Sunday, December 23, 2007

Last Day Of School

Friday was the last day of school and I'm off for 2 wonderful weeks!! This is so needed and while I have a list of things to do that would probably give the length of Santa's naughty list a run for it's money, I am glad to do them because there will be NO CHILDREN AROUND which I think is key. I actually look forward to ticking off all those things on my list because it will feel as though I'll have a restful but also productive holiday. I always get the rest part right but feel like shit when I have to go back to work and realize that I've actually done NOTHING.

The last day was pretty standard in that the kids didn't do a damn thing other than be merry and festive and fully loaded with sugar.

We threw in a movie in the afternoon as well. There were 4 classes (all grade 1's) and the teachers in one of the bigger classrooms. One of my teaching partners was writing up her Christmas cards and told me that she was just going to go to her room to put the cards away and that she'd be right back. Well the bitch didn't come back AT ALL! She stayed in her room and cleaned up/got herself organized while I was with my class (as were the other teachers) because it wasn't meant to be a planning time for us! So while she got her shit together, we were babysitting her kids and not doing any of the stuff we had to do (which would get done AFTER school was over, which is when we'd technically have the time). That pissed me off to no fucking end. Like 10 minutes before recess I sent her kids back to her room. No fucking way was I looking after them during recess. We kept the movie playing but just sent her kids back. I don't care if that was rude, but her being gone for like ONE HOUR getting her shit together while I'm stuck in there just took the cake. I think she realized that only her kids were sent down because she sent a couple of kids back to get the movie (which belonged to her) but we told them that we'd give it back to her later. Fuck that!!!

So that totally ruined the end of my day! The next time we do a class movie I'm going to take off when it's just her in the room and not come back. Fucking bullshit.

Anyways ... Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Week From Hell

This is by far the worst time of the year for a teacher. All the kids are on a constant high, anticipating the Christmas break (and let's face it the teachers are too but on a high that says I can't wait to not have to work and do absolutely nothing for two weeks).

Unfortunately, this high can be destructive in a sense. We have a specific grade in our class where I swear these kids are the spawn of satan. They are just absolutely horrid. But the kind of horrid where they get satisfaction from being asses.

The cops being at our school has become something of the norm these days. I think that since September they've been at our school about 5 times. And for having been at our school NO times in a year ... those stats aren't the greatest. The most recent incident was a grade 8 kid who stole from a teacher's purse. 20 dollars and her cell phone. Unfortunately no one saw and can't really pinpoint it was him ... but it was him. He had a key to her room (it's a storage room to the gym). Why he even had the key is beyond me.

So there's one more week left. This week is going to be killer. I'm hoping I can get the kids to sit for enough time to actually get some work done.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

8 More Days ...

Seems like just yesterday that I started the school year ... and I suppose that's because I haven't been the greatest with keeping this blog up.

These next couple of weeks are super hectic with Christmas stuff. It's pretty fun for the kids but tiring for me. We have our Advent mass on Thursday and I'm hoping that we don't have to walk to the Church and we just have it in our gym. It's so wet and slushy outside ... I can't imagine the whole school having to walk through that.

Interviews went well. I had one no show and the parents were pretty decent with me. I just hope that some of the low kids improve their reading marks. It seriously is so very frustrating for me to have so many kids at a level 0. I've never had that before and it's making me a little nervous and I feel like I'm not doing enough for them. I know that this Christmas holiday I'm going to be hammering on the literature on reading recovery and writing programs. I'm starting a new program by Lucy Caulkins come January and I need to read up on that some more. Also I was thinking of taking a Reading part 1 course ... has anyone taken that? Is it helpful?

Well I have lots more I can write but will leave it at that. It's not all good stuff and I'm just too much in an air of negativity right now to delve into it. I'll save it for another day.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

To Fail or Not To Fail

It's about time I updated this puppy.

Oh my. What's my problem when it comes to this blog!! I even changed the banner for it and everything to make it look more teacher-pretty.

So report cards are done (finally!) but they go home on Tuesday which means that this week is interview week. I hate interviews with parents but I'm not as nervous as I used to when I first started teaching. I'm sure this comes with experience and the fact that I'm more confident as a teacher and the activities that I do with my students. I send home a weekely homework sheet where the students have something to do every night of the week. It's not tedious but it's extra practice and it gives the parents an idea of what their kids are working on during the day so that there are no surprises. This is partly a scheme to cover my ass as well because I hear of a lot of parents complain that they have no idea what their kids do during the day. Since I don't send home their daily work, this is the next best thing and it makes the parents happy.

I have a really low class this year. Like really, really low. I have a handful of students who aren't even at a level 1 for reading. They can't even read the first book! I've never had that before. It is a difficult year for me in this sense. I have a lot of kids who are at the level the ministry says they should be at and a few that are above ... but those 6 or 7 kids who are below ... oh my. Takes a toll on me because I'm just at my wits end when it comes to trying to teach them in such a way that will motivate them and make them understand. And I have to accomodate for them.

In all honesty, I wish that I could fail students (we're not allowed to anymore). I just don't understand the point of pushing students through to the next grades when they aren't fully grasping the concepts that needed to be learned in the previous grades. I understand that now there are IEP's (individual education plans) but by the time those are finally put into place, a few years have passed. And then when they are in grade 6, they are learning math at a grade 2 level?!?! How does that make any sense?!

I'm just frustrated that I have such a low class. They are improving, but these improvements are so small that it almost feels like I'm not doing enough. As their teacher, I of course feel responsible for how much they learn. I just hope that by June, they will be a lot further than they are now. And for kids their age, 7 months is a long time and a good chunk of time for growth. I just have to keep telling myself that.