Tuesday, November 22, 2005

It's All Downhill from Here

For some reason, I feel like it's downhill from here. I mean, one more class at Ole Miss this semester, 17 days of teaching left this semester,... I think the next year and a half are going to fly by from here on out.

I'm home for Thanksgiving, doing all that stuff I miss. I can't believe we still got the whole week off even though we have missed about 7 days of school due to weather (one of those days is really two half-days put together). They closed school on last Tuesday around 12:45 because it was going to rain, which it didn't until 5:00. My school loves to close. I would be so surprised to see each class five times a week. I don't think that has happened yet at my school.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Reflection on Summer Blogs

The first thing I have to comment on from my summer blogs is on my reaction to Belzoni. I wrote about how much technology my school had and how impressed I was. . . I didn't get a working computer until the beginning of November, and that computer still does not have Word or the Internet, so basically it just sits there. Also, I have 11 scientific calculators. What am I supposed to do with 11 calculators and 29 students? I have lots of EEF and district money, none of which I'm allowed to spend on calculators. In that same blog, I wrote about how I would go back soon to Belzoni to pick up textbooks. . . I didn't find out what I was teaching until July 25, and my school didn't finalize my schedule until the second day of school.

Then there were our summer school kids. They were so much smarter, nicer, and more motivated than my students now. They really worked hard. And they wanted to learn the material. In my blogs, I complained that they didn't turn in assignments. I thought that made them terrible students at the time. But they worked during class, and now I think that's more important, because I always give them enough practice in class as well. One difference between my students now and my summer school students is that the summer school students seemed to take more responsibility for their grades. When my students now start failing, they tell me that I should change my grading; they blame me and not themselves.

I wrote about how I need to put everything on transparencies since I'm left-handed. I've really stuck to that. Every night I make up all my transparencies using sharpies and cut-up report covers. A lot of the other teaching strategies I tried worked only in an English class, like reading aloud and writing stories.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Success Story

One of my students was having such a hard time learning about special right triangles in my geometry class. We had a quiz on it, and of course he failed. The bonus for the quiz was a self-grading sheet-- he gave himself a zero in my class. He was so frustrated with himself, and it showed.

I wrote him a note on his quiz-- "Come to tutoring; I promise I can teach you this!" So he came, and it took me about 5 minutes to explain it to him. He was like, "That's it?" He was so happy. He gave me a hug and said, "Thank you, Ms. Bartlett!" And then he just couldn't help himself-- he picked me up. It was probably one of the most unexpected moments in my life. I of course screamed, and my other students in tutoring were laughing so hard. It was great.