violetrose1922: (Default)
OK, no spoilers but I liked Supernatural tonight. I love me some Dean Winchester! I have to watch again and think harder to have anything else to say though.

This is why I love teaching middle school:
Kid (to me in the hall): Miss, wanna see something cool?
Me: (a bit hesitantly): sure
Kid pulls out a dead snake in a plastic bag.
Me: Why do you have a dead snake in a bag?
Kid: Mr. H (science teacher) will love this, I had to bring it to show him.
Me: Of course he will, you should go show him right now.
The kid had, of course, been carrying the dead snake around all day...

It does not beat my favorite thing to say, that I luckily get to repeat numerous times every year; "get the _____ off your head." the word in the blank is never hat or any other appropriate head attire.
violetrose1922: (Forks High School)
Sorry for all these boring RL posts, but the end of school testing is such a big deal.

Am I a horrible person for hating all the importance we place on students' standardized test scores, but being shocked (in a really happy way) that 100% of my kids passed their state test this year? That has never happened; I teach in a huge, Title I, urban middle school with over 60% at-risk kids. My 150 students are very diverse and I teach everyone from special ed kids in an inclusion class and gifted and talented kids. No one get 100% passing on any test.

Even more meaningful to me was that 61% of my kids were commended on the test. Way better judge of if they really learned a lot this year. So that number always makes me happy if it is above 50%.

So I was really happy with test scores today even though I hate what they represent for education and for children. And I feel sort of guilty for being so happy.
violetrose1922: (Forks High School)
OK, I admit to being a history teacher in Texas. I am currently very embarrassed for my state. The lame changes that the idiot Texas Education Agency (elected all-few, if any, have children in public schools) have made all sorts of national news. My personal favorites are: 1) the U.S. is no longer democratic. That sounds too much like the political party, so now the U.S. is a constitutional republic. Never mind that I have to teach that one of our principles of government is republicanism (a stupid made up word that apparently is OK to sound like that other political party). And 2) we now have to teach Jefferson Davis's inaugural address-you know, because we have to teach Lincoln's and all.

Now I will always teach kids what they need to know-if someone makes that impossible I will find another job. When the dumb stuff has to be taught I will teach it and we will discuss whether or not it is dumb and if so why and ten make up our own individual opinions. We will think in my room-just like we always do. But really, what is wrong with people that they are afraid of teaching children to think. I guess these are the same people who scream about liberal elitists when someone from an ivy league school is nominated to a government position. As we discuss in my classroom-I want people who run my government to be smarter than me. I actually find that comforting.

So this continues my ongoing rant about stupid people who voters put in positions to make decisions. And there are so many people who do not agree with this stupidity. But then they do nothing to get rid of these stupid elected officials. Where is the outrage? The people I know are not raging lunatics-so where is the rational, moral (really moral-not the ones who hijacked this word) majority that believes in things like separation of church and state? Why is that group so quiet?

OK, end of rant, at least for now.
violetrose1922: (Sicily Cairo ear)
This week is teacher appreciation week. I appreciate the frappacino's we had this morning at school, and will also like the ice cream sundays the administrators will make us on Friday. But what we really need is a Margarita Machine in the teachers lounge. Really.

I am excited for the last couple of new Supernaturals. I am also worried a bit because I have not, overall, loved this season. I want the finale to be as good as the previous ones. I am also a bit worried because I am going on a trip next week and either have to make my friend stay in and watch the finale in real time (and he already understands that this might be required) or take my laptop so I can watch it that way. No way I can wait till I get home without being totally spoiled. So it better be worth it!

I love to travel, and am going to Chicago (a place I have inexplicably never been) for a long weekend. I am meeting a friend there who has only been once. I need good suggestions for what I absolutely must do while there. I want to be super excited, but alas, family drama is instead just stressing me out. Like waiting for some drastic emergency or something to keep me from going-or worse (selfishly) to make me have to choose staying home or going. Since I love to visit new places (and have been lots of fun and exotic places) and haven't been traveling much the last couple of years I really want to go. And more than that I want to be excited about going-so hear that real life-don't mess with me!
violetrose1922: (Forks High School)
This week we have been taking standardized tests all week. That means stuck in a room all day with the same group of kids who have to be completely silent. It sucks for them and it sucks for teachers also. There is nothing more boring than watching kids take a test.

Why, a reasonable person might ask, would I be able to do nothing but watch kids take a test? Because the district and state I work for assume we all cheat. So they send out people who make a lot more money than I do to walk around the school and make sure we are doing nothing but monitoring kids. No sitting, no reading or writing anything, etc Because, you know we all have no personal integrity.

And the tests...are fine as part of accountability, but tomorrow my students (the ones I actually teach, not just watch) will take a 48 question test that will be used to determine how effective I am as a teacher. Now I have been working with those kids since early last August. Doing all sorts of fun learning activities, helping with high school magnet applications, having intense debates about current events and all sorts of other important things. Kids love my class, but really, how the kids answer those 48 multiple choice questions tomorrow is all that matters. Oh, and the test is not actually high stakes for the kids. If they fail it, nothing happens except it goes in their permanent record.

Now my kids will do great tomorrow-they always pass at an extremely high rate (every sub-group above 90% passing, if I may brag a little). But how can anyone think this insane focus on testing is good for teaching or learning. All kids end up being able to do is pass a test.

So end of rant...and muchas Margaritas tomorrow afternoon!!!! And Supernatural in half an hour!!!!!


violetrose1922: (Default)

October 2011

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