Monday, April 04, 2005

Know how I was bummed about that one journal entry...?

So the one student had said "No offense, but everything was common sense," basically... It got worse as I read. I did a lot of the reading during Amy's 1st hour, which finished up a video on the Scopes Monkey trial to prep them for Inherit the Wind. She also gave them some basic evoluntion vs. Gensis accounts of how-we-came-to-be. Anyway, I got to two more journals that kind of stung--one said that journals were "meaningless" and a "waste of time" and the other was incredibly rude. It went on about how "You don't teach us how to write an article, but you make us write like 5-10 articles in the first week!" Actually, they only had to write three in the first week, and I think something like two in the second. I have been easing them into writing tips because I don't want to overwhelm them.

I think it just bothers me because the way she said the things were so disrespectful. I understand that some people don't enjoy the journals, but it's good for daily writing practice as well as reflection on the things we have been discussing in class.

I do know that if I could do it over again, I would have put some basic tips in the first few days rather then the ethics activities. Keep those, but push them to the second week. Help them do basic writing things, like the inverted pyramid and the who, what, when, where, why, how style of questioning and information giving. Do interviews early on too. And ethics would be shorter.

Some of the students let me know what they would be interested in studying and were completely polite about it. They said they learned how to keep good notes at a press conference and the amount of work that went into ethical decisions, and they said they wanted to learn more about how to do interviews and write better. I think the one girl, SB, might need to take the Interpersonal Communications class. :) Or maybe read some communications book that tells you not to use "you statements." Accusing, putting the blame on someone else, making others feel bad when they're trying to help, etc.

Anyway, I'm going to have to get thicker skin, and here's one instance. It's also another instance where it's good to open up that box of positive things I have collected... the thank you notes from the Crosswinds kids and thank you notes from the cohort, etc.

And this is only my third week. It's good to know these things now so I can improve.

I still plan to add the questionnaire part to the end of the TKAM unit test. It will be one of those where they can circle which activity was the most helpful, most interesting, least interesting, least helpful. I think keeping it to a "circle one of these," I can control the wording and not end up getting hurt. I might work my way up to being brave and asking for a journal entry, but I think I need a week off from feeling like a failure. Arg.

Tonight, before I go to bed, I'm actually going to write the second draft of my resume. It's been eons since I wrote the first and a good while since the helpful workshop, so I'm going to have to dig that up. Jill graciously said she would take a look at it before I move on to cover letters and applications. I also have to open up my credential file, which I had intended to do a million years ago. Ever since I started teaching, I didn't have time (or energy when I had a little extra time) to work on the whole job application thing, but the job fair is on April 18th, and I think it would be best to have a resume, letters, and an application on file at those locations.

Well, let's hope I get some happier moments teaching to replace these down moments... We did play Jeopardy in my Journalism class, and I think most of them had a good time. The students got two extra credit points who won (I had them compete in their newsgroups--I think there are eight total).

Oh, and I did a little work on the teaching website. I've got a bit more I want to do before I put it up, but it's going well. :)

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