Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Best Kept Secret

As for a "best kept secret" of the Delta, I don't think it was much of a secret, but it was definitely my favorite spot. In Belzoni, there are two restaurants (there are really more than that but the others are "questionable.") One of those is a Mexican restaurant, Los Molcajetes (not sure about the spelling). Anyway, it's great food. We went there all the time last year. Meredith and I even had a "usual" when we went in-- and our usual is not easy to remember. Diet pepsi, lemonade, beef chimichanga no pico de gayo, cheese enchiladas with cheese sauce. I loved that place. There were some weeks we would end up there two nights in a row. It happens.

Meredith and I took four of her students there at the end of the year. It was their first time to eat Mexican food. We were the only ones in the place, so Meredith told them we rented the place out. It was a riot. We had so much fun.

Only drawback, the place is closed on Mondays, and we never remembered. Those were the days we always ended up at the Varsity, the only other restaurant in town.

Other Teachers....

At least once everyday I wonder why I work so hard to make sure the students are working and held accountable for what they do. Today, I found out a few things about another teacher that made me wonder more than usual.

A student of mine left his folder in my class yesterday after tutorial. I opened the folder to find out whose it was. The first thing in the folder was a progress report for his other math class (most of the students take math twice). From Oct. 10 to Nov. 27, this math teacher had 5 grades. 5 GRADES! One project, one test, one notebook check, one quiz and one homework assignment. 5 grades. I've got 20 grades.

Next, this student had only done 2 of these five assignments. So he should have gotten zeros for the other three assignments, right? NO! This teacher does not give a student a zero for something they didn't do-- it's like the assignment never existed. This kid didn't do a project, didn't keep up with his notebook, and didn't do the one homework assignment. Guess what his grade was? An 87! This math teacher doesn't hold them accountable for anything!

This kid does none of the assignments in my class either, and flunks every test. He's got about a 40 in my class. He wants to know why my class is so much harder than the other math class.

It gets worse. The kid also had his last test in his folder. I looked it over, because for Algebra we all use the same tests and then compare how well our students did. There were 22 problems, so each one should have been about 4.5 points. This math teacher only took off 2 points per problem! No wonder all her kids have a higher test average! All my kids would be passing too if I only took off two points per problem!

It actually gets much worse after this. Two math teachers are not coming back after Christmas break. One of them teaches Algebra-- state tested. Great.

Once again, I find myself wondering why I work so hard. At least I can sleep at night-- I know I've done my job.