Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Failure. Again.

Pensive reflection of self.

I sent a student to the office for the first time. For defiance. Not the first time he's shown defiance, but I was just sick and tired of it. Didn't want to deal with it. Not today. Not 4th period. Not this kid. He has a lot of issues. I've tried to help. Repeatedly. I've tried to convince him he could succeed. That he could do the work and pull the grade and make the effort.

But not today.

It's a failure. I don't like sending kids to the office. I've never done it before today.

But I don't regret it either. When he was out of the room, I could focus on the rest of the class. I don't want to do it again, however. Will be better tomorrow.

On a completely different note: block days suck. Coincidentally, I don't see 4th period tomorrow, so for them, I'll have to be better on Friday.

I hope I remember.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring fever

Blue and gray skies.

I've been getting lazy as the weather warms up. Well, I guess I've always been lazy - just even more so now.

I still get work done.

I still spend hours grading every day.

I still plan and prep and organize and discipline and hold students to high standards.

But I care a little less about work than before spring break.


My attitude is more carefree, less stressed out. Which is kind of the opposite of what should be the norm. CST season is upon us here in Cali and the pressure to not fall down the program improvement plan steadily increases.

Yet, I'm rather detached from all that right now. I don't know if it's because I really don't care how well my students do on the CST, or if it's because I know they'll do decently ok so I'm free to not care.

Or am I deceiving myself into a false sense of security?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Study like a scholar, scholar

Kind of an oldie, but it never gets old. Spice! Hahaha!

Anyway, I'm on spring break. It's lovely. Unlike winter break, I've been able to wake up no later than 8 AM, and sleep no later than 11. I've been:

- shopping
- flea marketing
- museum-ing
- biking
- Animal Crossing-ing
- cooking
- eating
- cleaning
- organizing
- Handbook-ing

And today, I'l be LA-ing with the prospects of broomballing! Spring break is so much better than winter break. All the fun & friends, without the family obligations.

Re-reading this post, I find that I wrote like a teenage girl blogger. Hey, at least I'm not emo-ing.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Today's chain email.

One of my goals is to do one of these WCYDWT activities per term.

And this completely unrelated conversation:

Student: Ms. B, do you like spring break?

Me: Yes I do!

Student: Oh, I thought teachers didn't like breaks from school.

Debunking misconceptions since 1983. That's me.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Yesterday, I showed my Algebra 1 classes how to graph parabolas on Mac's Grapher utility. It was so much fun! Dept. Chair at my school doesn't like to use technology all that much - even though she DOES have an ELMO (uses it like an overhead by the way - she doesn't believe me when I told her you could put the ELMO any where in the room and it'll still project onto the screen ::shrug::).

Going to let them play with Grapher next week to discover the patterns between the graph and equation of a parabola. Gotta make it really structured though. Every time I've used the mobile lab, some stupid kid always ends up doing something they aren't supposed to do.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Being positive about being negative

Luck and happiness all laid out in a row.

Last summer, one of my closest friends (and a reader of this blog) told me I can sound really negative and jaded sometimes. I told her that she can too. We had a little spat, and then made up, and each have tried to be more positive since.

Whenever I read education blogs, it's easy to stumble upon some really negative ones. No need to point fingers here, since I've been there too. But it really makes me not want to read education blogs - which is kind of sad because these teachers have a lot of good stuff to share underneath all the whining and complaining and negativity.

At the same time, it's necessary to be real as well. This job is tough - and only a truly oblivious person would think otherwise. Frankly, I don't know anyone personally who looks down on the job of teaching. And the pundits who pop up on the fake news circuit every so often are loud, and seemingly in the minority. They can seem more like the majority however, just because they are loud.

Whoa, doesn't that sound a lot like some of the classes I have? The loudest ones are the ones who generally don't rely on themselves to work hard and be nice. There's a lot of blame, and a lot of anger.

I have to remember that some of those people are PAID to be loud and obnoxious. Their very job is to stir up some crazy to get attention, or so they can put something entertaining on the tube. Even the fake news people are rather loud and obnoxious sometimes.

And all this negativity? All the "I can'ts" and "That's stupids" and "We get paid so little and yet do so muches": it won't get me down. There's a way to make things ok. It's not going to be easy. It's not going to be quick. It's not going to be smooth. The plan will change, the results will vary.

But things will be ok.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

New Leaf

All the light blogging for the past month has cleaned my blogging palate. Ready for a fresh start? You bet!

I've been taking a lot of grading home because I've broken Mr. B's Rule #2: Keep on top of the paper work, or else you'll drown. Well, I've drowned and drowned again. The goal this weekend is to get it all done and go back to school on Monday with no grading whatsoever.

Mr. B's Rule #1, of course, is: Take mental health days. At least I followed THAT one.

Spring break and STAR/CST testing seems way closer on this side of April Fool's. It'll be ok, and if not, well, it's not the end of the world.