Saturday, March 11, 2017

Willful Ignorance

I asked a student to draw a tree diagram for flipping a coin three times. We have taught this in more than 3 90 minute classes. It is necessary to master for material that is coming.

What I got had no relation to a reasonable answer.

I corrected him, several times, trying to get him to create a correct drawing. But he refused to change what he was doing. He refused to reference any notes. He just kept drawing the same thing.

What I got was "I tried" - like that matters when you are unable to correct your erroneous attempts. So I drew the tree diagram. And he quit doing any work for the rest of the period.

I could not get him to see that 1) he needed to write it down 2) he needed to learn it and 3) there is no participation credit in his grade.

When did it become acceptable to not even try to learn? Throw some crap on the board, dance for your friends, sit down and talk. This is not learning.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Overwhelmed



And it doesn't seem to matter what age the kid is.

My daughter is away for several months so I am cleaning out her room of things I had in there before she moved back. I asked her to take some time before she left to clean it up.

Every time I walk down there, I don't even know where to start. Or why the trash and laundry is all over the floor. Or why there is no room for 2 people at the same time so I could get help.

It is an odd space but I can see how, with work, it could be useful and not a disaster.

I think I have a solution: when she returns I will tell her the rent for the room is $400 a month, which can be offset by various chores of my choosing, designed to empty her room of crap.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Theft by your co-workers

I heard this week that the supplies (dry-erase markers, paper, etc) that had been purchased by one department had been taken (by whom, who knows) before it had even been taken to the appropriate room. I mentioned this to a sweet, young thing who said she had never heard of such a thing.

Really?

If I leave treats (you know crackers and such that they give us to make us feel appreciated) in my mailbox - my co-workers feel free to take them.

This is along the lines of the students who feel that if something is in my room, they are free to help themselves.

Love it.

Keep little that I value anywhere at school.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

AMDM and College Readiness Math

This year I am teaching College Readiness math (CRM) by the Southern Regional Education Board. In the past i have taught Advanced Mathematical Decision Making (AMDM) by the Dana Center at the University of Texas.

I am interested in opinions of these.

I felt that AMDM spent a lot of time on trig that was at odd with the rest of the course. And I feel that Crm is too easy (it seems like it is pre-algebra in most cases - and these are seniors). I would like to have a class that prepares thes non-math types for life after high school and feel that AMDM is closer.

Any opinions, or does anyone know of other options?

Not bulletproof

This week, my phone rang during class and I ignored it (as always). So a student, who revels in the inappropriate and getting attention, started in.

What if it is important? (Then they won't call me.)

What if it is a family emergency? (Then again they won't call me. They will call another family member - or they will call the office. They know I am not going to answer it.)

And then, I do not know why, I mentioned that as a fluke one of my children called a few years ago, in tears, just before class started to say a friend had been shot, murdered. When class started, I told the class that on this occasion, if my phone rang, I would answer, because that was my child. I pointed this out to the attention-sponge and said I do recognize that things happen, which is why, on occasion , I let a student step out and make a call.

We went on with class.

About 15 minutes later, attention-sponge says "Ricochet, your friend wasn't bulletproof."

No shit.

I know I stared at her. I don't know if I told her that was a thoughtless, heartless thing to say. I believe I said "I think less of you." And I went back to teaching.

My husband took it as a threat. I take it as a comment of the times, that kids think they can say anything (and apparently they can in school.) Can't wait til some find that employment is not the same.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Another reaffirmation

Pissed Off wrote a powerful blog today which reminds me of several things. (OK, she didn't write it today, she wrote it a week ago. I read it today) I know I am not a rock star teacher but I know I can reach students. I know I am here to teach more than math. And I know administrators can make the life easy or unbearable.

A former student wrote me a note this week. She told me about a horrible experience her younger sister is having and said it moved her to tell me what a difference I made in her life. To me, the amazing thing is I may be able to help with the sister's problem, even though I am not at that school and do not know the teacher, simply by way of having lived in this community for a generation and knowing people.

I had an aha! moment this week and reached a student who has been a pain in the butt. More, I guess, he had an aha! moment. In any case, he learned I am not "an assistant teacher" and you can learn from people you think are beneath you.

PO - we provide affirmation for each other and for others on the WEB as we write of our problems and the joys of teaching. Thank you for giving me hope as I traverse this path - and I hope i offer that to others as well.

Life is too short to be ugly. Pass the love onl

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Time is passing, are you?

Why do kids think that if they pass up the extra credit options when they are offered, that I will suddenly create another when they need it later?

Had a kid ask today how he can raise his grade to passing in 2 weeks so he can be promoted to another rank in JROTC. I asked if he had done the three things he had already been offered. Oh, yes, he assured me.

Nope.

He hadn't done any.

There are no copies left - everyone took the copies and few did the work.

So, now, I don't want to create more work, dig out the old work and make new copies, or look and see if there are copies squirreled away some place.

Karma is a hard teacher.

Instead, I am going to give him another copy of his progress report with the missed options marked.