't understand that that is a life threatning disease.

Second of all

Monday, October 25, 2004
second block was atrocious again. seems everyone decided to show up (as well as the girl who stated she wasn't coming back after her first day friday). the brother/sister team was way, way too crazy. when they go off, there's little chance of controlling the class. we're talking like yelling, walking around, interrupting anything i say, telling me to shut up multiple times, etc. i spoke to them (and seemingly the rest of the class) individually. i had to send out brother. i had warned him way too many times, yet when i wrote up the class detention referral, he became very upset and confrontative. he refused to leave, and it was impossible to continue. mr. acrossthehall wasn't able to get him to leave either.

since we don't have any way to contact the office, i used my cell phone to call for the assistant principal. (he wasn't in his office next door.) he eventually came and was able to remove him. however, sister then held this against me and yelled at me and kept interrupting the class. it wasn't like they were the only ones. somehow i did teach finding the range given a specific range for functions. several students did like 1 or 2 problems in an hour. just pathetic. i tried to call brother/sister's mom, but i called, the line made some rather quick repeating noise like it was off the hook. in the middle of this class, i all of a sudden started thinking about how my bank account was looking pretty good and how nice it would be to have a day off...or a month off. this is probably not the best outlook. (i did like how the beginning of "if" popped into my head.) i think it was just that feeling (seemingly endless but not actually rather momentary) of having no idea what might work.

i hate it when the principal isn't there. i think there's some kind of messaging system so that everyone knows by the end of first period.

geometry student seemed decent though i still felt bad having him pretty much just read and do worksheets and ask me if he had a question. teaching three subjects at once with unmotivated students doesn't work well. luckily my one student in algebra 1a took his daily pre-lunch nap. that at least left me with just two classes. actually i do have a couple of motivated students in that class. one student returned today from some time in jail and works quite consistently; another (my "favorite student) has court tomorrow but he's been doing quite a bit of makeup work, and geometry is also in there. remarkably, third block may become my most productive block.

thinking back, there was actually quite a bit of work done fourth block as well. it's amazing how long one class can seem and how it can ruin a day.
Sunday, October 24, 2004
yey - one more
i found out friday that i'll have another student monday. (i actually had a new student friday but that's normal.) the difference with the student on friday is that i will be teaching him geometry. i have not taught geometry before, and i will be teaching him geometry while i'm teaching algebra 1b (and algebra 1a to one student). the base school has agreed to send (by tuesday or wednesday) some resource materials that should help me set up a curriculum which incorporates a decent amount of independent work.

i am rather disappointed as i don't believe this is ideal. (also because i've wanted to teach geometry - but not like this.) i now have two courses with state given final exams in the same period. (this period is also the one with "my favorite student" who has been given "one last chance" again.

i guess i should get to work coming up with a plan...
Saturday, October 23, 2004
having read about the chair's efforts to keep parents informed, i tried again to do the same. the school system just implemented email for teachers earlier this fall. (i was both relieved and still pissed that this had not been done previously.)

on the last progress reports i included a comment about welcoming contact and asking for parents to put their email address on the provided line as well as the standard signature. i mentioned that the email address would be used to send out periodic updates about class related information. it seemed like a reasonable attempt. 2 foreseen problems arose. first, only 3 students returned their progress reports. second, they did not have email addresses. one student said his father was going to get one.

in response to the inability to gather email addresses, i decided to send a message to the secretary asking that email address be added to the contact information that parents/guardians must complete as part of the enrollment. after sending it, i wondered if i would have ruffled some feathers. (maybe on monday i'll post the message for perusal.) i have sent seemingly innocuous messages before only to have people get upset and defensive. i was quite pleased, relieved when opening the response i read: "GREAT IDEA!!!"

as a i was told, this is not a novel idea.

other attempts at technological advances: the county keeps saying that class webpages will be available "soon." however, the last time i hear what soon meant, it was next semester at the earliest. i decided to see how well blogspot would serve for the interim. in order to keep the different classes separate, i signed up for multiple blogs and linked extensively and it appears rather seemless i believe. it's doable but quite time consuming so far. the students have not shown much interest, and i highly doubt anyone has visited the site.

i have shown the ec department since i have so many of their students. this way, they can keep up with what i'm doing. (they have some students which do not attend my class but are enrolled in the same course - the level of required learning / work is a different issue.) they seemed to like it. i also showed the secretary. it may help a substitute teacher if i ever take a day off.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
i am not sure if this is just a common work situation (and it was much worse during a previous nonteaching life i dated a coworker *shudder*), but sexual comments directed toward me are the norm for 3 separate teachers. i'm also wondering if it's seen as okay since i'm the young white guy.

it doesn't really bother me, but at times it's rather embarassing. one staff member was especially forward last year; valentine's day was somewhat awkward. i'm fine with playing along, but i am always worried that somehow i'll say something that they'll find inappropriate and then i'll be getting in trouble for all this.

anyway, this is all to say that i recently went to a barber and had a much closer cut. (yes this is somewhat a response to being referred to as "shaggy" by several students.) the response from teachers was mixed, but one seemed to find it a positive change. " archimedes got himself a fresh cut. we're gonna have to go out. do you swirl?"

now i was not sure how to respond to that. for one i was unsure exactly as to its meaning. it sounded sexual, but for all i knew it could just be referring to ice cream. if it was as i suspected, what's the correct answer? yes - seems to i'm ready to start of the marvin gaye. if i say no - then does that make me seem racist? i felt the best response was to laugh and play dumb like i had no clue what she was talking about.

it seems walmart has provided an answer. while quickly perusing the $5.50 dvds yesterday i came across this film. i nearly bought it.

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