Thursday, October 23, 2008

some women are dripping with diamonds

Today I felt like my students actually learned. I mean, we do stuff every day. We journal and read out loud and do vocabulary exercises and practice our grammar. We answer critical thinking questions and have discussions and take quizzes and study for tests. But today...

Today I gave a mini-lecture about the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl to set the backdrop for Of Mice and Men. And they were rapt with attention. They were fascinated. About the Dust Bowl! They wanted to know about the stock market and why it crashed and what did people do if they didn't have money. "Where did the farmers in Oklahoma go, Miss G?" they asked. "What did they do when they couldn't farm their land anymore because of the drought?"

"They moved to California, young scholars. They moved to California and California said, 'We don't want you either. We don't have any money to pay you.' So they were kind of screwed."

"But then what? What happened? Where did they live?"

I slapped a picture of a Hooverville up on the overhead.

"Whoah. People lived there?"


And in one class: "Isn't that what happened in The Grapes of Wrath?"


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

dancing in the moonlight

I received an email today from an individual with a considerable amount of authority at my site that asked me to meet with one of our new teachers as often as possible to share teaching and behavior management strategies with her, because she is struggling considerably. This was in response to my request that no other students be transferred into my class from her class 8 weeks into the school year because they are coming to my class too far behind to be successful.

I would post the reply I wish I could have sent, but to be perfectly honest I am still too flabbergasted that she actually suggested this in the first place to even begin to form coherent thoughts.

My department chair wanted to know if the school was planning to pay me to teach our new teacher how to teach properly. Indeed.

cover me

According to Glassbooth, I should be voting for Cynthia McKinney this November. Go Green Party!

Don't worry friends, I'm still 80% compatible with Obama and the Democrats will, as usual, be receiving my vote (and to be fair, McKinney used to be a member of the Democratic party).

The kids are benchmarking today. I'm getting so much done for once!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

oh susanna

This has been a pretty fabulous weekend, if I do say so myself (and I do!).

Yesterday AM I slept in, then walked up to a coffee shop, rocking out to my iPod in crazy blustery windy weather and planned for the next two weeks. Major breakthrough! I have really enjoyed having the time to really plan out what I will be doing in my classes far enough ahead of time that I don't feel like I'm running around like crazy at the last minute. Brian and I had lunch after his class and we headed out to ANOTHER coffee shop, where I made about a million worksheets (but it felt so good!). And then I cleaned out my closet, putting all my summery things in boxes and unpacking my sweaters and corduroy pants and fleecy PJs.

With my luck, it will be 90 degrees this week. Damn global warming.

This morning we started the Old Testament Challenge Part 2 at UCC with the book of Joshua. It was serious good times. Brian and I had a sweet talk on the drive home about the Old Testament and what I believe as far as, like, what the heck it all means. After some lunch, Brian and I did MORE grading/planning/worksheet making at Tupelo and then took a nap. Well, Brian took a nap. I may have done some more planning. I can't help it! Sometimes I just get so into what I'm going to be teaching that I just can't stop prepping! It's weird, I know.

And now, Brian is at Alpha at UCC. I have taken advantage of this glorious alone time by making a Carribean Chicken Stew and.... more worksheets. But really good ones!

wake me up

A list of people I know who are currently pregnant or recently had a baby:
  • Tammy
  • Beth H
  • Sam
  • Katie S
  • Jenn
  • Molly
  • Megan
  • Katie G
  • Renee
  • Shannon
  • Angie
  • Virginia
  • Beth M
  • Erin
  • Ryan
  • Bronwyn
  • Joy
  • Maria
(To be fair, that last one is one of my students from last year...)

And I'm sure there are more.

The number of ultrasounds on my Facebook friends page is simply astounding.

This would all be OK if my students would just stop telling me that if I don't hurry up and get married/pregnant, I'm going to dry up soon.

I mean, really.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

when the storm fades

Tomorrow is Friday and I haven't written any referrals this week. I don't want to jinx it but... that's good news. Today was actually pretty great. I handed out Academy awards (which made some kids super happy), gave some notes, read some short stories, lectured 5th period for a bit about how the best 9th grade teachers at our school were hand-selected just for them so they need to stop talking and give us the chance to do what we are good at doing, and revised a few Works Cited pages during passing periods. The persuasive essay is due on Monday, but little do my students know they are going to have to do a revision workshop in class and then have another few days to finish. I'm sneaky that way. Well really, I just can't stand reading papers that have so obviously not been edited. I am shamelessly offering extra credit to any student who has a Learning Center tutor read and edit their essay before the due date. We can discuss teaching ethics later, but if it means they don't wait until 10pm on Sunday night to begin their paper, I'll do whatever I need to do.

I think tomorrow we will finish our short stories and have a community circle day. I am behind in my grading, but can't really find it in myself to be too concerned about it.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

im no superman

I am tired. My students exhaust me. They are so needy this year. I am trying to stay positive, but it's really hard. Things had gotten better by this time last year. Wasn't this year supposed to be easier?