Sunday, November 29, 2009

Delaney and her Magic Growing Bag
Day of Service-sorting toys at Salvation Army

Week 23-27-
Monday, the 23rd was the Middle school's day of service. Each group went to different places in the community. My group was assigned to work at the salvation Army headquarters in Springfield . They brought boxes and boxes of toys into the gym from storage and it was our job to sort them. These were toys left over from last year, so we had to categorize them into age groups and types of toys (stocking stuffers or bigger toys). I would say it was a very successful day. The kids all worked hard (some more than others) but everyone made a good effort in the face of toys they would like to be playing with. (such an transitional age)
We rode up on the bus with another group who was working at a thrift store. Delaney was in that group. They faced a mountain of clothes that they were to sort (no really bad clothes) and put into garbage bags, so they were more manageable for further sorting. I think it went well enough for there to be a repeat of the practice.
Everyone was happy for the Thanksgiving break. After grading some projects and figuring out how to post them (hopefully) into the report card system, I felt free to concentrate on home. I actually took down the Halloween decorations and put up a few Christmas ones. The weather was wonderful, warm and clear, so I took advantage of that to go over and do some work at Troy's. There was some trash and some things we talked about donating to the school (art books and some supplies) There's a couple pieces of furniture I wanted, so I got them ready to go.
It was a quiet dinner here with just the 5 of us and most of our favorite things. Delaney went to carsyn's that night and the rest geared up for Black Friday. With it being quiet here, I started working on a quilt I hope to enter in January to get back on track with my art goals.
Today it's raining but we are going to celebrate my birthday today since everyone is home today. We forgot all about doing the car tags, so Steve will do that for me tomorrow while I take his car to work. That's a great gift right there! I hate digging up all the old tax information and getting it inspected then getting the tags. Such a hassle!
Gearing up for another week of teaching! Happy holidays to you!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Week of 16-20
This week progressed fairly well. I have a few questions I hope the teacher answers in email, but if she doesn't, I'm sure I'll muddle through. This week has been hard because I have to accept that there are kids who choose to fail. There are certain kids who are choosing to not do assignments in favor of playing video games, choose not to listen when I give directions, and choose not to read the directions clearly written on each asignment. I knew this would be the most frustrating part of becoming a long-term sub. Typically, a day sub worries about order in the classroom and that day's work, so this is something new for me.
I'm most nervous about the mid term grades that I have to post when we come back from Thanksgiving break. Next week, we only have two days.
Monday, the entire school is doing a day of service. each teacher leads a seperate group to do a different kind of community service in several different locations. My group will be going to Springfield to sort toys for the salvation Army, but other groups will be doing road side clean-up, ringing the bell at the mall, boxing food, etc... This is something new for the school system, so we really don't know how well it will work, but I'm looking at it as a GOOD THING and an adventure.
Tuesday will probably be fairly worthless as far as actual work getting done, but several long-term projects are due for the Gifted language arts classes. I anticipate using the time after school to grade several of the projects and bringing the rest home.
Delaney is on the basketball team and had practice after school until 6. Thursday night was their first game and it was away (2 hours away!) So, I didn't attend the game. Steve was in Orlando all week. Delaney sat out from the game because her ankle hurt, then she got the bright idea that, if she didn't go back in, a friend on the team would get more play and her parents were there. When the coach found out, she was mad, but other than a lecture not to do it again, things ended well. MY reaction was a bit more intense, as was Steve's. basically, we said she was doing her coach's job and it wasn't her decision. She was trying to control things she shouldn't have been, regardless of her good intentions. She didn't listen to me, and she didn't listen to Steve, so I cancelled her plans for the weekend and , while I was the bad guy, it certainly DID get her attention. She has to realize there's a difference between what's good for the team and what's good for the teammates and know that none of it is her decision.
Maura had a debate meet saturday and I had to get her to the school by 6 am, followed by getting Tyler to work in the afternoon. Steve was home and willing to pick them up at 8 pm.
Maura didn't expect to place, she's still learning the pacing of her pieces and I actually caught her practicing, so I know she is trying. She's been very pleasant to be around lately without her darker moods.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Week 9-13-
Monday was my first official day of being a long term sub. I started the day with the computer tech people, getting me access to the grading system. It wasn't until the end of the day that we were instructed how I should get access to the computer system in the first place. Which gives you an idea of how the transition day went. I ended the day with my head spinning with minute details and not the bigger picture. (that came Tuesday)
Monday evening, we attended the induction ceremony for the National Honor's Society. Maura was invited to join. I got the impression that, in the past, the group was small enough to fit on the stage, but this group was so large, they had to have a portion of the auditorium roped off for them. That's a positive. Of course, the glaring negative would be that it was held at the Middle school because the HS decided building a second gym was more important than having an auditorium at all. Sigh.
Each day this week, Delaney had Basketball Practice at 6 am. The two of us woke up at 5 and we went to school (except 2 days where I met a parent part way down our road, so I could go home again for a while) There is a lot of running involved. Running for punishment, running for warm-up. By Thursday, Delaney was worn out, dehydrated and throwing up, so Steve had to come get her and take her home. Hopefully, the practices after school will agree with her more.
Tyler has met a girl, Megan, and she came over Wen. night. She seems nice. They went to the lake and watched the sunset together. (awww)
Friday, Delaney went on a trip with Student Council (stuco)that was an area meeting of all such groups. She seemed to have fun with team building, entertainment and such. Looks like duct tape was part of the mix. Anyway, I encouraged her to take our camera for pics for the school paper, or websites, or newspaper articles, which I am now in charge of.
And thus explains part of my chaos. Besides class work for 3 media classes, with it's own set of classwork projects, there's the mulitude of news media items to keep track of and then 2 gifted Language with 3 different large projects. I have a feeling that I will be doing a lot of grading work over Thanksgiving. This weekend, I am reading books I am not familiar with so I can grade book projects next week. I still have to find 2 more books. Thankfully, I have read the majority of those chosen!
Part of the proccess this week has been to organize my mind and the projects so it all becomes logical. The teacher left me with a clear plan (THANKFULLY) to follow.

National Honor's Society


Thursday, November 05, 2009

It's been a good week-
Maura was invited to join the National Honors Society at her school. The Ceremony is on Monday evening. She received a letter in the mail from a college that, basically, gives her the option of heading to college now and the credits she earns will go towards HS and college. The drawback is that it's emphasizing math and science (which she says she sucks at) Free tuition sure is hard to pass up (along with those tantalizing mentions of their grads getting into MIT, Washington Univ, etc) I wish she could like science and math a little bit.
Delaney was reluctant to try out for Basketball for some reason, but she did and got on the team. I'm not much of a sport fan, but I'm all about doing what you love and if that means Basketball for Delaney, then I'm all for it.
Just to round out the parental blessings, Tyler met a girl and has been chatting to her alot this week. He's even mentioned college recently. Hmmm.. maybe a DL won't be far behind?
I called the neighbor's daughter about his situation and she has arrived to take him to the DR appt today. Hopefully, something will be decided while she's here and I won't feel so concerned about starting Monday working full time.
I'm looking forward to stepping into the classroom full time for a few months. teaching media, news media and gifted language arts. I've been subbing for 8 years now and I've come to realize the joy of that is walking into a situation cold and trying my best to teach the subject to my best ability. One day I am a special ed teacher working on the basic reading skills, the next, I'm teaching matter and elements in science. For now, for a few months, I'll be seeing the same kids and teaching the same lessons. I'm sure I'll find a different kind of joy in seeing a project compleated and a deeper appreciation of the students.