Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

My interview with Principal SD is tomorrow at 9:15. I'm pretty excited. I know that there are several candidates coming in for a second interview, but I will do my best, and I hope I can answer the questions in a way that reflects who I am as a teacher and who I hope to be as a teacher. It drove me nuts on how I thought of better answers on the way back from the first Lakeville interview, and I have heard from other members of the cohort on how they wished they had answered some questions in a particular way.

But let's talk about school!

I started Julius Caesar today, which went fairly well. I hope I interrupted them just enough to get them to understand meaning, but not too much to drive them nutty. I'm working my way through the first Act, and will go on to the second tomorrow. (I will miss the first part of class, but I should make it back in time for the bulk of class.)

5th hour, as usual, had some issues. The two assistant principals, Mr. Flatten and Mr. Curley, came by in the first few minutes to talk to the group of three who didn't come back to class after the photojournalism field trip. Only one student, JB, was present (one was excused by her parent and the other came from another class). It was impressive to see both of them at the same time and to talk to one of my students about what he did in my own class. It felt really good; I didn't feel so alone in trying to discipline them. Yes, I have Amy, but the clout of someone who could give Saturday school was nice. :)

Amy did discipline one of my students today, which upset me. It didn't upset me that she did it--I was glad for that--but I was upset that my own speaking to the students and my own eyes did not catch what had happened. So ZJ (are we seeing a pattern in initials here? JB, ZJ, ...) had his cell phone out and was text messaging someone while we were in the library. He's had it out before, and I have taken a cell away from someone else for texting during a movie. I have spoken to him before, I have mentioned it in large group, and I have clearly said that I would confiscate the phones. And I followed up on that. But they still come out... and ZJ had his out again, and Ms Doherty and I were talking about Friday's conflict and whether or not I should talk to ZJ about his behavior, especially if I was nervous that a fight was going to break out, and all of a sudden she started to tell him, in a quite loud voice about how I have told him numerous times to put it away and that she was going to take phones away and take them to the office from now on and that the principal had just walked by and saw it. Which means that Amy will probably get an e-mail from her, and Amy asked my permission to call ZJ's parents. Which I gave. He's a nice enough kid, but he's given me trouble in so many ways that if she wants to communicate with the parents as well, by all means!

It's strange how things work. Yesterday I had planned to give my students in that class a talk about being quiet and respectful, but as I was about to give the talk, they were all silent. For the first time ever, they were quiet, and I didn't need to hush them. So I said yes, it's ironic that I'm lecturing them right now, but they need to keep this up--being quiet--and being respectful. Tomorrow I will probably give them another talk, but ARG. My patience is running thin.

Actually, that's not entirely true. But I just feel so exhuasted after that class.

And I got back from class, checked my school e-mail and found that the counselor I had e-mailed yesterday and did all this work yesterday to update one student's grade e-mailed me at the end of the day to say, "Is HS any closer to passing today?" Um, one day? He gives me one day?? Yes, I know it's that whole seniors-who-might-not-graduate thing. But the seniors, and everyone else for that matter, are failing because they haven't turned in work. In fact, no one is failing because they aren't doing a good job. They are failing because they're not doing the work. I have significantly less failing students then I did before, but it's still tough. JR, in my English 10 class, has taken to reading magazines when there are journal prompts. Truth be told, he probably can't pass. Not unless he did so much extra credit, his eyes weakened!

I have ongoing extra credit in both of my classes in response to the amount of students failing that I want to pass (all of them--I want them all to pass!).

For English 10, they can read a book from a list I gave them and come in after school to do a book talk. One of the girls that has taken advantage of it asked if she could read the rest of the books in a series for extra credit because she liked the first one so much. This is one of the more reluctant readers in my class! She told me that she finds finishing a book an almost impossible task. I'm so excited. :)

For Journalism, they can write their own press conference. Only one has taken advantage of it, and instead of going for extra credit, she opted to not write the press conference on the topic, which was fine with me. I haven't gotten any more thus far (which means I will probably have to write my own tomorrow--bummer ha ha).

Well, I ought to get a few things done before I settle (peacefully!) into bed and get myself ready for tomorrow. I hope it goes well!

No comments: