Thursday, April 30, 2009

Movie Day I

Goal of the week: That darn D.O.T.

Thought of the day: I really need the break...

Today, we're watching a movie. I've decided that the ISTEP and schedule changes and the goofiness and everything is all crazy. I'm done. Out. Done. Ugh.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Goal of the week: Lesson plans, baby!

Thought of the day: Sick day... good grief.

I promised myself no more. What I should have promised myself was that I'd have a backup plan to teach when I got sick so I could give the kids something to do that was fun and I could sit down and not have to interact with anyone. That would be a GREAT idea for next year... (must write this town).

Ideas for the practical classroom:
* watch a short movie (20 min) and jigsaw a creative project about it to present to class
* crossword puzzles about different things (they love these)
* learning games?
* educational themed tv shows?
* finish a short activity and then sudoku/game time?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nervous breakdown time

Goal of the week: Let's go back to the attainable - lesson plans. The lofty wasn't working for me.

Thought of the day: Nervous breakdown time.

This past week (even though it's only Tuesday) is nuts! I've been cramming work on the HUGE D.O.T. project in between classes at school, cramming grading to catch up for my students to put in grades at night when I can't sleep, I've started sleeping in short naps because I have too much to do, the seniors need their finals early, a whole bunch of kids need finals at different times because they won't be here for finals at finals times, no one will tell me when finals actually are or if they are last day, I have new students at the end of the year that will never catch up in time, and the last test my students took I had to throw out because the entire group of 120 failed it except two students - one ESL (but who actually studied) and one who hasn't shown up in a month (but who who actually studied).

The ISTEP schedule got randomly changed today by almost an hour! My first period got altered so that the students were with me an extra 45 plus minus. To make up for that fact, they cut out a period from the day. My whole schedule this week is screwed, as I'll be seeing some classes only twice and others the normal 5 times. I don't know what to teach to make up for it and it's giving me an ulcer.

I need to go to class tonight and get my D.O.T, project done for today. I need to make a list of what to do on it before I turn it in and just tackle it one day at a time. Whether I like it or not, the kids may get a movie for the rest of the week during ISTEP. I just can't handle the constant changes in schedule.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Oh, ISTEP, how I loathe thee.

Goal of the week: I'm thinking that I should go back to lesson plans. I was trying to be all lofty and get work done on my projects for graduate school and raise the bar by thinking about my place in the universe of education... and everything went south with my lesson planning abilities for the past two weeks. Yeah. I'm going back to small, attainable goals.

Thought of the day: Oh, ISTEP, how I loathe thee.

Really, having the whole school on a weird schedule because of a test the middle school peeps are taking really doesn't make much sense. I have my first period class for over two hours. You do not keep angry, tired, unfed teenagers in a room for two hours and expect them not to turn the place completely upside down.

Now, let's add insult to injury: my DVD player is busted. This is a really bad thing. Usually, I teach the kids for the normal 55 minute lesson and then I pop in a movie. Now, that isn't an option. I'm thinking board games might be in order.

I can't let them sleep. My students suggested that to me this morning. I will not allow it. It's illegal. They pleaded with me but I will not allow it.

This is going ot be a painful well. One of the other teachers that uses my room during my prep period (displaced SPED teacher without a room) put in the work order for the DVD player to be fixed over 2 weeks ago. Of COURSE they are going to come and take it during testing week. For the record... it was the tape player of the DVD/tape player combo that was busted. The DVD player still worked. I'm not in my happy place.

At least I got the schedule poster made and on the wall next to my door. That will help the students figure out where to go and when. I hated re-drawing it on the board 15 million times back in march. Just because I was on a poster roll today with the construction paper, I also made a "FYI - What YOU Need to Graduate" poster. I hope the kids find that one informative, since they're always asking me. Eventually, my room will be covered in posters. I like it that way.

Slowly but surely, I learn a few more tricks every week on making my life easier. Maybe, by the end of the year, I'll have figured out enough to to sleep. Hahahahahaha!

Friday, April 24, 2009

How do I fix it?

Goal of the week: Job job job job job job job... since I'm not RIFed... I'd like to have some source of cash the next year. Oh, sweet, luscious income... where are you?

Thought of the day: How do I fix it?

The study habits my students have is horrible. Seriously. Horrible. If I don't review with them before a quiz then they tank it. I'm talking grades of 1 out of 5 or 2 out of 5. I always give a 5 questions quiz each Friday. I review the questions that are going to be on the quiz right before they take it.

I used to review the what topics might be on the quiz throughout the week but they couldn't handle it. They still tanked the quizzes. I'm seriously worried about my students abilities to do well on tests. I also know that there's rampant cheating. I need to get around that.

I like the constant challenge to out-think 150 very street-smart teenagers. It's a constant challenge that keeps me on my toes much more than being a scientist ever did. Frankly, that was boring. It was the same research all the time *and* I didn't have creative control. Now, I do and I get to use my mind in ways I never thought possible. It's great.

I love my job in so many ways. I just wish I were better at getting them to be successful now. Time is wasting for my peeps. I'm failing the group I have now. I need to help them.

I'm not helping them. They're not being successful. It's my job to teach them to be. I'm failing them.

UN-acceptable. Not no way NOT no how...
...but how do I fix it???

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My not nice week so far

Goal of the week: I've just been informed that the RIF that just went through my district did not apply to the science teachers. I may just have lucked out and may have gainful employment next year after all. Of course, until I know for certain... I still have a mild ulcer.

Thought of the day: My not nice week so far...

I was thinking about my week yesterday during my commute home. During my commute, which is 25 minutes going into the city at night and out of the city in the morning, I get to start at the lines of traffic that are stuck in the other lane. I usually feel sorry for them. Then I remember back to my previous life as a scientist and how much I hated my drive into work and the traffic. I've always associated traffic with pure, unadulterated evil. In this case, it started my mind thinking about my week teaching and how it's gotten incredibly off track.

Monday, I walked in without anything done. I got called away to an emergency funeral this weekend. I had intended to spend Friday evening through Sunday working on lesson planning and projects for my masters program. I had set aside the time to do so because I really needed to get it done, but you know life always has better ideas.

Instead, I had to leave early on Friday afternoon after school. I didn't have time to grade the kid's work or change the board to Monday's date and Monday's Do Now. I was so out of sorts when I arrived Monday morning. It set my entire week of on the wrong foot. It was like waking up to screaming and fire... no fun. Worse than that, I didn't have time to plan my lessons any more than "I really wanted to do this this week..."

Tuesday was 4/20, otherwise known as the international day of smoking marijuana. I thought to myself, as I changed the date on the board the night before, "hey... I think a few of my students will come in giggly and late that day." Instead, MASSIVE numbers of my students were missing. I'm talking INSANE numbers of truant students. I was not happy.

Then, the next day the school decided to *randomly* search the entire student body before school. So, everyone was marched into the cafeteria and the students were lined up and searched. Yeah. All of them. All 800. My first through 4th periods were all screwed up and missing all but 3 students. Talk about a messed up day.

The lessons that I had planed for Tuesday had to be pushed back to Wednesday for the later classes to catch everyone up. People were confused and angry. Really angry. Students that had anything on them that was officially not supposed to be in the school (sodas, cell phones, gum, candy, cigarettes, lighters, whatever) were taken and thrown out. This was despite the fact that the students have been allowed to have these things *all year.* I see teachers not calling students out all the time on contraband and breaking the dress code. I've only started enforcing the dress code since after spring break. It's been one of the things I've been working on. At any rate, the kids are angry. I can't blame them because it isn't consistent.

Today, I finally started moving on the get them back to where they were supposed to be for this week but the first 3 days have thrown me completely off. To add insult to injury, I lost all of my juniors today for 3 periods and tomorrow is senior skip day.

All I need now is a field trip and life will be perfect.

Did I mention that I usually get an email the morning of telling me that 1/3 of my classes will be gone of a field trip for that day? Isn't that nice...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Things I need to blog about

Goal of the week: Oh, I wish I had a job... do de do de do de do...

Topic of the day: Things I need to blog about...

Before the end of the year... in no particular order:
1. A list of things/devices/events that have made my life flow more smoothly as a teacher
2. Procedures that make my life WONDERFUL!!!
3. How to reach the kids... methods that work (I've found)
4. A year-in-review (how far I've come)
5. A look back at my Marian College classes this year
6. Technology I want for my classroom and why?
7. Things my kids say, aka - the Quote Board.
8. Study habits... and how to promote it in the classroom (otherwise known as OMG - they're screwed...)
9. This I need to improve on for next year...
10. My favorite lessons/moments this year...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What do I want in a school?

Goal of the week: Job. All job, all the time. I've decided to change my goal of the week as I've had a total nervous breakdown and a mild ulcer. Jobjobjobjobjobjobjob.

Thought of the day: What do I want in a school?

I think that, as educators, we always get bogged down with these lists of things that we need to find in a job... like money, good opportunities, great insurance, and the like.

I think that a better question to ask is this: "What's a good fit for me?"

I know that the school that I've been teaching at for the past 10 months has great students. I know that there are some good points and bad points to teaching there. I know that I wouldn't trade it for anything because I've learned a lot about myself.

I've learned a lot in what I think would be a great fit to my skills as an educator. I think that makes me more valuable, if not slightly more picky. I know what I'm looking for.

Do you?

*Sidenote: I've been teaching all day today through the desire to throw-up. Go me that I've not vomited on any of my students. Today's pensive notes have been brought to you by my ardent desire to gain employment next year and a lot of bad chinese food...*

Monday, April 20, 2009

Apparently, I've just now realized they're not all mature angels...

Goal of the week: Getting the DOT project done. And more done. And more done. And more done. And more done. And more done...

Thought of the day: Apparently, I've just now realized they're not all mature angels...

There's many difficulties with being a teacher. Having stressful days is one of them. I hate teaching when I'm stressed. I've been sick all weekend and at a funeral. I am completely unprepared for this week (or at least to the level that I like to be) because I was out of town all weekend. Now... I need to play catchup after the fact which is something that I hate.

And I have my usual hangers-on during lunch. Two of them are angels on Earth and I love their company. One stays around and I have started to think of her as more than a student because she's just a pleasure to be around. The other is just a great student and really on task. She wants to stay in my room to get her homework done.

The third wants to stay in there because he wants to use me as his personal ego stimulator. He doesn't get enough attention at home, I think. Ok, I feel sorry for him but I have a lot of things to do. He's a good kid at heart, but he does and says a lot of things to get attention. This includes saying things just to set me off and get me to argue with him while I'm busy because he wants the attention.

The other two are wonderful and will leave me be if I need to work.

I need to set ground rules for him. My lunch time is when I work. I don't mind him in here and I don't mind occasionally talking to him, but if I say that he needs to leave me alone and he continues to harass me then he will not be allowed back in. I guess that's what needs to occur. I can't be a good teacher to all if I'm constantly stressed from not having the time to work. Ugh.

Why can't they all be mature angels?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Goodbye Job... Hello Ulcer

Another rare Sunday post: Goodbye Job... Hello Ulcer





This has been a total panic attack brought to you by my brain. These things have been in my mind constantly for the past few weeks.

With the job cuts of 400 jobs in my district - that means all teachers under 3 years experiences have been cut. I was a temporary teacher (only hired for this year) so my position is even worse. Why? The union is trying to get the 400 people fired with under 3 years experience their jobs back come start of the school year. That means they get first dibs at open positions once they are done offering them to people with greater than 2 years experience.

Here's the pecking order for offering up jobs:
1: People with greater than 2 years experience get first dibs...
2: People that had long-term contracts but were RIFed and are trying to fill the positions not filled by the people with greater than 2 years experience...
3: People with temporary contracts that are interested in anything that's left...
4: New people that want in...

Basically, I'm dead last before new people that want in. I'm screwed.

I need to look up how to get unemployment. I need to figure out how to take care of myself through this. I may need to sub again and that terrifies me. The last time I did it was an experience that was painful beyond belief. I don't know what I'm going to do.

Most of the other peeps in my program (Transition to Teaching) were Long-Term hires, so they are higher up the pecking order for jobs than I am. There are a few of us that didn't get placed until after school started so we had to sub to start the year. We were hired after as Temporary Positions. I don't know what we're going to do. This year was tough financially. Subbing was hard for a first year teacher for many reasons, not limited to: no sick days, no benefits, less money, no access to computers, no access to info on the kids, no recognition from other staff, no way to discipline the kids. I don't want to go back to that.

I'm freaking out. It's making things difficult for me and my program. I love teaching and being in my program, but this is so hard. I want the stability of knowing that I'm going to be able to PAY MY BILLS and eat.

It's hard to concentrate on the success of my students when I don't think I'm going to be able to pay my bills. Do people ever think of that when they think of cutting money to the schools?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Why Can't School Be Over Yet?

Goal of the week: Getting work done of the documentation of teaching project would be nice. I have so much to do for it that it's giving me shortness of breath just thinking about it. I think I have whole nightmares just on the topic of my documentation of teaching project.

Thought of the Day: Why can't school be over yet?

It's amazing how teachers have the same thoughts as the students toward the end of the year. Despite having spring break to relax (in which no relaxing was actually done) I really am starting to drag.

There are 29 school days left. I wish there were 2.

Does this happen to other first year teachers?

My oh my, am I tired. I have to keep fighting it to keep my lessons fun and engaging because I love my students. The days where everything is fun are starting to show up less and less. It's sad but true that most days I just want to throw them bookwork while I answer questions about it. I'm a horrible person for doing this.

Or I'm just human and I need to find a balance of practicing from the book and making things fun and engaging. Things can't always be fun and engaging because that's EXHAUSTING!

Oh, and why can't it be the end of the year?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I Really Hate Assessments

Goal of the week: Getting the INSANELY HUGE Documentation of Teaching project done. That is my sole goal at this point.

Thought of the day: I really hate assessments.

I love the effect of assessments because it lets be determine which students have absorbed the material and how well and which students have not. However, it requires the students be there - which in my school district can be something of a problem. One of the largest problems of my student body at any given time is attendance.

So... how do I get them in the room to take the tests? I can tell them how many points they're worth but that really doesn't motivate them. I can try and make them fun, but really... no one thinks that tests are fun and there's no way I can change that. I've been trying to think of this one all day. I have about half of my students missing the test at this point. That is not good.

I suppose I just need to start a countdown on the board and tell them about it each and every day. That might help a little. That way, they can't say that they weren't warned.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Never, ever, ever, change how you assess your students.

Goal of the week: At this point... survival. This week... with the D.O.T. project, my graduate class that was listed on the syllabus as not meeting (but actually was! and we're all in a sling over that one for not showing up despite the syllabus saying not to show), a half-day at school that most of the staff keeps telling me isn't supposed to happen but still is, surprise ISTEP testing that I didn't know about (yay, more screwed up scheduling...), and my tax man telling me I'm missing forms... GAH! Oh... I forgot that I have to show up at my graduate school more this week than normal. I guess this is pennance for missing a class. I just want to survive.

Thought of the day: Never, ever, ever, change how you assess your students.

Assessment - that's teacher speak for figuring out how your well your students have absorbed what you've tried to get into their heads - is a whole big can of worms in the education industry. There's tons of literature written about it. I find it fairly interesting because most people in teacher-kind like to focus on the type of assessment you do at the *end* of teaching a whole bunch of stuff to kids - called the SUMMATIVE assessment.

There's also the kind you do at the *beginning* where you figure out how much the peeps know about what you're trying to teach them. Think of this as determining their level of background knowledge so you don't have to cover material that they allready know. This is called a FORMATIVE assessment. I remember it by thinking of their formative years. :)

I like learing about assessment. Here's something that I learned the other day in my graduate school class:

"Based on the educational research - it doesn't matter as much how good a teacher is at a subject but rather it matters MORE how good he/she is at ASSESSMENT when raising *student achievement*"

In layman's terms: I suck at math. I can still raise kid's ISTEP scores teaching Algebra even if I suck at math. How? If I'm good at assessment (knowing how to test well and effectively). That's pretty cool.

Apparently, I'm still learning. Why? I tried to switch up the format of the test in my classes because the kids weren't doing so well. I had this format of all Multiple Choice, True and False, Matching, and One Essay. I changed it to all short answer figuring the kids could try writing or drawing out their thoughts because they were bombing the other tests.

Kids were just not answering - like filling out all C's. Or all Falses. I wanted to make them try.

The students all got horrifyingly mad at me. I feel like the Evil Stepmother right now.

Actually, I feel like I did the right thing but went about it in the wrong way. I need to make the kids work for it. They have been babied too long and they can get away with not trying on a test. High expectations and No Excuses. That's the motto of my program and I take it to heart. I will push them and love them while I do it - for their own good... but I need to help them up to it.

The problem is how to explain that to them...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Just when you thought it was safe to listen to the other faculty at the school...

Goal of the week: Getting a job would be nice.

Thought of the Day: Just when you thought it was safe to listen to the other faculty at the school...

I've gotten better about the other teachers in the school. I'm sure they think I'm a snob or worse for never really associating with them. I have an excuse because of the construction in our school. We don't have a teacher's lounge so I don't have to go there and hang out with them. Since I'm new and the school keeps leaving me off of email lists, people keep forgetting to include me in things... which is alright with me. I'm not much for social functions. I've been to a few and it's just people complaining about the students that I *enjoy* spending time with. I wouldn't want to do it on my weekend but I like my job and find it fun and satisfying. Or I wouldn't have traded research to do it.

Ok. Well. I've been thinking maybe I'm a snob. Or worse. Give the teachers a second chance. They are tired and overworked. You'll get that way soon. Maybe you'll meet people like you. Maybe you'll meet teacher friends and stop pestering all of your friends with all of your teacher-talk (tm).

So I started trying to be a social butterfly, as my mother calls it.

I've been practicing on the "white-hairs" in the back of my room. Those are the 4 old-white men that hang out back there because they don't have rooms of their own to teach in. They are nice enough. Most of them are special ed, like my aunt. Ok. They are really nice guys but the difference in culture towards education sometimes gives me pause. Sometimes I just can't get it at all and I have to just agree to disagree. I was taught to respect my elders.

One of them just said, and I quote, "here's a good worksheet to help your kids learn how to write a 5 paragraph essay. I use it with my special ed kids... well... it's not like any of them can write anyway but I figured it would help your kids." Yeah. This is were we agree to disagree. And I stop and leave the room.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Experiential Learning and why I fail.

Goal of the week: Standards based assessment is probably a good place to start.

Thought of the day: Experiential Learning and why I fail.

I'm always trying to find ways in my class to have the students learn by doing things. Not only does this keep them awake but it has them involved, invests them, nurtures creativity, and just plain develops real-world skills (sharing, group-work, time management) that will make them marketable in today's economy.

That, and it's better than listening to me drone on and on for hours on end. :-D

I did a lab on Friday that sucked. It was fun lab, but the peeps had trouble with the instructions so I redid them over the weekend and set aside time on Monday for us to finish the lab. No harm, no foul.

Except now I've got a bunch of mad kids because they thought they were done on Friday.

Such lines are surfacing as:
"What do you mean there's a second part to this..."
"I thought we were done already."
"This again..."
"You never said anything about a second half to this lab." (It was in the instructions I told them to read... so wow to that one because there were 3 parts and questions.)
"What do you mean there are THREE things to do! That's TOOO MUCH!"
That last one came out more as a series of long and unintelligible groans.

Apparently, we need to work on how to do instruction in class to prevent this problem in the future. These kids don't read instructions worth anything. Goal 1 for labs - prevent whining. Goal 2 - prevent wasted time by getting work done quickly. Goal 3 - getting ALL work done. The end.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thoughts on Filming Classes

Goal of the week: DOT project. How's that going? I feel like throwing up daily.

Thought of the day: Thoughts on Filming Classes

I'm filmed my second period today for my D.O.T. project. It was a very interesting experience. The students were very cute in that they were trying to be smart/pretty/good on camera. At the same time, they were very keyed up because of the person in the room filming them.

In retrospect, I really should have filmed them a few times so they were used to the experience. I will know that for the future. I'd really love to have cameras permanently in my room so that I could film the really good lesson and put them on a permanent TatER website where other teachers could access them! Wouldn't that be cool? At least, I think it would.

Right before I started filming, I told the kids that I had to enforce all of the school rules while filming - like the iPods, cell phones, and the like. The kids all took them out and said "we got ya." It was extremely cute. Just another day where I love my students and my work. :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I think the union is working against me

Goal of the week: DOT project. How's that coming? In a word - sucky.

Thought of the day: I'm beginning to dislike my union. I went into this job fiercely pro-union. In the 9 months since I've been working here, I've had the union say that I don't deserve to be here since I don't have an undergraduate degree in education (despite the fact that the government says otherwise and the superintendent and that educational literature), I've had the union representatives tell me to my face that my program is getting unfair special treatment that needs to stop (what special treatment? I'm being treated just the same as all new teachers!), and I've had the union work towards moving to get me hired dead last in this round of job placements this summer during the tough times for teachers because I'm not a current Indiana certified teacher.

I'm not ok with this.

I've gone through fire this year to teach these kids. I've worked without tools, without access to student lists, the internet, to pacing guides, to computers, to discipline procedures, and without anything other than a phone number to the main office for help. I taught 6 different classes at the beginning of the year because they needed someone to cover them until they found spaces for all of them. I taught classes of 45 to 53 students last semester.

I did all of this OUTSIDE my subject area. Unprepared for the subject I was teaching. With no tools. AND I did it. Plus, I managed to help the kids learn what was on the pacing guides and have some fun with it.

All of this as a first year teacher. Now, I'm not perfect, but I know when I've done some good things. This, and the union seems like it's working against me to get rid of me. How am I not supposed to take this personally?

I've never not been Pro-Union before. I don't feel like me. :(

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I'm such a Disappointment

Goal of the day: Documenting our torture - I got a lot of work done it yesterday! I can feel my blood pressure going down... going down... going down. I was actually able to sleep last night and that was such a good feeling.

Thought of the day: I like being ruthless. I really, really do. I started off the year all "peaches and cream," but I just can't get anything done in class like that. What is the world coming to? I'm becoming more "down to business" the longer I teach. Ugh.

It makes sense. Ever since I've been here, I've been in love with the teaching style of this ELA teacher down the hall. His room, his style, his organization, his setup... I want to steal all of it and I have ever since I've gotten here. It's all Harry Wong all the way.

At least I know what I'll be in 20 years. Ugh. And my poor Hippie Parents will be MORTIFIED!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Priorities SUCK

Goal of the day: Seating Chart! I was accused of being a sadist today because I've locked the door and I refuse to let my student into the room until they are lined up in front of me and I can check them off as having their dress code in shape and all in order. I think this is great because they finally can't sneak past me any more. I think that at the start of each year I will do this for the first two weeks and after that I will just meet them at the door. That will give them the right impression. I think my Aunt is right on this matter - you need to come on strong and then show them that you have a heart. If you come on too soft in the beginning then they think they can walk all over you. It only works the other way for naturally big or strong people.

Thought of the day: Goodness, I can't get organized. I think the ADD has officially become something that has infected my brain. I can't get my mind warpped around anything that I need to do. By the time that I finally am able to sit down and think it's the time that I SERIOUSLY need to be in bed to get at LEAST 7 hours of sleep. I just can't organize my brain.

This needs to stop. I'm limiting myself of all distractions today. Off goes everything that could even be considered a distraction and I'm hiding until I get some work done on everything I need to do. As a reward, I'll let myself snuggle in and even watch some TV if I get some good work done.

As a graduate student... I have major problems getting the graduate school work done because the grading/organizing/high school stuff always seems like it's more IMPORTANT. There's just always more of it. I don't know what to think of that. Bah. I need to prioritize better. That's become blatantly apparent. Either that, or I need to genetically engineer a clone of myself to not sleep. I think that last one will take some time so in the mean time I'll just prioritize better.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Time and why I need to never sleep again

Goal of the week: A fresh new start for after break and a fresh new goal - SEATING CHART to KEEP STUDENTS ON TASK! I devised a new seating chart to limit wandering student bodies, eyes, and minds while I'm trying to teach. I've gotten into a bad habit of letting my students' minds wander while I'm trying to educate them and that just won't do! My goal this week is to break them of this habit with the new seating chart. Actually, before the end of the year I intend to make my stand on a few things, mainly: (1) the Dress Code, (2) Labeling Papers, and (3) attentiveness in class. I want class to be fun... but I see no reason why it can't be controlled fun. However, the emphasis needs to be on the word *controlled.* I've seen that time and time again in other classrooms... if there isn't control then there isn't any learning that can occur... fun or no fun.

Topic of the day: Time and why I need more of it!

My family and friends constantly want to see more of me. They ask me out to dinner, call me after school when I'm grading or working on my graduate school work, or want to talk to me at night when I'm trying to get some sleep or otherwise am getting ready for bed. I wanted to create a post about the hours I and other teachers keep.

I wake up at 5am.

I like to get to school early to organize. Optimally this is 630am. Usually it's 650 because I'm a bum.

I start teaching at 730 and get done at 230. I teach 6 classes and have one 30 minute lunch. I have students in my room for lunch because they hate the lunch room. I get one hour to prep for my classes.

After school I stay in my room to grade. I'm usually there from 230 until at least 5. Sometimes I'm there until 7.

Why do I stay so late? All of those students create a lot of paperwork. I need to grade it, organize it, get it back to them quickly, create files so they know how they're doing in class, get it into the computer, create lessons, print things for them, and create tests/quizzes. Don't forget tutoring students! And the makeup work for students that have missed days!!

I need to find a more efficient way to do this. I really do.

Oh, how I wish I could be teaching in my subject area so I could just make up lesson plans that were fun without much effort. Earth Space Science is EVIL!!!!