I had an awesome night with the other two members of the English department. Last month we had a fitness competition, we had three categories each with a specific prize (or penalty). The loser of one category had to buy dinner, the loser of another drinks, and the loser of the third had to buy tickets to a show. Luckily, I managed to come in first in one category and in the middle in the other two, which meant tonight was completely free for me.
We enjoyed dinner and beer at Deschuttes Brewery before heading over to Portland’s Center Stage to watch Clybourne Park. Following the show we walked a block up the street to Whole Foods where we bought and ate dessert. As we were eating they began to start cleaning and locking up the store. We eventually took the hint and they walked us to the door and locked it behind us.
It was a great night and feel extremely lucky to be in a department with people who I enjoy spending time with and like on both a professional and personal level.
I have been told by many if my colleagues that I am extremely patient when it comes to my students. I put up with a lot of things that other teachers would kick students out of the classroom for. Don’t get me wrong, I have boundaries and if a student is being disrespectful or disruptive there are consequences, but I feel the best place for the students is in the classroom, not the office.
Because I’m more patient and only boot students when I absolutely have to, I have developed a pretty good relationship with some of the more difficult 7th & 8th graders. Today, one the 8th graders came into my 6th period 7th grade English class. He had been sent into the hall to work because he was too disruptive.
He walked up to me and asked if I had a second to talk. He told me he needed help focusing. He was having a hard time working and didn’t know what to do. He doesn’t want to keep getting kicked out of class, but he also doesn’t know how to stay focused. He asked me if I would help him.
I know he gets distracted and angry easily. I gave him a few tips then sent him back to the hallway to work. I want to see him succeed. I know he wants to do better and I’m super excited to finally see him advocating for himself and asking for help.
So, I’m a chaperone for prom tonight. Normally, I’m not a dress person, but then I found this super cute mint with white lace dress at Maurice’s. I paired with a pair of gold glitter flats and a pearl and crystal (all fake of course) necklace and I’ve got to say it doesn’t look too bad.
I’m still not super psyched for the dance, but at least I’m just expected to stand there and not to actually dance.
I ordered a few things from Amazon last week. When selecting a shipping address I noticed that my old apartment’s address was still in my address book. So, I hit delete address, at least I thought I did.
I received a text today saying my package had been delivered, but when I arrived home it wasn’t there. When I logged on to Amazon, I discovered that instead of hitting delete I hit ship to. Luckily, I only live about 2 blocks from my old apartment and the college-aged guy who lives there was really nice about it.
When he handed me the package, however I discovered that it’s actually too small to have my entire order. So I quickly logged into Amazon on my phone, to discover that they had shipped it in two boxes. Again, he was really nice about it and took my number and said he’d call when the second package arrived, but I’m not going to lie I was (still am) super embarrassed.
Needless to say, the first thing I did when I got home was delete the old address and then log out and back in to make sure it was really gone.
At our high school we use a proficiency model in all of our core classes. The students who fail our classes often do credit recovery through a program called Odyssey. However, in order to hold them accountable and ensure they are meeting CCSS (because Odyssey is not aligned to CCSS) they have to pass an end of semester proficiency exam.
Before today, these exams did not exist. As an English department (there are three of us) we got permission from our principal and superintendent to get subs and spend the day writing these exams and finishing our vertical alignment. We started working at 8 AM and we stopped at 4:45. We each worked on our respective grade levels (however, I have two because I teach looping classes and because I’m a first year teacher I have never taught the second year of the course and don’t know where to begin with the assessment) and by the end of the day we hadn’t even completed one semester proficiency. One of my colleagues was almost finished, but not quite there.
My current test consists of 2 reading passages and 22 questions. Granted they are very extensive and in-depth questions that are written in CCSS aligned language. A bit of my time was taken by having to type in the reading passages, as we didn’t have editable digital copies. I also have the writing prompts for each semester written. It took a lot of thought to develop meaningful questions that hit upon the areas that needed to be covered at my grade level. The questions had to be at the higher level of Bloom’s and consist of the students examining the effectiveness of literary devices and the author’s structure, etc.
I spent the entire day working on my assessment. I can’t think of a single moment in the day, with the exception of my half-hour lunch break, that I wasn’t at my computer typing questions/reading passages, or debating the wording of a question with a colleague, and yet looking at what I accomplished I feel defeated, like I didn’t use my time wisely.
I was hoping to finish one of them tonight, but my lesson plans for tomorrow took longer than I thought they would. Now, I’m exhausted and going to bed.