Wednesday, February 25, 2009


It has been a busy week. I was in third grade on Monday and Tuesday...the highlight was being called a jerk in front of the entire class. The student pointed at me, yelling, "JERK!" on his way out.

It was exhausting! I wish there was more hands on to teach...I felt like I was rushing the entire day. Rather, both days. Teachable moments came up and I felt as though there wasn't any time for teachable moments. must get back to dittos, must get back to dittos...

Tomorrow is second grade and then into first grade on Friday. I am looking forward to the slower pace. And the great morning song in the first grade room.

State Testing

We are getting ready for our state standardized testing. At the 7th grade level, our kids take a writing, math and reading test. The 8th grade kids take a reading, math, science and social studies test. When the kids take the tests, the teachers can do NOTHING but stare at them. I'm so glad I only have 3 tests!

I have a problem with these tests. We are requiring kids to meet a minimum expectation. Most people would assume this would be at 70% passing rate. Oh, no, it isn't. It depends on the test and the grade level. Some tests require a passing rate of 72% and some only require a 56% passing grade. Yet, many people in the general public think we are holding these kids to higher standards than what we are.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

One bad apple...

Does indeed spoil the whole bunch! My one "bad apple" has been in In-School Suspension for the last two days. Can you believe the entire class has been PERFECT? He will be gone for a few more days since he received 5 days "away" for his lovely comment. Since it was directed at me, he earned a harsher sentence. Boy am I glad we have great administrators!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Full moon? Change in weather?

Something is up. I don't know what. I can not stand it any longer. Whoever/Whatever is taking control of these children needs to stop! I can not teach when these kids are having out-of-body experiences like they did last week. What was the deal?!?!?!?!?!?

I had to write 3 kids up on office referrals last week. One kid, once. One kid, twice. One kid, three times. I felt like the wicked witch of the west! However, when you get mad after being told to stop talking, push everything off of your desk, and say "F*$% That!", you just gotta go! (In fact, before I could say goodbye, he said "I know, leave.")

Life is never dull in 7th grade!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

the office, day four

You will never believe what happened today in THE OFFICE today. Let me set it up...

The phone rings. Hello, "____ School" is a parent. Can I please speak with my child? He is in class, I say. I also ask if it is an emergency and the response is yes. I tell the parent I will request the child come to the office (there it is again) and he will call home. I call the student the office (again, my show) and he calls home. After listening to the conversation, another staff member in the office asks, so what is the emergency? Does the school need to know? The student proceeds to tell us the mom needed to know where the TV remote was.

WHAT? Are you kidding me?

Later in the day, another teacher tells me that a parent had left a message on her voice mail for her son to call her at home. This teacher did not have the student call as it was not an emergency. A bit later, the parent calls again (the line can go into the classroom) and she asks to speak to her son. Long story short, she wanted to know where the battery charger for something TV related is....!!

Imagine, two in one day. What would these parents do without their remotes?!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Update from the teacher....

Well, I didn't have the substitute subbing for me last week. I sure wish I did!!!!!! The first sub I had could not follow my directions. I find this hard to believe since I am kind of anal and leave very detailed plans (I think the final count was 5 pages of instructions, 4 pages for attendance, 3 pages of pictures, and one page of a seating chart--for three days!). I think the only thing I didn't tell him was to breathe every few seconds. The students were so lost!!!!! I received an email that first night that wasn't very complimentary, to say the least. I was able to throw it back on the kid though, so it wasn't too bad for me. (Thank heaven I have a good relationship with that mom!) I also had a voice mail from another parent after that first day. YIKES!

When I returned to school, I found out from the kids that he asked student X to take the attendance down to the office first period. I left a note that students, A, B, C, or D may take the attendance. I did not say student X could go. I can't trust student X. (Student X has been caught in about 10 different lies this year--including one where she accused me of something I did NOT do!!!!--and has been in a fight with student Y, who is also in that class. I broke up the fight...It was quite fun, but I digress...I must be ADHD!!!) Mr. Not-Very-Good couldn't even figure out how to start the powerpoint. Double runs by itself! Then, he told the students to do the homework completely wrong. UGH!

The next sub was great!!!!! In fact, I received a compliment from our assistant principal today about her. I'm so happy A could sub for me. First of all, A is going to college to be a teacher. Second, she has subbed for me before and knows what I "expect." Third, she sat through an entire year with me when she was in 7th grade. (Man do I feel old!) This is what the AP said, "I walked by your room one day and not only was the class in control, but A was up and TEACHING! A sub TEACHING! Can you believe that?" I was so proud. She said the kids were well behaved but talkative. So, I compromised on the contract. They don't get the soda/chip party, but they don't get tortured either. No one has complained.

After I returned, I found out a lot of gossip about things that happened while I was away. Man, I missed all the good stuff!!!!! (fights--students and teachers--moonings, truancies, assaults, weapons, terroristic threats, irate parents, teachers passing out, kidnappings--not all on my campus. These events took place in our county.)

the office, day three

I have subbed in the office for the past three days. I am not sure about friend, the secretary, still did not sound too well when I talked with her this morning. She said she was going to try to go in but who be honest, I like subbing in the office....even with all the vomit, diarrhea and temperature taking. I think I took about 15 temps today! The big complaint today was headaches and tummy aches.
The principal gave me a compliment, too. He said that he was glad it was me subbing. I suppose if you get a sub in who doesn't know how things run, he may end up doing most of the secretary's job, too.
I do the best I can, stay cheerful and hope for the best.
(I did have a parent pretty much call me a liar today. Her child was ill, I called home= no answer. I then moved onto the next number in line...her cell. It went to voice mail. I left a message that I was trying to reach her and was then going to call the dad. Long story, when she came in to retrieve her child, she wasn't nice and in a very round about way, accused me of NOT calling her home or cell first.)

Monday, February 9, 2009

the office

whew! Today I am subbing in the office. And that sounds funny because The Office is one of my favorite shows....

Dismissal was about ten minutes ago and it is finally quiet in the office. (I don't think I can type that without some sort of chuckle.) Let me make a list of things I saw or experienced today:
-bad behavior
-the phone ringing with multiple parents in the office
-all district administration in the building (inservice meeting)

These just name a few! I was able to clean up the secretary's desk..she is not only the secretary but my friend, too. It is the least I can do for her.

I hope she feels better soon...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Preparing for a substitute...

This last week I was out Wednesday-Friday to attend a technology convention. (What a great trip!) However, to prepare for those three days took a lot of planning and work. I wanted my students to still learn something while I was gone, and I can't afford to just give them busy work. A few years ago, I came up with the perfect solution. Since we are always working on geometry/measurement concepts at this time of the year, the kids could work on perimeter/circumference, area, and volume. There is a process and you really just have to repeat the process often.

I created a PowerPoint presentation for each topic--one per day--and added voice over instructions. So, the kids still hear my voice, still get a lesson, and everyone is happy. (I also had to prove to my principal that the kids wouldn't be losing out because I was gone.)

The basic slide show remains the same from year to year, but I have to re-do the voice overs and timings every year. I tend to make comments during the show that relate directly to the students in those classes. Some years I add jokes--this year, I didn't. I also make sure to remind them to behave and not act like complete fools.

That, brings me to the other item I use to prepare for a substitute. I have them sign a Sub Contract. In it, I state the consequences for bad behavior and the rewards for good behavior. This year, some of my brats kids wanted to refuse to sign the contract. I told them it would be an automatic office referral, and it didn't matter if they signed or not. Those were the consequences and by signing it only told their parents they knew in advance what would happen. They all signed!

Don't know yet, if I get to torture or reward them....I'll keep you posted.

Friday, February 6, 2009

love those first graders!

I subbed in a first grade classroom on Thursday. The night before wasn't a good one...long story short, I slept all of the night on the couch. First, it was simple exhaustion and falling asleep there. Then it was because of someone snoring in the house and I had to leave the vicinity....back to the couch.

I think Thursday was the best day I have ever had subbing! I have had great days with the older kids but you usually count on some sort of trouble with the young ones. Nope! We danced our morning song is great! We had some great talks about a story I read and even about math.

THESE are the days I love to be a sub.....


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Crazy Busy....

I have been crazy busy this last week and into this week. I'll be at a conference most of this week....will post all the happenin's when I return.

As the character education program at our school states: Make it a good day, or not, the choice is yours.

C-ya soon....