Thursday, March 30, 2006

Today was fine. Nothing real exciting happened.

Yesterday, one of my kids who is habitually tardy was tardy yet again. When a student is tardy they have to get a tardy pass from the front office and on the excuse line of the tardy pass the lady in the front office writes exactly what the student says.

Yesterday my habitually tardy student handed me a tardy pass that said "Washed hair too long." That should really be an excused tardy. I mean, who hasn't ever started washing their hair and gotten carried away and then the next thing you know an hour has flown by?

It occurred to me though that this wasn't the first unusual excuse this student had so I started looking back through all her other tardy slips from the past and here are some of the other excuses she's had. All from the same student:

"took a shower too long." (this personal grooming is really getting to be a problem)
"Mom can't see the road." (I don't think I understand that one at all)
"dad driving slow." (what was he? Driving a snail? "Heeya!")

I came across some other unusual tardy excuses from this year too. These are from various other students:
"Mom threw up on bag."
"Had a hard time finding stuff." (Can't go to school without "stuff"!)
"Sister trying to get money."

Thought you might enjoy some of those. That's all.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Now I dutifully report back to you on "The Power Team." It started with the first introduction set to techno music. The first member to appear was a barrel-chested young man named Jacob who played football at Arizona St. Then he introduced the second guy. There turned out to only be 2 of them. The second guy was 6'6" and 250lbs. Apparently he played basketball for the Celtics at one point. I think they said his name was Jack something.

So they came out and pumped the kids up and then they basically started destroying things in short order. First up was 3 cans of Diet 7Up. Big Jack would squeeze them between his hands until they burst on some unlucky kids. When he did this to the last can the top half of it burst off completely, flew through the air and landed at my feet with a splash of Diet 7UP that went all over me. Yeah. I can tell you this - nothing pumps you up like starting off your day doused in soda. Then came the phone book. Jacob tore a phone book in half. I think it would have been more impressive in a larger city. After that Jack was back. He took a frying pan in his hands and rolled it right up like a burrito. Then Jacob came back on the scene - he took an iron bar and held it in his teeth while he bent it into a pretzel. Then Jack gave a motivational talk about achieving "your hopes and dreams." "Your hopes and dreams," was a phrase that I heard many times this morning. It was fairly entertaining and he integrated one of the 4th grade students into the action. After that the finale was Jack breaking a baseball bat in half. That was pretty much it. The kids loved it.

The first pic you see here is Jack rolling up the pan. The next is Jacob with the bar in his teeth and the last is Jacob with the bent bar.

The rest of my day was fine. I had one kid who was obsessed with trying to come up with how every feat these guys performed was somehow rigged.

That's about all I've got. Tomorrow, if I have nothing else interesting to report, I'll give you my tardy excuses "greatest hits."


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Forget yesterday's post. If you don't get it then it's not for you.

I want to say again happy belated birthday to my dad. I already said happy belated birthday to him over the phone. Happy 74th, dad.

Today in class I somehow got off on a tangent and started recalling to my students going to the rodeo as a child and watching a monkey ride a dog. The dog had a saddle which also worked to strap the monkey in and basically attach the monkey to the dog. The monkey was dressed like a cowboy and the dog would come speeding out and around the arena with the monkey bent over like a jockey, riding away and no doubt thinking about how lucky he is to be speeding around an arena on a dog wearing a humiliatingly ridiculous cowboy costume instead of lounging around in the jungle eating dumb 'ol bananas. Anyway, my point in telling this is what the kids said. One kid said "What if it was a frog riding a goat?!" or something like that and then all the other kids started offering up suggestions of animals they would like to see riding around an arena on another animal. At the very end it got quiet and one girl said "I'd like to see a cow riding a bull." I wanted to tell her that if she cruised around in the country she'd very likely see vice-versa but of course I did not.

Tomorrow "The Power Team" is coming to our school. They're a group of strongmen who perform amazing feats of strength and share a motivational message. They're a Christian group but I don't know if they'll be sharing a Christian message tomorrow since it's a public school. I'm psyched though. I think it'll be cheesy and I LOVE cheese. I'm sure my boys will be obsessed with their muscles for the rest of the day. I have one kid who things he's a muscle man but is not anywhere near that. Skinny as a rail. He was walking around today trying to make his chest look puffed up. Really he just looked like he was possibly struggling with a sudden onset of scoliosis or something.

Well, that's all. I'm out. I'll report back on "The Power Team" tomorrow.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Is there anything more annoying than a cheeky commie?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Oops, forgot to post yesterday. I had some story or something I wanted to share too but now I forgot what it was. Maybe it'll come back to me.

Today was ok. This morning we went to the computer lab. These kids are incapable of clicking on a folder without accidentally moving that folder into another folder. They did that with the 4th grade networked folders like 3 times this morning. That was getting old. Then when I had them pull up clip art to put into our powerpoint presentation 5 or 6 of the computers froze up. Annoying.

I forgot that it was my day on duty to go out and watch the kids during recess. We've had a cold front this week and it was cold and windy out there and I only had a thin jacket on. I cut recess short by almost half the time. The aide that was with me and I were freezing.

Today was report card day. That always makes for a super-hectic conference period. I always barely get everything together and out but I somehow manage.

This morning I made sure to stand far away from the teacher who I mentioned in my last post. I could still smell her though...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

There is a particular faculty member at my school who I really don't enjoy standing by during our morning assembly. She's a nice person but there are several things going on here:

1. She has NO sense of humor. I don't mean that she doesn't think my jokes are funny - I mean that she absolutely seems to have no sense of when I'm joking or being serious. I'll say something absolutely outlandish and she'll respond as if I'm serious. I've stopped making jokes with her now lest I get in trouble with her taking me seriously.

2. Her singing - Her voice is just fine but it's the pronunciations that are distracting. "And" becomes "ahhhnd." "Bless" becomes "blahhss," etc... I just can't sing with that stuff going on.

3. The Pledge of Allegiance - she always seems to say this slightly faster than everyone else around her. So I've got the entire gym saying it in one ear and her saying it slightly faster in the other and it just short-circuits me or something...I become unable to say it myself. It's like the part of my brain that causes speaking and the part that has the ability to follow rhythm just shut down. It's weird.

Again, this lady is really nice but these things just get me all disjointed. Also, today she was wearing a lotion or perfume that has this particular scent that I've never been able to stomach. It was real popular years ago and (thankfully) has become less so but today it was very strong right next to me in the gym. I don't know how to describe the smell but why someone ever put it in a lotion or perfume is perplexing to me and why people continue to buy it is also perplexing.

I sound like a real jerk saying all that I guess but oh well.

The kids are really testing me this week it seems. Yesterday we were walking to PE and someone in line started to whistle. I said "If the whistling continues we're going to walk back up and try this again." It stopped until I turned around and someone whistled again...soooo... we walked back up the stairs and came down again. Then today one of my kids was just being real disruptive all day. At one point he just started making this random noise while I'm teaching. I warned him to stop and as soon as I turned away he made the noise again. I just went ahead and sent him to the vice principal for that because of some other ongoing things. That stuff is getting on my nerves. I don't know if these kids are starting to get spring fever or what...


Monday, March 20, 2006

First day back from spring break. Nothing seems to have really changed that much. Today was OK. I was rushing to get my grades in for report cards by 9am. That was kind of a hassle.

I spent some time reviewing science for a benchmark test that we're having next week. Mainly I did that because I didn't really have anything else planned. We needed to do it some anyway.

Nothing exciting really happened today. I had a pretty good spring break. Pretty relaxed. I didn't really want to go back today. I think our next holiday is about 4 weeks away. The week before Easter we get off on Thursday and Friday. I think that's right before a major standardized test. You gotta question that great timing.

That's about all I have to say today. Tune in tomorrow for more incredible blogging action.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

This has been an extremely hectic week. Friday is the end of the 9 weeks grading period and I didn't have any of my science assignments graded. So today was a mad rush to get that done and get missing assignments from students who hadn't turned them in etc...

Yesterday I had a "man-to-man" with one of my students. He's impossible to get through to. He doesn't seem to care about anything, his single father doesn't seem to care about much more than nitpicking everything we do, he smirks or laughs every time he gets in trouble. So I told him he was on his way to repeat fourth grade if things don't change. I asked him if he wanted things to change and if he wanted to make things better. He said "Yes." I asked him if that was honestly how he felt or if he was just telling me what he thought I wanted to hear. He said he really felt like that.

So at the end of the day he was supposed to go to tutoring to help him pass the standardized tests they have to do. He didn't show up and one of my other kids said that he told him "I'm leaving, I don't give a crap."

Today I asked him why he didn't come to tutoring. He said "I don't know," and shrugged. I said "I heard it was because you don't give a crap. Yesterday you told me that you DO care. Which is it?" He looked me right in the eye (he never looks me in the eye) and said "I don't care."

That stinks. There seems to be nothing we can do to make him care or to get him on track. He has zero motivation. We're at a total loss. My partner teacher who has taught for twenty some odd years is at a loss, the counselor is at a loss as is the principal. All I can really do I guess is pray for this kid. It's pretty frustrating.

1 day until spring break.

Monday, March 06, 2006

I'm getting observed tomorrow by a lady from the place where I received my teacher training. She always calls the night before and wants to come the next day. That kind of bugs me. Luckily this is the last of three required observations. Times like this make me wish I knew what the heck I was doing tomorrow.

4 days until spring break! Woohoo!

I've got a lot to do this week though because our 9 weeks grading period ends Friday. I've got to catch up on a lot of grading and makeup work, etc...

I had to take my car to the shop today so tomorrow I have to walk or ride my wife's bike to school. Luckily her bike doesn't look girly. She's pretty tall so I think she got a men's bike. That would suck if she had a pink bike with a basket and streamers on the grips...and a big banana seat. She has to be at work at some unGodly hour so she can't just drop me off at work.


Thursday, March 02, 2006

This morning I had nothing clean and ironed to wear. Luckily I had a couple of "blue jeans" coupons. That's pathetic that going casual was the highlight of my day.

So the kids came in this morning and had a completely new desk arrangement and seats. I think I've mostly got good positions for everyone. I kind of broke up the cliques and whatnot. They were excited when they first came in and saw it but I think they weren't all that excited as each one saw who they were sitting next to.

I had to stay and do tutoring again today. The teacher I'm doing it with isn't all that into planning interesting stuff which means that so far we're just going through a workbook with the kids. I'm going to try and get some more interesting lessons together I think.

I think it's about time to make a general announcement to the class: "NO MORE NOSE-PICKING." If they were at all discreet about it then I would be ok but it's ridiculous. They'll hold one hand up in front of their nose and dig in with the other as if people can't tell what they're doing. Today a kid was doing that and eating the boogers. I have another kid I've mentioned before who routinely holds a book about an inch from his face while he picks his nose. C'mon, people. Save it for the bathroom or use a kleenex. One of my coworkers said she once sent a behavior folder home with marks for "Excessive nose picking."

That's all I've got.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Had an ok day today. I took my class to the computer lab and they didn't screw up the computer network this time so that's always good. They were actually pretty good today.

After school I completely rearranged all the desks both as far as who each kid sits by and the arrangement of the desks in the room. I'm hoping this will help with the talking somewhat. I went from having them arranged all together table style to making a double layer U shape. Maybe that will help them focus. Maybe not.

I have to do after school tutoring again tomorrow. I think I have like 10 more weeks of this. Yippee.

Spring break is only 7 school days away.