Saturday, November 3, 2007

Did I mention...

I PASSED that god-awful social sciences: political science test from early October?


OH my gawd. I can't believe I passed it, but I did. There were maybe five genuine poli sci questions on it, I swear. I got something like 30 more points than needed, which I think is pretty good.

I will be able to pull the trifecta people: English, history AND government. Right-wingers everywhere, lock up your kids! Because I's a gonna edumacate your chillen!

On a complete aside, the sheer number of parents who don't - you know - actually PARENT astounds me. Every week I hear of something stupid a parent does. The parent that claims education, values, whatever is important. Trust me, folks, your kids aren't going to know or appreciate the value of hard-work, dedication, integrity, accountability, etc., if all they have to look at is your pitiful example. I've got parents pulling kids out of classes for a week or more to go on some fancy pants cruise, vacation or attend a wedding. Better yet, a parent whose real concern in DEMANDING a make up exam well past the deadline is not because the are concerned about the child's education. No, no, no. It's because if little Joe or Mary doesn't get that good G.P.A., the car insurance (for the brand new car mummy and daddy bought their darling) will be higher.


Also: still hate sitting through 90 minute masses. Please send booze. I'm telling you, halfway through I wanted nachos, a beer and several chasers.

I did nothing today. That was bad. Because now I have waaay too much grading to get done tomorrow. Egads. I just needed a day OFF though.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Not a fantastic start...

Talk about staying one step ahead here, and flying by the seat of your pants.
Today, I did the briefest of brief cruises about Expository writing. I know what it is (duh), but teaching it is another matter. I was re-reading my info over it last night.
So I was already feeling shakey about that, and then I could NOT sleep. I kept flailing in my sleep. Then, around 2am, I got a horrific case of cramps. Damn it all. I managed to swallow down some advil and then I just squirmed in pain for about an hour until I was finally able to fall asleep.
Unsure of material, crampy, sleepless and cranky. What a fantastic way to attempt to teach. I was SO CLOSE to throwing in the towel and calling in sick. Kept having to give myself a pep talk this morning: fake it till you make it.
And then, the mother of one of my students emailed questioning her daughter's score on the essay. Good student, really, but she handed it in LATE. Per my C.T.'s already long established procedures, late material is only worth 1/2 the possible points. So, thankfully, my C.T. was able to quickly and effectively counter the parent on that, but it still sucks. These parents would be better off telling their kids to do their work ON TIME. Believe me, when you get to college, your professors are going to laugh in your face.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sad and Pathetic

It's terribly pathetic that mid-way through my
semester of STUDENT TEACHING (as in, not fully
fledged) I am already dreading and procrastinating at
grading these damn paragraphs of my students.

I know, I know. I don't mark them down over what I
haven't taught them. But the writing is ATROCIOUS. I
think I could run out of ink in my red pen.

No. Not going to run out of ink. Will resist. Will
only mark up one or two examples of things they did
wrong on their respective paragraphs, then tell them
to be on the lookout.

If they're ever to write well, they need to WRITE AND

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I teach by the seat of my pants. It's a good thing I kissed the Blarney Stone again last year.
If I have to tell one more kid to tuck in their damn shirt today to be in dress code, I'm going to HURL.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Bad Day

I had to bear witness to the "dog and pony" show today.
I'm going to be in a foul mood for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Weekly Journal

     The day and night difference between my two morning classes continues. The first class makes me feel like the whole week has been frustrating. The second class makes me feel that I might actually belong in a classroom.
            The students had a quiz over the first half of our grammar unit on the parts of the sentence on Monday. I started grading them right away after the classes, and was just shocked. The average for Period B was a D+/C-. Period D was a little better at a C. Honestly, there were a lot of careless mistakes. In the diagramming, some of the students had the right content, but did not diagram correctly (crooked lines, or modifier lines going in the wrong direction). I think what was very clear was that the majority of the students did NOT study, nor did they take notes in class. They didn't even use the study guide I gave them at the start of the unit. A study guide, I must point out, that essentially GAVE them many of the answers. I can't even tell you how many students could not tell me the four types of sentences and that was on my study sheet! Front and center!
            I had at least two students tell me "But I did [x,y,z]…," and I had to tell them, "but is that what the instructions told you?" Not to mention, what they did do didn't answer the questions I was asking. I might have been lenient had they just come to a correct answer via an alternate method, but that wasn't what they were doing.
            Tuesday I had to lay the hammer down about taking notes in class and cutting down on careless mistakes. I pointed out the study guide again as well, and told them there was really no excuse to have missed things like the four types of sentences considering it was on there directly. When I asked if anyone studied, most said they hadn't. Today (Wednesday) I gave back the quizzes and I think the lights finally went on about how important it is to ask questions and take notes in class, especially for the B group. The D group, immediately after my Tuesday talk, really stepped up and started asking lots of good questions about the content. [Whereas I still feel B wasn't taking me seriously and/or giving me the "screw you" kind of attitude on Tuesday.]
            Like I said: NIGHT and DAY difference.

Monday, October 1, 2007

It was a bad day

For the students, really, but I don't feel so hot either! So, I administered my first quiz today. It was on the first half of our parts of the sentence schtick. It's a darn good thing my C.T. told me to make it worth a lot less. If not, these kids would all be failing.

I guess now I get to tell these kids that this is what happens when you don't take notes like you're supposed to. They were all "lah de dah" half the time. And they were like "you're not going to have the diagram models up on the wall????!!!!" Uh, no. The point is for you to KNOW this stuff, Einsteins.

I don't know how many times I've told them, you will NEVER EVER EVER infinity find your subject in a prepositional phrase. So, I put in what I thought was a "gimmee" question on the quiz. "True or False: You can find a subject in a prepositional phrase. " The second class all go it right, but my first class? It's like I never even taught them. Half the time they're not awake anyway.

A lot of the diagrams were atrocious, too. I'm going to have to inundate them with diagramming homework for the next four days. I know diagramming is the ass-end of exciting, but come on. When did I ever show you diagram models with crooked lines? YES, it DOES matter if your line for an adjective or adverb is straight or if you make it "L" shaped because the L shape means something completely different! Like: indirect object!

My C.T. was astounded when I showed her some of the quizzes. I told her I felt so bad and was wondering was it me? She told me to go over the stuff again, assign more diagramming, but that she thought I gave them every opportunity to ask questions and they were the ones not taking notes. Hell, I practically begged them to ask me questions.

Today, I told them that if I wrote it up on the board, then they'd better be taking notes. They grudgingly took out their notebooks. (Don't even get me started on this one kid who habitually doesn't bring a freaking pencil or pen to class. Seriously, I'm going to start keeping tabs on how often he does this in the next week. If it gets insane, I will forbid him from asking someone else for a pen, and then I'll tell him he's got a choice. He will either serve a detention for habitually coming to class unprepared, or he can take a detention and either get a pen from someone or from his locker.) Tomorrow, when they get their quizzes back, especially the first class, I am going to tell them again: 1) TAKE NOTES and 2)ASK QUESTIONS.