Thursday, August 11, 2011

Meetings Meetings Meetings

Today I sat through a team meeting from 9-3. Long day. It wasn't all bad though. I really like everyone on our team. The team had been out an English teacher up until yesterday, which is crazy since school starts Tuesday! The new teacher is only 23 (a year older than me) and the math teacher is 26. You may be asking why I am sharing this information and I will tell you! One of the most difficult things for me during my practicum for spring quarter was that my mentor complained about how she didn't like her job and how you don't get any respect from the students for being a short white female. This got me really depressed because I already am so self-conscious about looking like a high school student that I didn't want this add to it. I mean I am going to have to be mean to the students, I know that, but I think these 2 young female teachers will be very good role models for me, especially the math teacher since she might be slightly taller than me and she is smaller.

One of the big discussions at the meeting was eliminating zeros in grading. This idea says that no child can get below a 55 on an assignment. An F is an F and a student shouldn't receive a low F that could bring down their GPA even more. Plus, to make an F 50-0 on a grading scale is ridiculous, especially if everything else only falls between 10 points. We read about this in our seminar class during spring quarter in a book called Fair Isn't Always Equal by Rick Wormeli. There are so many variables that make this idea a good and bad thing. For example a student who doesn't turn in an assignment shouldn't get a 50 if a student who turns in the assignment but doesn't "get" the material gets a 50. The one student is showing effort which should be rewarded. This could get solved by simply putting an X in the grade book where the student has a missed assignment. The argument goes on and on. My mentor teacher gave the team the option to do which ever one they feel comfortable with. He is going to try out the new "No Zero" policy, which will be interesting for me to see especially with it being my first time ever recording grades. This trial period will also be a chance to even change some of the grades (not officially) to zeros to see how it changes a GPA or how students respond to the fact that zeros will not be given. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

The CECH library at UC has a lot of children's books and yesterday on the tour my mentor teacher asked if I could possibly take a few books out for his daughter. I went there this morning to get them and I also picked up a book of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales and a book of Danish fairy tales. I'm excited to read these because I love real fairy tales, not the Disney-fied version. Stories like Greek mythology and J.K. Rowling's The Tales of Beedle the Bard interest me. I should be preparing for the Praxis or doing something better with my time, but the books aren't long and it'll give me something to read on my breaks at work. Anyway back to the point. I came in today and my mentor teacher was like "I could have just gone to the public library to get the books. I don't know why I made you do it." I don't mind. I walk past UC to get to the school. This just motivates me to get up and leave the house earlier instead of sitting on Facebook or Tumblr drinking coffee. Before we left this afternoon he told the other teachers that not only does he make me sit through a 9-3 meeting, but he also makes me get books for his daughter. It was funny. I should be a personal assistant to someone famous (maybe Joseph Gordon-Levitt?).

Nah, we look better as a couple. Don't you think?

Oh, also, at the meeting the science teacher is bringing the students on a field trip to the zoo! The zoo has a policy of 10 students per teacher which means the students need a lot a chaperons. Since the entire team is going I get to spend a school day at the zoo in September. Being an intern has its perks!

My mentor teacher gave me tomorrow off which is nice, but I really need to use that time productively and really start to work on my powerpoint. I go back at 8 in the morning on Monday for meetings ALL DAY LONG. Well, technically until 3, but we have another team meeting at 3:30 and then depending how much prep work there is to do my mentor teacher and I could possibly be there until 8. At least I'll get some free coffee in the morning! I'll need it! Then school officially starts Tuesday! I'm excited but oh so nervous!

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