Saturday, February 28, 2009

doing stuff, saying we do stuff

Yesterday was the inspection by the state, by two agencies. We did very good. Our principal was worked over, gathering files, organizing stuff, his wife is pregnant. He is a good man, unlike many other principals I met or have heard about.
My students asked "when are they going to come in." I had to explain that looking in the classrooms was the least of their things. "Aren't you worried?"

"no, I do everything right."
After a few minutes the students agreed, that the posters on the wall and decorating and objectives and dressing up efforts stuff I did anyway. I personally think that putting students' work on the wall for review is silly, no student is going to thing "I have some extra time I think I'll go check out the work on the wall." But it makes my principal happy and I remove the student's name.

Surely these inspectors are not fooled. They can see real effort versus performing.

Also I pointed out, "do you really think I'm scared of a former English teacher telling me how to teach science?"

Of course they wanted to see the lab during lunch. My safety stuff is always together there is a new poster they want, no biggie. Then he wanted the curriculum pacing guide. I kept asking him to repeat what he said. So I make sure all the science teachers are on the same wavelength?
What to teach when? I bit back, "that is what the frameworks are for and we don't really have a department, a department implies a cohesion, a tradition. I have been here for two years and I have seniority. The biology teacher is new and not staying, the lower grade science teacher is new here...etc. "

There probably is a guide, I just never saw it. Which is probably just as bad as not having one.

If I have to have a pacing guide of who is supposed to teach what and when, I want the math department involved. I am tired of blank stares when I cover certain math functions they must use in my class, and the deer in the headlight look is not they forgot it...they never learned it.

There are times I wonder if such people can be fooled. I know for a fact that in my field that the state mandated 20% teaching time is lab is not followed at every school, so are they blind or do they wink wink nod nod.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hands on

I begin my 4 day lab on roller coasters. The physics students must do some work with the foam tubing that goes around pvc pipe for insulation. Cut down the length it makes a track that a marble can roll down. Students get excited with their plans and argue and debate and try and fail. My only comment to their questions is "I guess you'll figure it out" and go back to my magazine.
Students today read and play computer games but rarely make something. Now is their chance.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Because I can

"Pop quiz!"
"Ms W. Why?"
"cause I'm in pain and I want you all to share."

ask easy question...
Students perk up and start writing.

"Okay, thats the question, I'm sorry I lied its not a quiz, but you need the answer for what we are doing today and it _will_ be the first question on your next quiz...I told you, I'm evil."

Monday, February 16, 2009

Huzzah I found it

I have had a four day weekend. Normally, on Friday, before Battlestar Galactica, is when I do my take home work. But since I was off, I put if off till today. I got 40 plus lab reports plus other work graded, then started to finish out my lesson plans for this week. I could not find my memory stick with what work I had done. I was pretty sure I had brought it home with the intent of finishing. I cleaned out my dresser because I might have tossed it into there. Then I started cleaning out the computer drawer.
Over a year ago, I got a used radio for my loyal BMW and had the local mechanics install it. To prevent thefts there is a code so you can turn on the radio. I looked at the serial number, called my BMW mechanic in a larger city to give them serial number, they then sent me the code.
Go forward some to Christmas break, I have to take the BMW to the BMW dealer because my mechanic cannot align a BMW. They end up having to replace everything that connects to the tires but the axle. Part of the process is they disconnect the battery, which means the radio needs the code. I have no idea where the code is.
There it is shoved in the back of the computer drawer. I go out to the car and start it, reset the code and I have radio and CD's again.
yea, also found my memory stick so I finished by lesson plans

They really are jocks

I am a geek, therefore I dislike sports. I have serious issues with sports in school. I resent the money some, I really resent the time they take away, such as pep ralleys, or students leaving early for traveling to games. I support one member our my state's Board of Education who believes that your sports should be sponsored by the community. I even managed to convince one football coach that the community thing might work by pointing out that if he were a community coach, that would be his job, not having to worry about standardized testing or school board politics. Now this is what I mean by resources. There are three science teachers in my school, lower science, life science and me, higher level hard science. We have three football coaches, two basketball coaches along with an atheletic director. Out of 98 teachers in my district, there are 13 people certified for PE. That is not all that everyone does, but still you see my point. During a football game I counted 7 men on the field telling the team what to do. My god people its just high school football not the superbowl.
During inservice lessons, I decided to slip out of my comfort zone. Instead sitting with the usual people I sat by the football coaches. They were passing notes, texting, giggling at jokes. I do not resent the one coach scribbling plays, I was making a to do list for the next day. I relayed later "they were juvenille, there is no other word for it."

relaxing after work

The Hennessey cognac was smooth. It was one of my few attempts with straight liquor as opposed to mixed drinks or low alcohol beverages.
After that I decided to try a drink recommended by the Wall Street journal, a dolores. Definitely a woman's drink. My first thought was "tastes like cough syrup." That was the cherry liquor. Its something I would drink, though not a first choice.