Third time's a charm

My thoughts, successes, failures and dreams

News–what is it?

Filed under: Uncategorized — saigeleopard at 4:58 pm on Thursday, April 1, 2010

Today we watched Channel One. Which I love, I might add….AND before we went into the classroom (we had been in the courtyard because it’s BEAUTIFUL weather in Alabama!) I had a student say, “Are we really going to watch Ch. 1??? Why? We already watch YouTube and look at Google.” AND…? Are these now the latest and greatest sources for news??? I sure hope not. We’re in trouble if Lou-Ann (insert a third name here) from Country BackWoods, North Carolina, who is posting videos of a how-to-do-an-at-home-tattoo, is considered worldly knowledge these days. So…we watched it. And it was good. And I just think they may have learned a little something.

A few words of advice:

Filed under: Uncategorized — saigeleopard at 7:57 am on Thursday, March 18, 2010
  • Don’t worry if you get one little bad grade in my class. There will be plenty of other grades and other assignments. Get back on the horse again.
  • Remember- we are all busy folks. Teachers and students alike. You must hold up your end of the bargain for me to hold up mine.
  • Live to learn. Read, and get better at reading. Write, and get better at writing. Life is too short to sit idly by and do nothing. And start today- don’t think you need to wait to be an adult to get better at things.
  • Invest in your education. Nobody is going to look out for you except you. Your parents can’t do it for you. Care about your work; it has your name on it.

The Spelling War

Filed under: Venting — saigeleopard at 7:02 am on Thursday, March 18, 2010

Well, I have chronicled a few of my research paper sessions with my class so far. Today, I met a new wall. I have 14 students who are considered special ed and do hold IEPs. One in particular chose to type his entire research paper in all capital letters, so he was forced to retype today. Most of our students are slow typers. Extremely slow peckers, I should say. I don’t know why- I took typing at a nearby school in the 9th grade and learned where all the keys on the keyboard are and have progressed from there, but anyways.

So, he is retyping and he calls me over. His paper has numerous misspellings, of everyday words like “maintenance”, “service” and ”vehicle”. As you can tell, we are writing a career-based research paper and this child has chosen auto service technician as his job, which I consider very admirable. I am so very thankful nowadays for students who are realistic in their endeavors AND so thankful we have people to do that job. Anyways, he does’t know how to spell words such as these even enough to spell check his document. So, I spelled them for him. What am I really teaching him? How can I possibly teach him direct and indirect objects, literary elements, how to write a thesis statement, etc., if he can’t spell basic words enough to even look them up in the dictionary? I don’t know how to overcome this obstacle, but I will sure try. I know the proven correlation between reading and spelling. But, if you can’t get them to read…? OK, well back to my 2nd block- an honors English class. A place where I don’t fight those types of wars.

And what a process it is…

Filed under: Failures,Successes — saigeleopard at 6:30 pm on Monday, March 15, 2010

Ah, the research paper. I can already feel the ink draining from my printer, and believe me, it loves the stuff. I can already feel my blood pressure rising. Don’t get me wrong- I love teaching writing; actually, it’s my favorite. But what a daunting process. All the millions of little things that need/must be covered, everything from how to write a decent paragraph to how not to plagiarize to using the correct transition word. Of course, you’re going to have the kids who will just not “get it.” There are those who will- and they will soar past the others on wings of faith and your proud remarks. Those are why we do this job. They are why, at the end of the day, you feel it’s NOT all for naught. Every semester I think, “I’m going to streamline this process, make it easier, find ways to reach the kids in a shorter time, and less of an I-want-to-scream-from-this-rooftop kind of way.” But it never fails. Something things go superb, some not so good. I guess that’s just the way it goes. I’m thinking of posting some of my most favorite research paper resources here. Stay tuned…

National Board unease

Filed under: Uncategorized — saigeleopard at 6:19 pm on Monday, March 15, 2010

National Board certification has always been a goal of mine. Coming a little early, maybe, but nonetheless, I’m about to tackle this mountain. I’ve been to an informational meeting, and met two other women who have conquered the mountain, so effortlessly it seemed. We will see. I’m excited and nervous about the whole idea. It’s not one of those things you want to broadcast over the intercom at your school, for the dreaded fear of “what if…” But nah, I’m not even to that point, really. I am just dipping a big toe into the shallow end. Next step? Planning. I spend much of my time doing that these days. I need to plan lessons for my videos and read the material. More to come…

Me as the Ubiquitous Teacher

Filed under: Venting — saigeleopard at 11:03 am on Thursday, January 21, 2010

Well, here we are. Once again. The start of a new school semester. And this year, kids, I am playing the part of Mrs. Ubiquitous Teach. That means I’m  present-always, or in my case, always present within the four walls of my classroom. To update everyone: This is the first time in my three years of teaching that I haven’t had a planning block. I thought: “Well, that’s life, right? That’s life in America with cutbacks (always) knocking on the education door, people buying less, fewer jobs and such, and being a teacher and all, I’m sure to feel the brunt of that financial blow.  So true. Today was the first day this semester that I have felt it as WORK. With four straight classes and two of which are almost brimming over with tenth graders, a lengthy list of special needs students, zero time to even catch my breath, suck down a drink of water, inhale a Lean Pocket or use the restroom, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. I need time management control obviously. I don’t want my teaching to suffer; actually, this was the semester I was supposed to get it done, so to speak: work on national boards, apply for workshops, hone my skills. Ha! At this rate, I’ll use my 15 vacation days at a rapid speed. I hate to be negative; maybe my next post will show improved attitude.

Filed under: Uncategorized — saigeleopard at 9:37 am on Thursday, July 30, 2009

Also, how can I search other people’s blogs???

steam coming outta my ears…

Filed under: Venting — saigeleopard at 9:36 am on Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hi again! Been a while. So, I got on here to chat with other teachers (hopefully) about nicenet.org, to see if it’s a beneficial thing. BUT I can’t seem to reply to ANY posts about anything on Edublog Forum. It seems I’m logged in , but at the bottom when I try to reply, it’s says I must log in…………????? I know nobody in the cyber world may hear (read) this, but I’m frustrated and was hoping to contact an Help person. Can’t seem to find that on the site either. :-(

Hello world!

Filed under: The beginning — saigeleopard at 3:53 pm on Thursday, February 19, 2009

Well, here I am! Can’t believe I’ve finally started a blog. I really feel this will help me in reflecting on my school days and as fast as these months seem to be flying by, school years! I can’t believe this is the fourth time (fourth semester) I have taught the same thing to high schoolers. Nonetheless, I haven’t created a blog before now because I wasn’t sure I had enough to say that needed to be heard, but at last, I feel this will be my creative outlet I have needed in the past year and I am embarking on a road of reflection that will help me in the future. So….where to begin????

Well, I was interviewed today by state officials. Yep, we’re on Continuous Improvement for the second year and apparently, this is pretty bad. I was asked questions like “how has your teaching changed in the past year?” and “how have students changed in the past 5-10 years?” Of course, I couldn’t answer the latter, but the first was easy. Last year, I barely made it through with my sanity and this year, I’m functioning! No really, I think I gave the best answer I could: my teaching is now focused; I know what I want my students to learn and more or less, how to execute the lessons to achieve that learning. Overall, it was a decent experience and I think the interview went well and hopefully we will make it out of this ditch.