Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day Tests

Yup, it's Earth Day. Yay!

Yup, it's the beginning of MCA math tests. Boo!

Because my students took the first half of the math state standardized tests today during the first two hours (or more) of school, I decided to be a nice teacher and give them a free day in math class. It was either that or teach them math stuff that they won't remember come the end of the week because they're blocking all math for the remainder of the day.

My students in my 3/4 block decided they liked the classroom with only one of the three lightswitches on, so most of them played "Apples to Apples" (literally...all but about six kids were playing at one point in time!), while some chose to write on my whiteboard with their markers. The kids drawing on the whiteboard suddenly realized that I had drawn a tree and a flower next to the date I had written in green on the board. Oh, yeah...Earth Day!! All the grafitti on the board became related to Earth Day then. That was fun.

The kids at the board, while making all their fun pictures, started talking about global warming. One of my students was sitting at a table reading and overheard this discussion. She commented that global warming didn't exist. Oh, that irked me to no end. I countered her and she stopped her sentence short. She looked at me confused and said, "really?" We talked about the effects of global warming that can already be seen in the world and what might happen if we don't start taking precautions right now. She was stunned by what she heard and then decided that she needed to get into the act, too, and help fix things in her own way. Yay.

And for a random change of topic...

I'm off to see BMG in just about an hour's time. School gets out in about 45 minutes, then I've got bus duty. Once the buses are gone, I will be, too. I'll be on my way to pick up a college friend from the school she teaches at now, then we'll be heading up to Duluth! Yes, I know I have to teach tomorrow. Yes, I will be teaching tomorrow. I'll just be teaching on a very small amount of sleep. Yay for insanity!

At least we'll have a bit of junk food on the way up. :P Even though our district has a new wellness policy in place this year, our principal has kindly provided contraband sweets for the staff in the staff lounge during all the testing days. I walked into the lounge today to be greeted by Hershey's miniatures, Hostess cupcakes, M&Ms, and Twinkies. I snatched a couple extra Twinkies for my friend and I to eat on the way to Duluth to get ready for BMG. :)

And now I should probably pay a bit more attention to my kids here now. There's a group playing UNO in the back, another larger group playing Apples to Apples in the other back corner, a few coloring at the front of the room, a few sitting at their desks reading or watching the action, and a couple playing UNO H2O. I've been asked to join in the UNO H2O game for quite a while now. I think it's time to kick their butts in that one. Mwahahaha!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Gosh, so much has happened in the past month. I share some of these entries with my students once in a while, so I won't share all the details yet (it's all school stuff). I'm not quite ready for them to know some of this stuff yet. They'll all find out eventually. Besides that, some of my colleagues are still finding out.

First of all, I am officially getting tenure next year. That is HUGE weight off my shoulders just knowing that.

At the same meeting that my principal told me that she was recommending me for tenure, she asked me to be on the interview committee for a math position looping between 7th and 8th grades. Those interviews happened two days ago for the full day and the first half of today. I'm so glad my prep is the third block of four in the school day. I've got one class to teach today. :)

Our first day of interviews ended early. Grades were due at 4 p.m. that day as well. I went back to my classroom, where my last hour algebra class was in the middle of their lesson, to grab a couple things I needed to enter into my gradebook and then submit all six classes of grades online. My kids all were so happy to see me and kept asking me to stay. I told them that I wasn't there and they should be paying attention to their sub. One kid (my "wild child" from a previous posting) followed me out of the hall to try to get me to stay, telling me that their sub didn't know what she was doing. I could just tell that he was going to continue to follow me down that hallway as I walked away, so I told him that if he left that classroom, he'd be headed down to the office. He stopped mid-stride and backed up into the room again. Poor kids.

I realized today while the interview committee was eating lunch after the interviews and hiring decisions were done (oh, I hope the candidate we unanimously chose accepts!!) that while everyone else was saying that they wished they could take the rest of the day off, I was actually looking forward to getting back to my classroom and teaching. I miss my kids!!

That was such a warm, exciting thing to realize. I like teaching my kids. It's one of those things that you stop thinking about after a while and it takes a day or two away from them to remember how fun they are, even on difficult days.

I just hope that having a sub two days in a row won't be too behind or confused when I see them next week! Oh, and I had a new kid start today. An 8th grader. With a sub. Yup, I'm sure that was great for him. We'll see how he is on Monday.