Monday, August 29, 2011

Week Three

I'm terrible at coming up with titles for my posts, so I thought I'd state the obvious. I can't believe that we are in the third week of school already! My supervisor is coming in to observe me next Tuesday. I don't know why I'm worried because she's already seen me before and now I actually know these kids. I'm sure it'll be fine, but pray for me!!

Today we sent home the first progress reports of the year. My MT said there were several reasons he did this. For one it limited the number of phone calls he would have to make to parents from 160 to about 40. This way parents who wanted to talk to him would call him. He would also be able to see right away where there was a communication issue between the student and parent. If the student doesn't have his parent sign the report than he has to call those homes. Another reason is that students do not have to wait until midterms to see their grades and have to scramble to try to do better. A number of things this progress report showed me was that I grade way too fast and because of this sometimes I forget to put grades into my grade book. It was funny to see how many students were all of a sudden concerned with their grades. They all have the ability to check their grades at home because their grades our on a program called PowerSchool. Of course though they don't bother with their grades until now so my MT and I were stuck answering questions for students who should have had some of their problems dealt with a week or so ago.

Also, while we were answering questions about grades I ended up going back to the computer and answering individual questions and updating grades for corrections or late turned in work. My MT was still among the class answering questions, but he said he was surprised how many students asked to see me instead of him answering their questions. He said this was a very good sign because it shows that the students are seeing me as an authority figure and in some ways will respect me when I starting teaching more and more in front of the classroom. So, good things are happening!

During advisory today we played this really cool game that I wish I would have been able to do in high school. I can't remember if I said this before but advisory is meant to be a place of academic advising and social emotional learning. The students will be together for the rest of their high school years in the same advisory so the hope is that it becomes a place where students can feel comfortable sharing things about themselves where they may not have such a place. Today's activity was call 60 Second Interviews. Each student was to chose two questions to ask their partners. We lined up two rows of chairs with both rows facing each other so that students would interview the person across from them. One student would get 60 seconds to ask their questions and then any remaining time could be used to ask follow up questions. Then they would switch so the other partner would ask their two questions. After each pair asked their questions in the 2 minutes. The outer row would move over one seat and it would continue. It is very similar to speed dating. I was listening to a pair talking and the one student asked the other student "What worries you most about the world today?" The other student responds, "Getting shot because I know a lot of people who have been shot." I was shocked by this and it is just another reminder to me that these students are growing up in an entirely different world than my own white bread suburban roots. I know I would have answered something more world wide, but then again I didn't have to worry about getting shot (at least I assumed I wouldn't ever get shot in my hometown). It's crazy what high schoolers have to deal with.

So, I bought this dress LAST summer for $10 at Plato's Closet. Want to know how I knew the cost? I still had the tag on it which meant I hadn't worn it yet. This dress would actually cost about $45 if I had bought it at retail price, so I'm happy with the purchase I made last summer! I really like it though and I don't know why I never wore it.

One of my students also gave me her volleyball schedule because I said I would like to go to a game. I want to support my students because I want them to know I'm interested in their lives and I do want a hopeful future for them. Anyone want to go to a game with me next Tuesday or Thursday?!

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