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They shut off their brains today

13 Nov

After a 4 day weekend, I felt like my students had shut off their brains.  I am a little nervous because they had a test tomorrow and they acted like I had never taught them how to find the volume of an irregularly shaped object!!! (you put it in water and see how much the water level raises).  We did 3 labs on it, worksheets, hand-motions, discussions… every teacher trick in the book and today they were giving me blank stares. 

Today was one of those days when you leave work thinking, “What the crap am I doing here?”

Relate?  Anyone?

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Checking Out

21 May

So, its almost summer.  I am almost free.  Key word: almost.  My brain feels like it is on the verge of checking out already though.  I actually got summoned for Jury Duty on the last week of school.  I thought to myself, “If I get jury duty, I won’t have to go to 8th grade promotion.”  (Which, could be sweet because 8th grade ‘promotion’ – not graduation, mind you – means sitting in the blazing heat and watching 600 way overdressed adolescents get a piece of paper).  Yes, I’m proud, but its just so hot.  (Did you hear the whine in my voice?)  Who else gets excited at the prospect of Jury Duty? 

Homework, oh Homework I hate you, you stink

6 Feb

Just a short line from my favorite Shell Silverstine poem from my childhood.  Except right now I could insert the word “school” and just make it an overall “school stinks” poem.  I am really hating (maybe thats a strong word) my job right now.  I don’t know whats wrong with me.  I have felt overwhelmed by being a teacher before, but never have I been this discouraged.  I don’t know if there is something in the air, but my students are just not performing the way they used to.  I have realized even these past few days that I have been the “not nice” teacher.  And the more I have the play the mean teacher role, the more the students rebel, and then it turns into this viscious cycle. 

Heres my favorite:  Its 20 minutes into class.  I ask a kid why is just staring at the wall and not doing work.  “I don’t have a pencil.”  Its 8th grade, people.  Its not that hard!!!

Thanks for letting me vent.

Another one for the Teachers

28 Sep

So we just had another “specialist” come in and talk to our staff about creating lessons that will promote higher level thinking from Bloom’s (if you don’t know what that is, you are not in education).  It inspired today’s lesson to review for tomorrow’s test.

I folded a piece of paper into 12 squares and put an answer to a test question in each square.  There were two sets of papers – an A and a B set.  So I gave the students the answers and they had to come up with the questions on the back in the corresponding square.  Then they cut out the squares and used them as flash cards to quiz someone else.  The students with the A worksheet quizzed those with the B worksheet and vice versa. 

Hope this isn’t too confusing.  It was actually a really great way to get them thinking hard.  One student asked “Wouldn’t it just be easier if you gave us the question and we had to find the answer?” 

My reply:  “Yes, yes it would.”

Totally a teacher post

19 Sep

This post will probably mean nothing to you, unless you are a teacher.  But here goes:

Teaching Jr. High means I always need to come up with creative ways to keep my students engaged.  One of the things I value as an educator is teaching my students academic skills they will use for the rest of their life.  For example, I am fully aware that 90% of my students will forget the names of the Periodic Table groups, and the mathmatical formula for acceleration as soon as June hits.  So, I want them to walk away from my class with stuff besides book knowledge.  Like learning how to write an outline, using the index, and focusing on the important stuff when reading a textbook.

So for the last few days we have been reading from the book and talking outline notes.  I do what I can to keep the students engaged.  They get points if when I call on them at random they can pick up where we left off within 3 seconds.  They get to write the notes on my tablet PC.  Things like that.  But even with these little techniques, note-taking is not the funnest (sorry, most fun) lesson I’ve ever implemented.

Teachers:  any great lessons or tips for reading and taking notes?

Did you ever have a great teacher/professor that made this stuff interesting?

This Week Was Good

1 Sep

My first week of school actually went really well.  I have a great class my last period of the day which is good ’cause it doesn’t leave a bad taste in my mouth about the entire day.  When you end a day bad, it makes you feel like the whole day was bad.

Teaching is a roller-coaster.  Some days you love it, other days you wonder what you did with your life.  You think: I went to school for how long and got my Masters for this?  Anyone out there feeling me?  This week was a “love it” week but my voice is SOOO tired from talking too much.

Link this to blog any teachers you know.

How was your first week of school?

Becca

2 Days late, but whatever

29 Aug