Tuesday, November 24, 2009

little moments

You know, it's funny. After all the complaining and the this and the that of my time spent here in DCPS, I haven't remembered to pay attention to the little things that make me smile here.

So, for one:

Yesterday, the biggest of trouble makers in my middle school class came on time (gasp!) to my class, was respectful (gasp gasp!), participated in small group (GASP!), and helped a student (there is no air on this earth to gasp enough). I was pleased and felt amazing. Nevermind today was the total opposite...but, one day at a time always.

My middle school kids are the best, and I love sharing a laugh with them. Today, one of my students, S., says, "I don't think I'll be coming to school tomorrow." Why, I ask. "I don't really feel like it." So I do the fake chuckle, exaggerate a little, and all, and one of my other students, B., looks at me and says, "Are you OK?" Complete sarcasm. Love it. My kids are fantastic.

High school, I really do enjoy those handshakes. You know you have students' respect when they shake your hand, for the most part. I've fallen into several routines with shaking hands. I do love it.

Students are why I love teaching, afterall. We gotta remember that.

oh i totally had a title for this one...

I'm blanking on why I wanted to write in the first place. Oh, for some apologia:

Sorry for not posting for so long.

Ok, I said it. Anyways, my IMPACT observation and post-ob conference went down. ON the TLF (teaching & learning framework) I got all 1s and 2s. Sigh. But, for the non-value added stuff, I got mostly 3s, which is good, I suppose. Apparently I need to focus on my questioning...that my questions need to be more deliberate as opposed to heavily scaffolded and rapid-fire (Ok, what's this, what's this, therefore what's this?). Also, let the kids struggle with something...and that I should feel OK with straying from the model (which I do every once and again, afterall, just apparently not that day).

I think this is a "New Leadership" type thing, and I don't really know how to make questions deliberate and to literally "plan" my questioning. Can you really do that and expect all students, including ELL students, to understand and wrestle with the questions?

Monday, November 9, 2009

making my lunch & a quick problem

I've been, in the past two days, trying to look through my cabinet of curiosities--aka, the internet--for recipes that I might want to do for lunch. It's amazing what comes up when you put in words like, "potato," or "cilantro," or "cabbage" into epicurious.com. Amazing.

So, I think my relaxation will come in the form of cooking for myself lunch each day. What I need to do now, however, is buy myself some more kosher chicken and meat, and some fish. Needs those things, indeed.

Relaxation also takes the form of poetry: the poetry club on Thursdays is my favorite thing to do each week. I can't wait.

Lastly, I have a problem--one of the gym teachers on the middle school side let me borrow his Dan Brown novel. First off, I am slow to read novels. Secondly, I don't really, um, remember his name! I know him by face, though...but I haven't seen him in days! Oy, the plight of forgetfulness. Oh the things I get myself into....ha ha ha?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

organization & papier

It's French week at my school (and probably internationally...maybe), and so my title is um, slightly French, right? Today we had a faculty meeting on best practices with ELL students--I found some things interesting and good to hear (targeting texts, how to modify them/make sure the purpose of the text & its audience is clear, etc), but it left me with lots of questions, still, on what people's best practices are when dealing with ELL students, and what scaffolding can look like for level 1 students who have no real grasp on sentence structure, and have very high frustration rates (I'm thinking of one student in particular).

But, I think those questions will be for another post. Why? Because I'm grading (read: procrastinating grading)! The paper load in my school is immense on a logistical sense, but also I'm realizing my organization of said papers is a hot mess. I tried putting things in folders, but I still find myself wanting in the "sit down and correct" department.

I've been proposed a bunch of things, mainly take certain days out to do certain activities. Since I'm split between middle and high school, I need to make sure I'm available to students on both sides. So, I've dedicated myself to M/W tutoring for middle school, and probably Tuesday for HS. Thursday is poetry club, and ain't no one taking that away from me! But, what about actually gathering all of my papers to correct? That's the toughest thing.

Any suggestions?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

honesty, & etc...

To be clear: my complaint is not with DCPS, and I don't think it will be. If anything, it'd be the administration of my school and the program I'm in. It just wants to have people who play the game, which is fine. And, perhaps, the lesson I should learn is that, in order to survive a cruel, cruel world, I must play the game as best I can. But, I don't quite accept that.

Either way, I just want to be clear: DCPS, I am quite faithful to; R180, we need to talk.

But teachers: is it true? Do we just have to work the system? Do we not have creative freedom is lesson planning? Are administrators really this top-down? Am I being naive?