1934. Ms. No - 9/11/2017 6:55:50 PM
Thanks! I'll check it out.
Got here this morning to find that for the first time in 13 years, someone had sprayed graffiti all over the school. Some of us called out by name as "fake" or "ass-kissers," and a couple of people are the principal's "dog", "boy," or "bitch."
It was shocking, and I felt so bad for the kids. Two of my early-bird students immediately came to my room to ask me if I was okay. That's how sweet our kids are. (for the record I'm the "ass-kisser). Fortunately most of it had been painted over by the time students were getting to school. The District acted really fast to get a crew out here to cover stuff up.
We've got video cameras everywhere, but the person was masked and wearing a bulky sweatshirt. We know for sure it wasn't a student. Right now we're thinking former staff member because of the way the individuals called out were referred to.
They'll slip up and we'll get them!
1935. Ms. No - 9/23/2017 7:35:53 PM
Second time in a week that I've run into a former student down on the K Street Mall --- obviously homeless.
This kills me.
I look around at all of the folks living on the streets and imagine them as babies. Somebody, somewhere, was once so thrilled they came into this world. Somebody somewhere once thought they were precious and adorable and ought to be protected.
I don't know what to do about this, but we have got to do something.
1936. arkymalarky - 9/24/2017 5:18:34 PM
Probably close to 30 years ago stan was working for the county and they had county prisoners cleaning up roadsides and one of my students begged him not to tell me he was among those on the side of the road. And it still amazingly hard to tell who's going to make it and who's not, despite what you see in all of the data about poverty and family backgrounds. The biggest thrill I have is a teacher is seeing a happy former student. Not so much the job and career but the happiness. I ran into one of my students in his forties who never got married but had worked in factories since high school and went back and got a degree in computer science because all of his co-workers and Friends kept telling him he was too smart for his job. I said you listened to them but you didn't listen to your teacher when you were in jr high school did you? He was black, dirt-poor, very rural, and had health issues in school. But he had core of character and good education that kept him on track even before he went back to school. That's why I rural public schools are so important. Especially for poor and minority students.
Drugs and alcohol in the biggest scourge on unhappy former students and I don't know what keeps some from going down that road. I've seen some great kids destroyed by it. And sometimes you think well it's the environment, and sometimes you think how could that kid possibly have gone that route with his or her family background?
1937. arkymalarky - 9/24/2017 5:18:52 PM
Sly Stone was right.
1938. arkymalarky - 9/24/2017 5:21:12 PM
And something has got to be done about severe mental illness in this country. Tossing them out on the street after closing the admittedly failing State hospitals doesn't seem to be working after 30 some odd years.
1939. Ms. No - 9/25/2017 5:45:19 PM
You've got that right. I'd say fully half - and probably more - of the people living on the K-Street Mall suffer from severe mental illness. You can tell because everyone on the Mall looks like their talking to themselves, but only the people in suits are actually using a Bluetooth.
On a positive note, we just had a bunch of alumni come back to visit and present to our Freshman class about the jobs their doing in health care. It's always so great to see what fine adults they've become -- and to know that they still love their school!
1940. Ms. No - 9/27/2017 12:13:13 AM
"they're" not "their"
and they let me teach Englush.
1941. Ms. No - 10/27/2017 11:32:25 PM
Quite pleased with myself for having designed and successfully run my own BreakoutEDU game. Both of my Government classes did this activity as their final assessment on our Media and Propaganda unit.
I was a little let down when it was over because it took me so long to write all the puzzles and put the materials together, and then it was all done in two class periods. I'll recoup the time in future executions, though. Once it's built, it's built.
I'm most proud that I hit the mark correctly with the difficulty of the puzzles. Both classes successfully broke out, but it took them almost the entire class period to do it. Hearing them talk about the concepts and argue using their knowledge showed that they really did learn something. Waaaaaay more fun than grading a written quiz.
I don't know if I have ever mentioned this site before:
It's free, but you do have to register. They've got lots of games already made, but also instructions on how to design your own games.
1942. Ms. No - 11/4/2017 3:48:26 AM
So this is happening
Sacramento teachers plan to strike Wednesday if no deal. Last walkout was in 1989.
We're all hoping for the best but planning for the worst. I've heard from a very reliable source that word at the district is "It's going to be a long strike."
They're prepared to issue 1000 emergency credentials and pay those teachers $500/day to cross the picket lines.
So, the ongoing effort to break the union continues.
They use our love of our students and our schools to fuck us over and then call us names in the press.
If it weren't so devastating to so many families I'd say, break the union. Lose all your qualified teachers to other districts instead of just the 30% you've already lost and then see if you can get anyone to come here and teach.
Come on in TFA. They're making room for you!
1943. Ms. No - 11/4/2017 3:50:59 AM
What to know about the Sacramento City School District teacher strike
And this is how they see teachers -- a paycheck, not a professional. Clearly, any warm body who went to college can replace a veteran teacher.
Wonder how many of those emergency credentials will still be teaching after the first week?
1944. arkymalarky - 11/4/2017 5:48:51 AM
How cool! I was out all week sick.
Wow. We both showed up in here the same time, so I'll leave the above comment for your post on breakout EDU, and read what's going on now, but my initial reaction to that is damn!
1945. arkymalarky - 11/4/2017 5:52:58 AM
It's really discouraging to see how stupid most people are and how easily manipulated they are by arguments that don't make any logical sense, much less have any kind of facts or data back them up. I always used to joke about how they're going to get rid of all of us and hire good teachers who just can't get jobs because we bad teachers are taking them all. All these good teachers would just slide right in and make it a better system if they just get rid of the bad ones. It's like all these people who are pro fetus and anti children. I'm so sick of their simple stupid hypocritical lines of reasoning that it's hard for me not to spew everytime I hear them.
1946. Ms. No - 11/4/2017 8:50:54 PM
yep and yep and yep
Here I am hoping we have a 3 or 4 day strike so I can get caught up on some curriculum planning and design.
So lazy and selfish. They should definitely replace me.
1947. Ms. No - 11/7/2017 1:33:55 AM
Hooray! Strike averted!
We got the raise, but not the additional nurses, counselors, and arts programs. Class sizes will stay the same -- 24:1 for K-6, and 35:1 for 7-12. It's not so bad for our school since we're small already, but some of the comprehensive high schools are struggling.
How exactly is a teacher supposed to grade 170 term papers in any reasonable amount of time and really do justice to the comments?
1948. arkymalarky - 11/12/2017 10:28:02 PM
Glad y'all avoided the strike, but don't see how some teachers do what they're doing. I spent the weekend being Grandma, after spending the last 2 weeks sick, and I'm ready to retire. I've never felt that way before now, and I still love teaching, but I'm sick of not being able to do anything else.
1949. Ms. No - 11/13/2017 2:53:09 AM
Yeah, I found that if I put another 5 years --- probably 6 since I had to half-time years --- in for this district, I'll have health benefits for life after retirement.
One the one hand, that's really great. On the other hand, it's depressing as fuck to think I might still be here doing exactly this 6 years from now.
Unless I really don't find anything else I want to do or anywhere else I need to be.
It's just that my family is far from me and my mom and dad will be in their mid-70s at that point. I don't want to miss out on time with them when they're still active and able to do things.
And my brother may find a job out of state and move his family, in which case I REALLY don't want to stay behind.
It's almost depressing to think that I want to plan my own life around the choices that other people make, but it's not so much that as that I'm a lot more flexible because I don't' have the same obligations they do.
Ah, well. None of it has to be decided tonight. :-)
1950. wabbit - 12/7/2017 5:56:30 PM
Thought this article might be of interest:
American children are drowning in self-esteem
1951. Ms. No - 12/8/2017 3:15:23 AM
He's not entirely wrong, but he's not entirely right either. Comparing the average American public school --- or even the above average American public school -- to the test scores of private school children in Shanghai isn't a very useful measure, not so much because of the differences in educational theory -- which are significant -- but because of the differences in student pool and overall cultural philosophy.
The focus shouldn't narrow to "what's wrong with American education," when what is really being looked at is how American culture is different from Chinese culture -- neither of which is in any way homogeneous enough to talk about in any but the most general of ways.
That being said, I think America has veered off into the silly-lands with the lack of honest critique. We are either "kind" to the point of dishonesty, or dishonest in the pursuit of crushing our adversaries at all costs. All of it is lying.
1952. Ms. No - 12/18/2017 8:53:15 PM
One. more. week.
Time has slowed to a crawl and the natives are restless. This will be a fairly light instructional week for me, but the kids are working hard on Thesis papers and final projects, so they're all freaking out and I'm doing a lot of hand-holding.
Wednesday will be fun --- they've created Breakout puzzles to test each other, 1st period against 3rd, and then we'll do a potluck during English while I do individual consultations with students on their senior projects.
I'm so sick of the senior project. Gotta restructure this thing for next year. Still spending waaaaaay too much time on the research paper, but for most of them, it's only the second one they've ever written of any length. The last one that was more than five pages was when I had them back in sophomore year --- and for about 85% of them, it was the first they'd ever written.
I'm looking to teach research papers more like journalism in the future. Maybe that will be more fun and make more sense.
1953. arkymalarky - 12/25/2017 5:56:55 PM
Taking my Junior High to the cemetery for the last time. I really like that little Excursion as a core for introductory research.
Not marking x's on the calendar or benchmarks, but it pops into my head some this year when I'm doing things I enjoy that I'm not going to do them ever again. Yesterday I was saying that to stan about teaching poetry after I was talking to him about an Emily Dickinson poem, and busted out crying.