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.

6 comments:

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. http://www.amstat.org/education/stn/

The most current spring newsletter with activities in it from that site is: http://www.amstat.org/education/stn/pdfs/STN72.pdf

Other resources:

http://web.mac.com/mrmathman/MrMathMan/Teacher_Resources.html

http://mrskrummel.com/statteacher.htm

http://web.mac.com/statsmonkey/APStats_at_LSHS/Teacher_Activities.html
http://www.mastermathmentor.com/mmm/default.aspx?page=APStat

Hope they are helpful.

Cindy

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?