Friday, August 29, 2008

The difference one year makes.

What a difference a year of teaching makes. I wrote my first referral yesterday and it was nothing like the first referral that I wrote last year. Last year, I wrote up Shakira (obviously I am going to use fake names here) because she refused to change her seat when I asked her to. I thought that I had to make a stand and show that I wouldn’t back down and be really firm and mean, etc. Little did I know, that the seat I asked (no, told) Shakira to move to was next to a girl that she had fought with the previous week (I found this out toward the end of the year, when Shakira and I were on much better terms.)

Well, Shakira refused to go to the office – made a big scene, cursed at me, slammed the door, came back in, etc. I had no idea what to do, and got lucky that my principal happened to be out in the hall. Have I mentioned that I didn’t have a phone in my classroom last year? And that I still don’t have one this year…

This year, I’m pretty sure that most students in the class didn't even noticed when I sent a student to the office (not that he actually WENT there…)

I’m a better teacher – my geometry lessons so far pretty much kick ass. My AP Stats class on the other hand… not as good. I don’t have enough time in the day to prepare everything that I need to. I’m up by 5:45 am and then working non-stop until 10 or 11, when I fall into bed. The AP Stats material is difficult and I just need more time to create good, meaningful and engaging lessons for the students. They seem pretty confused so far – which has to be my fault. Hopefully, this weekend I’ll be able to plan out the entire week and make all the worksheets/handouts/etc. that I need so that I’m not killing myself next week.

Anyway, here are my favorite parts of the week:

1. Making EVERY GREEN LIGHT on the way to school today. I’ve never done that. It was awesome.

2. Eating lunch today with a student who wanted extra help. I brought him in some pita bread and hummus to try and he LOVED it. (He had warned me yesterday that I should also bring him a bag of chips too, just in case he didn’t like hummus.)

3. “Ms. Smallest Twine, do you know that you look like Ricki Lake? … when she’s skinny though . . . not fat Ricki Lake.” Ummmm.. thanks? Also, I don’t think I look like Ricki Lake – at least, no one has ever told me that. I am, however, a white woman with brown hair. Ahh, if only the kids knew who Norma Shearer was – because that’s who I look like.

4. Student: “You cut your hair!”
Me: “I did! What do you think?”
Student: “Eh, it’s OK.”

I had forgotten how much kids look at you all day – and how much ownership they take in how you look because you are their teacher. Last year, I was asked several times if I had a “hot date” because I wore my hair in a ponytail instead of a bun. This also happened the day I wore a skirt. Thanks kids, for letting me know that I’ve let myself go.


Anonymous said...

looks like a good year is around the corner

Teach Baltimore said...

Today I got asked multiple times whether I had a cat. Because apparently I had cat hair on my black shirt. Oops.

A phone in every classroom, for emergencies and parental contact, seems like something I wouldn't mind the union fighting for. I haven't had one in years.

Smallest Twine said...

I definitely agree. I can't believe that you don't have a phone either -- I really thought that I was the only one. Every time I need to call down to the office I have to leave my kids alone in my classroom and run across the hall to another teacher's room -- granted, it's not very far, but it's still ridiculous.
And I'm using up a whole lot of minutes on my cell phone with calls home. Blah.

kristen said...

I can go either way on the phones... my old school had them and they'd ring occasionally during class (annoying especially if it was a parent!). Where I'm at now we don't have phones, but we do have an intercom to the office (which we can access through a key). Seems to work well.

Anonymous said...

You've probably already found these resources (or, maybe not if you are working 18 hours a day!) but I thought you might like to read them in your not-so-spare time.

This newsletter in particular had seemed to have lots of engaging activities around teaching AP stats.

The most current spring newsletter with activities in it from that site is:

Other resources:

Hope they are helpful.


jackie said...

I had a student say to me last year that she saw me in the halls with my hair down, but that on the days when I taught her class, I always wore my hair up, and why was that?