Friday, August 31, 2007

kennings and more

Today I discussed riddles and kennings with my seniors as we zip through Holt's abridged Beowulf. I asked them to solve the following riddle:

“I am a wonderful help to women
The hope of something good to come
I harm only my slayer
I grow very tall, erect in a bed
I am shaggy down below
The lovely girl grabs my body, rubs my red skin
Holds me hard, claims my head.
That girl will feel our meeting!
I bring tears to her eyes!
What am I?”

(answer at the footof this post)

Anyway, it's Friday and I'm thrilled. I've been administering the CELDT for the last couple of days and have to continue with it next week, but hopefully when it's done I'll have some students during 4th/5th (that's the plan at least). Also, my ELD books finally came in, so when I do get students, I'll have something to teach them. Things are working out nicely indeed.

Annie and I will be moving into our new place on Monday morning and I'm totally stoked. Our apartment is just so cute and new and clean and, maybe this is weird, but I'm excited about paying my own rent. Ask me if I feel the same way in a year, I guess.

Tonight marks the official beginning of junior high small groups as all the eighth grade girls gather with their fantastic leaders, Bethany and Megan, for a fun-filled and sleepless sleep-over! Probably not the best idea since I have my first MA meeting tomorrow morning and haven't finished my research, but you know. I'm trying to keep my schedule as open as possible, but with MA stuff, and BTSA, and jr high, and TEACHING it's not been easy. I've turned down not one, not two, but three requests to coach soccer again this fall and even though it makes me feel crummy, there's just no way I'd have any time for it.

And, because several people have asked, if you have books you would like to donate to my classroom and don't live in the Davis/Woodland area where I can just swing by and pick them up from you, feel free to send them to:

Megan Garcia
c/o Woodland High School
21 N. West Street
Woodland, CA 95695

I've been so incredibly blessed by everyone's generosity and desire to help and my library looks amazing. Thank you so much!!

Answer: An onion. Get your mind out of the gutter!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

just a little too late

This is a little late, but here's an update on teaching as of last Friday. Life is certifiably crazy right now as I'm officially homeless until Monday and have a ton of work to do for BTSA and my MA, plus my classes have changed some, etc etc, but this should give you a taste of what I'm up against this year :)

First Period
English 9

I have about 24 (now 18)kids in this class but it feels like 5, since that's about how many speak during the course of the hour. I know from my other classes that it's not because of me, but just because it's 8 in the morning and kids don't guzzle coffee like I do. (They're much better now) I song and dance my way through the hour regardless and get a few laughs. For the most part they are really sweet kids, I only have one student who may pose an actual problem, and it's more an issue of insolence than misbehavior. It's a nice slow start to my day, but it makes me really look forward to second period.

Second Period
Senior Lit & Comp.

I have 30 (now 32)exuberant seniors in this class (3 are varsity football players so we talk a lot of trash about Davis High), and I love each and every one of them more than the next. These kids are awesome; funny, thoughtful, mellow, respectful, and appropriately curious about my personal life (see period 6 for inappropriate curiosity about my personal life!). Today we wrote "I am From" poems in all of my classes. I told the seniors that they could sit with their friends and turn on the radio as long as they kept working. And they did! It was incredible! I've never seen anything like it! Teaching outside of the city is amazing!

Third Period
Another teacher uses my room during my prep, which stinks, but it's amazing how much photocopying and lesson planning you get done without a computer sitting on your desk to distract you!

Fourth & Fifth Period
English 2

Well, this is an interesting story. I have 7 kids enrolled in this class. Yesterday, after a disastrous 2 hours, I called my Bilingual Ed supervisor and asked if she could review the curriculum with me. I was concerned that either the text we are adopting will be too advanced for the students, or that the students had been placed in my class erroneously. And I was right. All of them were designated CELDT Level 1s so all but one of them have been moved to the English 1 class. Which, of course, leaves me with only one student for two whole hours. I'm not sure what's going to happen with her, or what will happen if they close my class because then I'll be short two classes, but we'll have to wait until next week when all the CELDT testing is finished. Whew!

Period 6
English 9

I originally had 27 (!) kids in this class, but it's down to about 22 now (and now 16!), so that's more manageable (especially since there aren't supposed to be more than 20 kids in any English 9 class this year). These kids are my stars. They are hilarious, bouncing off the walls after 6 hours of class, and almost inappropriately interested in my personal life (this is the class that has no qualms or embarrassments about telling me how pretty I am and asking if I need their home phone numbers for something OTHER than calling their parents, winkwink, nudgenudge). But they are also well-behaved and, again, just all around great kids. (although they're getting a little too squirrely and "not doing their homework-y" for my tastes these days)

I know I should not be amazed that the kids are nice. I also know I should not be fooled into thinking that they are perfect. One look at my 12th graders discipline records will tell you that. However, it's still such a huge difference from teaching in "the city" and I'm so thrilled I decided to take this job.

Two absolutely amazing things happened to me today. During my prep, I went down to the office because I was told that there was a box for me and Katie had sent me a 50 pound box of books! As I struggled to carry this enormous and unwieldy box back to my office, a student coming out of the counselors' office asked if I needed help, and then took the box from me and carried it to my office, all the while making polite conversation and telling me about all of his teachers. Unbelievable! At my old school, I think my students would have watched me be crushed under the weight of the box, and then they would have laughed at me. Truth be told, these kids are probably pretty normal, but to me they are just angels compared to what I dealt with last year.

More later - I'm a real teacher now with real papers to grade and really not enough time to blog!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

history of rock

Meant to post this some time ago, but it must have gotten lost in the blog draft archives...

"I appreciate that I'm not in teaching credential courses, which always require active participation and frequently feature Type-A people who are way too enthusiastic about lesson plans." -SuperGirl Katie

you are the one

I've been busy setting up my classroom, sitting in long meetings, and (of course) drinking a lot of coffee as I get anxious about the new school year. I just can't believe classes start on Wednesday, it feels like I have so much left to do.

Here are some pictures of my classroom as of Friday afternoon. I have a few more things to finish up, but this is my little (tiny) space on campus (except during my prep period, where the Speech teacher uses my room for speech class and I have to move to a cubicle but... you know):

You can also see our pictures from Disneyland here. We had so much fun!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Here's a Thursday Thirteen from Jennie, since I'm freaking out about school starting:

Thirteen Things I Plan to Do on the First Day of School:
1. arrive ridiculously early
2. drink far too much coffee
3. find Christina and freak out together
4. greet my ELD students in Spanish (I've been practicing!)
5. probably screw up our online attendence program
6. forget to bring my lunch and starve for half the day
7. be amazed at how old my 12th graders look
8. be amazed at how young my 9th graders look
9. learn the names of at least 3/4 of my students (I'm pretty good at that)
10. tell no one that it's my first year of teaching, only that it's my first year at this school
11. pray for each class before they walk in
12. get literally nothing done because I've never taught 50 minute periods before
13. take a nap when I get home

I tag:

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

expert on shakespeare

I got my credential today! (Yeah, I was a little late with the paperwork...) I'm official! I'm a real teacher! I'm officially freaking out as a real teacher because school starts in 21 flipping days and I haven't done anything! Yikes!