Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Mock Press Conferences

Wednesday is press conference day in my Journalism class. This was the third we've done, and I wish I had started it earlier because it went really well. The first was about a fake fire that broke out in a science room. The second was based on Jayson Blair's editors quitting (based on a CNN article). It was a pretty lackluster performance from the students, and I think that was because I gave them too much information. Don't give them "hints" from the rest of the article. And don't send them out in the hall with their friend because they'll just chat. This time, it related to budget cuts and how all sports but basketball and football would be cancelled and teachers would be fired and books would have to be bought by students and laptops would be required at $500 a semester, etc. The kids were good and funny. :) Seriously, ten more minutes would have been so fun.

I'm pretty behind in my grading for that class, and I feel badly. The thing is, I have so much coming in... So many articles they have written, and I wanted to put together a class newsmagazine. I thought I would put it in a binder and the "best" articles would go in it. I know there is a lot of criticism for singling people out like this, but it's also nice to give them that kind of motivation, and I will try to find a way to include everyone in the binder at least once. I e-mailed Amy about it (I do that when I forget to mention things between classes and such), so I'll see what she has to say tomorrow.

Tomorrow's classes are going to be easy for me. :) My English 10B's are going to present their chapter illustrations and play Jeopardy to review for the test they'll have on Friday. My Journalism class is going to the library (I scheduled this at like 4:30 today, which is extraordinarily lucky... they have two other classes already scheduled in there, so hopefully I won't step on any toes!) to do research on their topics. I'll still have to monitor both classes, but I don't have to be "on" as much as other classes. I hope to use some of the time to catch up on grading for my Journalism class (and English 1o's--I have crossword puzzles they created, chapter questions turned in, and a letter to the editor and tomorrow they're going to turn in names for the chapters and an illustration of the chapter and Friday they'll turn in a theme sheet and take the test and next Tuesday they'll turn in their final unit projects). I thought that all in one breath. Whew!

I told Kelly (my best friend) tonight (when she visited me at work--yay!) that I'm feeling pretty comfortable in front of the classroom. That brings us to number twenty four.

24. You might think getting up in front of all those faces is the worst part. Just wait.
25. One day at a time. Some are good, some are not as good. Remember the good ones.
26. Parents want to know about what they can do to help their kids. They also want to know what they can expect the teacher is doing to help their own kids.
27. On a related note, my goal is to contact each parent at some point. The good kids deserve their parents to know that as much as the struggling ones.
28. Beg, borrow and steal. Oh wait, I knew that one already. :)

I spent the morning photocopying things from Amy's TKAM binder. In hindsight, I probably should have looked at it before I began teaching the darn unit. I should have planned a rough outline of the unit and run it by her. She has given me a lot of great advice, and she would have been able to warn me that the work would accumulate and it might end up being too much... The irony here is that I planned a unit, using a lot of Mrs. Miller's (formerly Cartier, for anyone who is reading this blog that came from Preble during my years there...) material as well as my own created material and that I found on the internet. What is it about revision and teachers? It seems such a normal, common thing.

Anyway, like I believe I have mentioned before, my big goal is to re-do the unit and put that revised version up on my website.

I think I'll work on that right now...

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