Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Years!

Happy New Years!

Hmmm

Happy New Year!!


(Stolen from Theresa Milstein)

This year I need to
@ finish attending school
@ decide what I want to do next year (same thing? same place?)
@ clear out more clutter than I did last year
@ get more organized at work (which will help with the clutter)

Think that is enough to start with.

Six Word Saturday



Time to plan for next week.



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Yup - I have put it off long enough.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

SOPA battle is warming up.

I wrote here about SOPA.

You will start seeing a lot more articles, like this one about Godaddy in the coming weeks.

Like many legislation plans - there is more than it appears and I do not believe Congress is looking at the big picture.

Merry Christmas



Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and less PC in 2012.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December 2012



I may have to ave a running countdown to next December.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

People

When people walk away from you, let them go. Your destiny is never tied to anyone who leaves you, and it doesn't mean they are bad people. It just means that their part in your story is over.

I fall to pieces

Sunday, December 25, 2011

SOPA



Have you been following the SOPA legislation currently before Congress?

From PC World.

Also this week, conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, normally a strong supporter of copyright enforcement, voiced opposition to SOPA. The think tank has "serious and legitimate concerns" about SOPA's impact on Web security and freedom of speech, wrote James Gattuso, senior research follow in regulatory policy at Heritage.

SOPA, in allowing court orders to block the resolution of IP addresses by servers in the U.S., could entice Web users to "use less secure servers elsewhere to continue accessing blocked sites," he added.

SOPA still has strong support in Congress and among companies in several U.S. industries. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the driving forces behind the bill, has said that more than 400 organizations have voiced support.

The bill would allow the U.S. Department of Justice and copyright holders to seek court orders blocking payment processors and online advertising networks from doing business with foreign sites accused of infringing copyright.

DOJ-requested court orders could also bar search engines from linking to the allegedly infringing sites. The court orders could require domain name registrars to stop resolving queries that direct traffic to those sites, and require Internet service providers to block subscriber access to sites accused of infringing.


So - how would SOPA affect you? And the way you blog?

Best of Dixie

Paraphrasing Jeff Foxworthy: People listen to the accent of Southern Rednecks and love to make fun of them. But let your car break down - and a redneck is your best buddy. He'll take a coathanger, a roll of duct tape and a Mountain Dew can and he'll get your car running to the next exit. It may not go any further, but it will get to the next exit.

"You can't judge a Southerner's intelligence by the way he dresses - or his accent."

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Six Word Saturday



There's a reason for the season!



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Merry Christmas!! Wishing you and yours a restful and renewing Holiday season and a 2012 that was better than 2011!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

And another one gets knocked up

Just learned that another one of my students, who is on the 5 year path through high school due to attendance issues, is pregnant. By her boyfriend, a boy I taught last year who has dropped out.

An old friend used to say that there were few accidental pregnancies - that most are a deliberate choice on the part of the girl. I thought he was a cynic. I don't know so much anymore.

I see the ones making this choice. I know that whatever their capabilities are in school, they decided before I ever met them that they were not going to do the work necessary to reach what they could. And that nothing I tried was going to change that.

I would have been humiliated to be pregnant at 16 but I had plans that didn't include children (or really a steady boyfriend) at that point. These girls are beyond proud. It is as if this is the culminating point of high school.

Since they are not investing in their own education - I grieve for their children.

Another teacher arranged for a student to come in to take a test when other students weren't around so "she wouldn't be embarrassed." Embarrassed? This is the kid who discussed every aspect of her pregnancy (stretch marks, Braxton Hicks - everything) with the kids sitting around her - male and female. I hope her boyfriend (who is in college for his second year) wants the same things she does. And I wonder if she lifts her attention from her naval long enough to see that they may be headed to different futures.

It is a matter of changing the culture - and I don't know how to.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dougherty teachers caught cheating as well.

Our state superintendent issued the following message. I bolded a statement that most administrations should pay more attention to than I think they will.


December 20, 2011 – State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge released the following statement regarding the Dougherty County School System Cheating Investigation that was released today.

"Today's report on cheating by some educators in the Dougherty County School System is another sad case of adults putting personal interests above those of their students. I am especially disappointed in education leaders who would threaten teachers' jobs if students did not perform well on the CRCT. While this behavior is inexcusable, it does highlight the need to look at a different, more thorough accountability system such as Georgia's new College and Career Ready Performance Index, which we have already submitted in the form of a waiver to the U.S. Dept. of Education seeking relief from the narrowly defined designation of success found in No Child Left Behind. Relying on a single test to determine a student's and a school's academic success is plagued with problems."

"The Georgia Department of Education will work closely with the Dougherty County School System to provide support for students who were negatively impacted by the actions of adults. We will also look into whether or not any schools and educators undeservedly received financial reward for these artificial CRCT results."

"As was the case with the Atlanta Public Schools investigation findings, the vast majority of the educators in Dougherty County and throughout the state are ethically sound and work diligently with the best interests of their students in mind. I'm committed to working with our districts to ensure our students are not robbed of a quality and meaningful education."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Support people who hinder instead

We have a support teacher - I cannot identify Vera more than that without identifying myself.

She is there to support identified students and is supposed to work with teachers.

She is incompetent in her job (my observation) so, rather than working with the teachers that she is supposed to - she lies, she misrepresents, she makes broad statements ("other teachers are able to do this") but when you ask how (so that you can do your job) she never answers - because (I repeat) she lies.

Bottom line - she interrupts classes full of students and then when she doesn't get 100% of the teachers' attention, we are uncooperative.

It might be a survivable situation if there was any support from the administration.

It is the beginning of my break and January is already looking crappy.

**update** Small towns are truly wonderful. Seems I have a good friend who not only knows Vera, but also knows where all the bodies are buried. Damn I wish I'd known that - but this is better.... And, yes, there is karma.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Six Word Saturday



Feeling overwhelmed but looking for calm.



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I am not feeling the Christmas spirit.

I am feeling like I will never catch up - and realizing that I am not using my time as wisely as I could.

Time to set a timer and chip away at the to-dos 15 minutes at a time.

Edited 5 minutes later: read this and this and I am feeling more Christmasy.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Question for high school teachers: how long does it take to read a page out loud?

How long does it take a high school student to read and comprehend a page of material - like a newspaper or something else written on a middle school or so level?

How long does it take to read this out loud?

Just trying to wrap my mind around this.

Six Word Saturday



Not burned out but getting toasty.



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We cannot afford (as a district) to have math books, but we can afford calculators.

We cannot afford workbooks for the kids (so the teachers get to copy work for them every single day) but we can afford to buy literature books for the math department to teach reading in addition to the too-much-and-not-integrated-standards that the kids cannot find a cohesive whole to.

Oy vey!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pride goeth before the fall

Les Nessman, one of our APs, is adept at taking a problem and fanning it into a catastrophe, When presented with a problem from a parent or a student (and we know the students never lie) Les is quick to tell the parent/student that the teacher was wrong (before ever talking to the teacher)or to tell the teacher, in front of the parent "I cannot support you when you do that."

Thanks.

I hated working for the Hulk because I hate being yelled at.

I hate working with Les Nessman more.

I made the mistake last week of being proud of something I had done to benefit the students. I robbed Les of the opportunity to claim credit for it. (Yes, that was deliberate on my part - although I did claim in wide eyed innocence that I was just so excited that it had worked).

Trust me, pay back was a bitch.

100 more days of working with him. And I have a huge bank of personal days. I feel an extended and recurring case of the vapors coming on.

I think it is time to move on because I cannot wait for LN to be found out. He is either after the principal's job (and is trying to make him look incompetent) or he is the principal's minion whose task is to encourage people to leave. I think I am an asset (I have spoken before of being a mule here and here and the importance of have a team with some divas and some mules) but that is probably my pride speaking.

asthma sufferers - please read.

I was reading columns because I am avoiding working on a paper that is looking more and more like an exercise in futility for which I am spending a lot of money and time (but that is another story for another time).

There is something of interest buried in the middle of this article that I do not remember reading before.

“On December 31, 2011, the FDA ban on the sale of Primatene® Mist containing CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) as a propellant will become effective"

This means if you have asthma, you cannot pick up a non prescription inhaler as of Dec. 31.

The replacement for this has not been approved by the FDA.

So, if you have asthma, you will need to have a prescription inhaler or go to the emergency room.

I do not have asthma, but that seems big to me.

Our New Administration



(And the fact that you can not see the entire cartoon does not diminish the message)

(The entire cartoon is awesome)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Six Word Saturday



Sometimes the pigeon, sometimes the statue.



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This week, I am the statue.

The AP is either following the principal's directives and "encouraging" people to make other career choices or the AP is trying to undermine the principal by making said principal look completely incompetent.

In any case, I am tired of being cannon fodder. Or the statue being crapped on.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Will you lose your job if we fail?

I had a student ask me that today.

Apparently a teacher told her class that we are held accountable for our failure rate. While it is true, I don't see why giving the students the idea that if they fail we will lose our jobs is a good thing.

Some students are willing to fail if they think it would cost you, not realizing what it costs them.

When I was a student, I was responsible for my education and I thrived.

I cannot see how it will work for me to be responsible for what my students learnwhen I have so little control over it.