Saturday, April 5, 2014

Six word Saturday

Mastery is not: do nothing, pass.

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

Somehow we have sold the current students (not all, but the ones who struggle with passing a course because they have no idea how to behave in a class) that there will be a miracle in the last month of school and an assignment will be given to you that takes little effort on your part but results in you passing the course.

So, since they put no effort into the preceding 14 weeks, cram the last 4, they retain nothing.

In the higher level course I teach, I am having them rework the problems they miss on the test to raise the grade to just passing. Some are offended when I give it back when the rework is not complete or correct, with instructions of which ones they need to rework.

I keep giving them back anyway.

In one class, there is no miracle, there is no project already created. Since they insisted on talking about prom instead of listening to the new unit Friday, I don't see the need to create a project.

Prom is a month away.

Quick thought: find out the price of prom tickets and give them an impossible (or difficult) budget to follow.

Nah, work for me, no effort from them.

This is the class that has graduation tests to pass. Of the half who have tests to pass, 3 already cannot walk because the score on one test came back Friday and they did not pass.

They will ask for a waiver letter.

The one asked for this week should read like this:
She attended one of 12 classes we gave to help them pass this test in the fall.

She lied about having passed the fall test, so I did not give her the books I gave everyone else, notebooks they were allowed to write in and do work on their own.

I have no idea if she took advantage of the study group we set up for this as I don't teach it and she did not put my name in USATESTPREP so I could see her work.

When she struggles in trig, rather than ask me or the other 2 trig teachers for help, she asked the special ed teacher who, while certified in math, does not teach trig and he had to ask us for help before helping her.

She has the gall to ask me for a letter after cheating on my tests. When you give two versions, that is easy to see. She is not smart enough to cheat off of someone who actually knows the material.

But I will probably write one not quite so bitchy.

Although that did feel good.

These kids are going to struggle next year. Mommy can't help you then.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Random thoughts on denial

I gave what should have been a one hour test (if you had done the work prior to the test and actually knew the material). I gave them 2 hours. They got angry when I refused to give them more time - some showed up in other classes asking for more time. Don't get it.

A group who are failing another required class - who say they will do anything to pass - apparently do not include paying attention as part of anything.

I ran some numbers and realized that more than half of that group has one or more graduation test to pass - and most will not pass the tests that they just took for the 5th time. So, they will either fail my class or the graduation test (or both) and not be able to walk in graduation.......

Thursday, April 3, 2014

How many weeks in a year?

Gave a test today. The test was a fair representation of the problems we have been working, so the vocabulary was not new.

How many weeks in a year?


Are you sure it isn't 54?

Does annual mean the same as every day?

Does quarterly mean 4 times a year?

They were asked to quadruple $6000 - so he entered 6000^4.

These are on-level seniors.

The world is not ready for them.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Too little too late

All year, we have written students up for infractions (cussing, walking out of class, dress code violations, you name it) and all year, nothing has happened. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

So the principal asks teachers for their opinion of what is happening at the school and we tell him the kids are running it and the administrators are not backing us up.

And what happens next? Nada. Zip. Zilch.

So the state comes in to observe, comments on how there is no dress code, and now he is enforcing it. Now he is in the hall. Now he is noticing the kids when they walk past him.

Anyone want to bet how long this lasts?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Six Word Saturday

You feel entitled. I don't agree.

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

I was reading articles recently about the entitled generation. How do you respond to kids who say they need more time on a test or they will fail. (They have already had 2 hours for a 1 hour test).

Or that you didn't give them a problem exactly like this so it is your fault.

Or that they are satisfied with their grade (70, which is just passing) so they don't feel they have to do a required project.

These are seniors, some about to join the military. And the NCOs in various services will have their work cut out for them.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Vicious cycle

I have written that I feel isolated - which makes me stand off by myself - which makes me more isolated.

I noticed this week that I am feeling unappreciated - which makes me see slights where they may not have been meant but still sting. You know, being in a professional development and having every other teacher called Mr. This or Mrs. That - and I am called by my first name (and, no, this was not a person I am friends with - someone who has been here before and everyone else has the same relationship with them).

Having a special ed teacher mention he has taught with most of the people in the room - and he named every teacher he taught with except me.

And this is a vicious cycle - I am not looking for slights but yet I am. I withdraw, and no one pursues me, and I withdraw further.

I am feeling worthless - and yet I know my sense of worth comes from inside not outside.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


This year has been the most difficult that I have had to date. Most of it is the isolation.

I have friends - more outside my department than inside but that has been true for years. I just never get a chance to see and talk with them.

We have a schedule that actively discourages the teachers from communicating - I do not think it is an accident.

We have an administration that couldn't plan an escape from a paper bag. And couldn't communicate either their situation or their desire for help.

Add - that we have been a needs improvement school long enough that administrators (rather than seeing their own lack of planning and communication) think the solution is to target and get rid of teachers.

In a situation like that, it is better to be middle of the road with middle of the road classes and keep your head down.

If you chose the harder to teach, harder to pass students, their lack of progress must be due to your ineptitude not the fact that the kid they just assigned to your class (whom you have never met) is 18 with 6 credits. (You need 23 to graduate.) And the kid is not atypical.

So if you gear your lesson to help them pick up what they are missing as well as learn new - well, you are not expecting RIGOR and you are not being a proficient teacher.

And that is isolating as well.

I will find another position. My students will get the best that I can give them.

And the administration will be as clueless next year without me as they are this year.