Thursday, May 05, 2005


Happy Cinco de Mayo! Some of the kids were squirrely (is that unique?). Too much cake and games, perhaps?

I had a fairly frustrating day today, though not as bad as one of my cohort members... her cooperating teacher is completely unsupportive and she happened upon some comments on her lesson and the cooperating teacher was not too kind. The thing is, this is one of the strongest people in the cohort (in my opinion) and I am horrified that this cooperating teacher could have hurt her in this way. Blar to that!

My own day was much less awful. I just had trouble with some specific students... We did peer editing in my English 10B class today, and I had them pair up with two people--one that had the same topic as they did and one that didn't. They had nineteen (!) questions to answer and had to write notes in the margins. For some, that meant scribbling things and being done really quickly. For others, they took the time (I seriously only think there will be a couple of A's from this activity) and didn't get through both. I didn't get rough drafts from four of my twenty-nine students, so I sent those four up to the library. 10B has a split lunch, so in that first half hour, I warned them that those four would have to go to the library right after lunch. And JR came in with a bowl of macaroni (!)... they are allowed to have food in the room, but this was a little extreme. And this is the same student who had to go to the vice principal's office because he "forgot" to pay for lunch. (Was he suspended? Nope.) And he was giving me this, "I'll go up later. I've got to finish this." So I told him no. "You can leave it here or throw it away or eat it on the way, but you have to go now. You're not going to hold up these other people while they wait for you. You have to work on your paper." Did I mention the fact that he wasted the last week and a half in the computer lab? Did absolutely no work. I talked to him several times about it. And I know he was pissed, but at this point, I don't care--I just wanted to get him going. Two of the four students actually gave me something at the end of the hour. JR did not.

After class, EM, a special ed. student, came up to me and said, "I don't really see the point of doing this," in a tone ... well, you all know the tone. This is the second day in a row he has come up to me after class, upset, almost crying about something that occured. Yesterday it was the test that he got 22/30 on (though he only had half right, he was able to skip a handful because he volunteered to read). He asked me how he could improve on his test taking skills. We talked about how he didn't come in for extra help with this unit and how he did better on the To Kill a Mockingbird test, which is what the next one would be more like. Today we talked about why peer editing is helpful. He said, "I don't understand why it's helpful to just get criticized." So we had to talk about constructive criticism and not taking the comments personally. He said, "But I don't understand. I don't even want to be a writer." We talked about becoming a better writer and becoming a better reader not so you can do it professionally but for effective communication.

I usually enjoy our talks and I like when he stays after so we can go over things. But when he's so anxious, it makes it hard to communicate. We need to take a moment (when we have a moment!) to have an actual conversation and not when I'm flustered and he's frustrated.

I haven't heard back from Lakeville yet either, so I'm hoping that I get a call tomorrow. Two others from the cohort (that I know of) interviewed for the job, so one of us should get one of the jobs, right? :) I'm up against some very capable people! Keep hoping--there are two positions, so two of us could have a job tomorrow. Arg.

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