01 March 2006

For the love of Geoff....

OK - I teach exceptional children, and right now I teach history classes (I love history classes). My first love, however, is literature (not in the modern sense of turning it into theory, but in the old fashioned sense of "it's just so darn fun!"). Medieval Europe ranks up there next to God, Family, and Country, so imagine my joy upon discovering that Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog!

23 February 2006

Distracting the teacher

In a small class, a teacher can let some things go that might not happen in another class. One class I teach is very small.

Let me be perfectly clear, however: I will never dance in my class, nor allow my students to "teach" me (And we won't even laugh, Ms. ...!). Ha! Not in front of my face! Hey, I know my limitations, and my rhythm's all on the inside, folks...

22 February 2006

Two-cuppa'-joe days....

Today has been a two-cuppa'-joe day. See, I'm trying to cut back because caffeine, especially in the form of coffee, has become my drug of choice. I don't like thinking of myself as a drugee, so...

Anyway, on a two-cuppa'-joe day, I find this site - and the results are a little uncanny...

You Are a Plain Ole Cup of Joe

But don't think plain - instead think, uncomplicated

You're a low maintenance kind of girl... who can hang with the guys

Down to earth, easy going, and fun! Yup, that's you: the friend everyone invites.

And your dependable too. Both for a laugh and a sympathetic ear.

Smaller versions of fun

The great thing about having a seven-year-old is the weird and wonderful things he sometimes blurts, ponders, and expounds upon. For example:

The son (C) was weighing himself (I'm surprised it registered!) last night. He and his daddy figured out what the numbers meant, then C asked his daddy how much he weighed. My husband, who has put on a couple pounds this last year because of stress, said, "Too much, I know that." (He is very not happy with his lack of motivation to get back into conditioning.) C was curious: "You might blow it up?"

I'm afraid my shouts of laughter from the other room were not very subtle...

20 February 2006

The inevitability of it all

1. Annie barked endlessly last night, love her soul.

2. Son very, very ill yesterday - recovering today. Most wonderful hubby in the world taking the day to stay home with my "baby." (Thank you!)

3. Upperclassmen refused to focus, so set them to bookwork during which my principal came in to observe. Ugh. Why couldn't he have come during this class of underclassmen who are interacting like a perfect little example of large-group learning?

4. Making huge, life-changing decisions about my son's education as public school is clearly not going to cut it here (in the first grade, non-the-less!). As a public school teacher, I'm torn. Said decision will happen this week.

With all this, I'm not sure if I'm elated or too exhausted to know how I'm feeling!

18 February 2006

On lifetime learning...

So I'm still learning.

For example, in moments of hilarity Friday, students were sharing innovative discipline techniques their parents (usually moms) had employed in the students' "youth." One sticks out. Paraphrased (and thus losing some of its vitality, for which I'm sorry), it goes something like this:

Jamael (not his real name nor even close to it) was in the 7th grade. He'd had a bit of a bad day, but went home innocently enough believing his mama would be oblivious. Nonchalantly walking through the door, he is greeted per usual. Gasping bewildered in the iron grip of his mother mere moments later, he realizes something is wrong. Apparently the teacher had called about his informal, unrecognized apprenticeship in barbering wherein he'd hacked a swatch of hair off the head of a female classmate. In response to said action, mama proceeded to shave a perfect rectangle dead center off his forehead and back maybe 2 inches - into, he added, a perfectly developed "fro." When questioned as to why he didn't get it fixed during the whole week! his mama had him go to school with this monstrosity on his head, he replied that as a seventh grader he had no access to funds, to transportation, nor to the tools his mama had used.

Between embarrassing snorts of laughter (unnoticed by the others rolling on the floor), I reflected on how apropos the reaction was! Ah, to be a mama like that!

16 February 2006

Recant, incant, decanter

I love my job. Really. I. Do.

OK, so I was early, high on sleep deprivation (thanks to early-morning-cat, love of my life), and floundering in ill-founded optimism.

Still loving my kids, I have to admit to some rather ill-spoken lectures (never listened to - for my own benefit only) on how I put so much time in and no one appreciates me. Yeah. I'm Roseann Barr. I didn't even see that road coming, let alone do I know how I turned off on it and sped full-on into the brick wall of ineptitude.

So, gratefully I noted that everyone was headed to lunch - I had a 30 minute break before they'd all come streaming back in eager to learn, so I got back on and found this essay thanks to a link from my favorite English teacher ever (where have you been all my life?) - yep, her blog's on this page cause I just have to keep going back. SO, I'm feeling a lot better now. Thanks! Back to enthusiasm and adoration (me for them).

I love this job!

As a teacher, I'm basically not allowed to feel this way (or so I'm beginning to believe), so I'm posting my radical, disestablishmentarianism ideas here - safely in semi-anonymity.

"I love my job." Ha. I'm not going to complain about my hellish classes, because my classes are GREAT! I'm in a 4x4 block schedule and I've had these kids for 4 weeks. I teach the last of the small groups for kids with learning disabilities (none happening next year - their least restrictive environments have miraculously changed overnight with the onset of NCLB and the new IDEA). Of course, I hate "learning disability" as a descriptor. I tell these parents and kids (and teachers) that the kids have learning differences. It's the system that's broken, folks! If fast food served only one kind of burger and everyone who didn't like it was "disabled" ... You get my point :)

Teachers feel bad for me, but I revel in their ignorance because otherwise the jealousy factor would flatten me like a flapjack in an elephant's cage.

What's so great? These kids walk out of my class not hating history anymore. Sure wish I'd had this in high school! OK, so maybe not all of them love history, but dang it's pretty cool, and maybe they're interested in finding out stuff on their own and being involved or at least seeing that being involved in directing their own lives is do-able.

Too, is there a comment I can't hear? Talk about revelatory! In small classes, there's time to share, time to discuss, time to make sure everyone understands. And these kids are smart! After all, not every child can take an utterly innocuous statement made in context by an adult and turn it into a Howard Stern rerun!

14 February 2006

On young love...

Valentines day in high school can be a downright fatal experience for an allergy-prone person...

Our school did a great job of arranging for all deliveries to be made during the last period of the day. What they did not count on is that maybe 1% of all gifts today were delivered. The other 99% were HAND delivered. It's been at least - oh - a year! since I saw this many unnaturally colored stuffed animals, wilting roses and carnations, chocolate, and other tacky gifts all together in one place. Did you know that students sometimes go out for ONE DAY just to have someone on Valentines Day? Can this be healthy?