Wednesday, November 30, 2005 

Day 69: Looking for weapons of mass destruction (or simply for cheaters)

Since discovering that I could put the girls to work correcting quizzes in class (see how I discovered this trick of trade here), I have not thought much about those who may try to cheat during the actual correction. I ask that they use a green pen, sign their name on their classmate's copy (so I know who did the correcting) and I of course go through them myself (most of the time just to take down the grade to include in the computer - not to redo the correction!).

This morning however, after Christine woke me up at 4:40AM (she's been getting up at EXACTLY that time for a week now - not 4:42 or 4:38, but really 4:40)I decided she would play next to me while I attacked a pile of quizzes corrected in class.

The first copy I looked at was very suspicious - the handwriting was not consistent and it appeared that the person doing the correction had penned in the right answer for her buddy (using blue ink - not the green).

Anyhow, drama unfolded this morning in that class, as I accused the girls of cheating and the whole class came over to look at the handwriting discrepancy. Everyone had an opinion - in the end, they convinced me that they had not cheated.

I think everyone will be a little nervous now in that class when it comes to correcting the quizzes - myself included.

Cheating is wrong - and yet we've all done it at some point. Especially in high school. I try to keep in mind that these girls are just that - normal human beings in grade 9. And I now watch carefully (or at least more carefully) when they write tests because other teachers told me not to trust them. And not trusting them is hard for me because I believe they all have the potential to be very good in my subjects.

I suppose I haven't become a REAL teacher yet.

Sometimes I wonder if it will happen before the end of the year...

111 days to go...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 

Days 67 & 68: Understanding by teaching

I was a little concerned about the technology class I had to teach today (3 times to 3 different groups) because I am stepping out of my comfort zone and into a studied-a-long-time-ago-mumbo-jumbo unfamiliar zone. Case in point, I had to explain the intricacies of magnetism and electromagnetism.

I have never had much (well, let's be honest, ANY!) interest in electricity and its related topics. I married an electrical engineer, figuring any and all future electrical needs could be taken care of by his truly. (well, he has other interesting features as well - but none that can be mentioned here).

And so far, after 10 years of marriage (plus a couple more years living in sin before that) I must admit that we've never had electrical issues, other than lightbulb replacements, which, if push comes to shove, I can pretty much handle on my own.

And today, as I stood in front of these girls and tried to make this topic look easy and simple (so as NOT to generate too too many questions), I made no attempt to dress it up as a sexy subject. I told them this was going to be a little bit boring, but that we'd all make it through and the faster the better.

They probably thought I was concerned with THEIR feelings, when really I just can't wait until we hit more interesting topics.

Or at least more familiar ones.

But as luck would have it, I have survived and managed to deepen my own understanding of the whole thing.

What do you know? The headlines could read "Teacher deepens own understanding of subject by teaching".

And if this blog was discovered by school administration, the following headline would read "Fake teacher looking for another job after using class time to learn what she was teaching".

Sunday, November 27, 2005 

Frustration mounts...

My hubby has undertaken finishing the basement (as described here). This is all great and dandy, and I knew I would be pretty much watching from the sidelines while he (and his brother) went ahead and did their thing.

I've had to put up with being alone with the three kids every week-end (the kids are great, but spending 12 hours with the exclusive purpose of entertaining, feeding, wiping their bums, entertaining, settling fights, wiping their nose, pouring glasses and glasses of milk, and entertaining some more would drive the best of moms crazy).

I've had to put up with noise - making it impossible to watch TV (imagine that!) but the noise has not woken the kids up at night so I'm not complaining yet on the decibel extravanza coming from below.

I've had to pretty much take care of cleaning the house, doing laundry, and all of the cooking - which is not unusual except that hubby is not keeping the kids busy while I'm doing this. And he is really missed on that front...

But I must admit the biggest frustration stems from being excluded from managing the "project". I see lots of time wasted - so many activities could be optimized when it comes to getting the materials and planning WHEN to get it, etc. I have no idea how to put walls up, how to install hardwood floors or tiles, but I do know how to PLAN, OPTIMIZE AND EXECUTE (it's what I used to do for a living!) and it's just driving me nuts...


Day 66: it went well

What more is there to say???

I have a ton of things to do by Tuesday morning - including really really understanding electromagnetism so that I can not only explain it very well, but also answer all the quirky questions students are so good at coming up with...

Thursday, November 24, 2005 

Days 64 and 65: He committed suicide... and other gloomy thoughts

Today was a busy day - and I was off to a bit of a disappointing start since I purposely left extra extra early to get a jump on some grading at school, and had to battle the elements (it was snowing and drivers were extra cautious...) such that I got to school with less than 30 minutes to spare and didn't get any grading done...

The day was a very sad one as we were told that one of our fellow teacher's father had committed suicide sometime between last night and this morning. We have no idea why, how, whether anyone had seen it coming, or anything else. I suppose all this is somewhat irrelevant, the sorrow and pain is probably all that matters to this family. The Christmas celebrations will be overshadowed by such a tragic event.

A couple of weeks ago my husband's little cousin (or once-removed cousin - whatever it is we call our cousins' children) had a big car accident and has been in a coma ever since.
17 years old, first year in College, his whole life ahead of him, and BANG! He lost control at an exit on the highway, perhaps speed was involved - I have no idea - it was at 5PM on a rainy day so one can imagine it was simply dark and slippery and his lack of driving experience didn't help things.
I suppose we'll got some more news by the week-end since the "last" treatment the docs have in mind is almost over - treatment which, according to them, will let us know whether he'll ever wake up or not.

I can't even imagine the parents' pain right now - parents are NOT meant to outlive their kids. It's against nature, and certainly one of the worse things that one can deal with. I don't think I could survive that.

It certainly has made me slow down a little on the road. I'm a big proponent of the "ENJOY LIFE WHILE YOU CAN - EVERY DAY IS A GIFT" and all this certainly reinforces this.

Well, I never intended to have such a gloomy post - but I suppose blogging is a reflection of our lives - and today is definitely a gloomy one...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005 

Day 63: Outing - and the bus driver from HELL!!!!

I was soooo excited 2 weeks ago when someone put the following notice in the teachers' lounge:

"November 22nd: all 9th graders are going to see a play so classes end at 12:30PM. They will be back at around 4PM".

I dashed to the bathroom for a private little victory dance - anticipating to have the afternoon off (remember that this is the day I teach non-stop for 7 periods).

I marked my agenda, and started planning which grading would have to be done on that afternoon to make the most of my time "alone".

As the days passed, I was no longer really thinking about this when the activities coordinator came by to see me last Friday to make sure "4PM would not be a problem on the 22nd".

She took me by surprise, but my brain was able to quickly access the information stored in the "TIME AWAY FROM THE STUDENTS" file in the lower left part of my brain - after all, as an engineer, I was fitted with 64 Megs of RAM when I graduated 10 years ago...

What came out of my mouth at that point sounded something like this:

"You're probably looking for someone else - I got a free pass on Tuesday - my students are going to a play while I try to catch up on a million things I need to grade."

I obviously didn't fight her too hard, because today, I was getting into a schoolbus with 36 girls and heading downtown to catch a play by Moliere.

This bus ride could have been the perfect opportunity to rest, maybe even nap since there were several rows between the girls and I (because the bus was not full, and old people tend to sit in the front row while all the young ones fight for the back rows).

Instead, I held on to dear life as this driver, clearly not in a good mood, was racing the 2 others buses to the theater.

Not only was she desperately trying to catch up to the first 2 buses, but she started hissing every time one of the girls would lift her buttock from the seat she was on. "EVERYONE - JUST SIT STILL ALREADY!" was heard plenty of times.

And she literally had a bird when she noticed a couple of kids writing with their fingers on the steamed windows. I thought she was going to stop the bus right there on the highway, pull the turkey out of her arse, and cut the girls' fingers off.

She was just as pleasant on the way home, except by then it was snowing pretty hard and the roads were slippery - all the more reasons for her to go even faster to beat the traffic.

The story has a happy ending though: we all made it back in one piece, and I didn't even have to think - or access any remote area of my brain - to come up with this post.

Monday, November 21, 2005 

Days 61 and 62: Go Diego, Go!!!

Quick post because typing is actually a pain. My CTS has been acting up again.

CTS is of course Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and it's not the most pleasant ailment to have when you're a teacher. I would have to admit that it's probably even more scary if you're a brainsurgeon, or a dentist. And scariest if you're the PATIENT of aforementioned surgeon or dentist...

CTS has proven to be quite the companion over the week-end, as the cavemen continued to make unruly sounds below.

Here are some of the cool things I did while (stuck) alone with the girls - just to keep this post short (remember that typing hurts) I'll only mention the activities that were a little more challenging due to the fact that I could only use my left hand (and that I am righthanded of course):

- preparing meals (without serving any of my fingers as high protein appetizers)

- pouring glass after glass after glass of mik (God sent me half-human, half-calf babies just to punish me for not being much of a milk drinker)

- wiping the girls' bum-bums after nature called (remember now that they are part animal, that they are very healthy and that the slightest slip of the left hand may have been somewhat unpleasant)

- wiping my - oh forget this one - I'm NOT posting about that

- helping out with Jigsaw puzzles (and trying to make it look easy)

- folding 5 loads of laundry with one hand, as fast as possible such that the girls don't get to it first, but slowly enough so that it looks like I put some effort into this futile exercise

- other stuff my hubby doesn't want mentioned on this blog because it would be out of line

So for those of you sending me emails, please understand if I'm not responding today as I have used up all of my typing energy on this post.

Thursday, November 17, 2005 

Day 60: When size really matters

Today should have been a nice day. I had 2 classes (my two star classes) presenting their projects. As expected, these were all ready on time, no in-fighting over so-and-so not pulling their weight, and frankly, 2 commercials that blew me away. Of course, these aren't something that one would see during SuperBowl, but for 9th graders with NO previous videotaping and editing experience, I was truly impressed. No technical fiasco, no missing poster, no nothing to be negative about.


It started when I got up - perhaps a combination of going to bed early but not sleeping more than 2 hour stretches because one of the girls has an ear infection... and it was keeping HER up - which by direct translation keeps ME up.

Perhaps it was that I've had to hand out a 0 (as in ZERO, NADA, ZILCH) as a grade to one student and it's upset me far more than it should. She's been avoiding taking the biology test - after I allowed her not to take it on the Friday she was supposed to because of "personal problems" (yes, I'm a sucker and probably too gullable for my own good). Anyhow, she's been skipping out on all three other opportunities she's had to take the re-write - and the worse part in my opinion, is that SHE IS NOT ADRESSING THIS WITH ME. So we're both playing dumb, except that she's going to realize next week as I hand back the tests that she got 0 - and I feel lousy about that (even though I know she needs this "lesson").

Perhaps I was simply due for a migraine because let's face it, who wants to go more than a week without codeine?

Anyhow, I had to ask for someone to replace me for my computer science class this afternoon because the pounding was just too intense. I think it was a rap beat - no wonder I felt so lousy...

And so I was planning an EXTRA SHORT post because I just want to sit down with my green tea and catch up on the second half of House, MD before heading up to bed.

Size matters when you have a headache - and this post completely disproves that theory.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 

Day 59: Fiascos and triumphs - all in day's work

The girls have been working on a tobacco project - some were assigned the making of a scientific posters while other had to shoot a commercial (anti-tobacco of course).

Well, one class (you'll never guess which one) had several technical fiascos - in one case, they didn't even bother to switch what they filmed onto anything - they had the camera plugged to the TV to show their commercial. Something kept NOT WORKING and it took 3-4 tries and about 20 minutes for it to work (keep in mind it's only 1 minute long). Another team's video had sound which was so bad you could not make out what they were saying - and because they filmed YESTERDAY in the snow, the glare was so bad no faces could be made out either. Some of the girls had their video in a format requiring them to use a computer and a projector. For some reason the computer kept rebooting. I was not impressed with their technical check PRIOR to their presentation...

Moving right along to another class, with different problems (ever heard of team members not pulling their weight - and lo-and-behold, it's the morning you have to hang the poster for everyone to see, and SOMEONE FORGOT TO PRINT THEIR PART). I can't even fathom that with almost 5 weeks to put this together, some were still counting on this morning, THIS morning, to finalize it. Anyhow, the 3 other teams with commercials did brilliantly - no tech mishap, no weird format or cam hook-up. And cool commercials to boot!

Tomorrow, my 2 other classes are strutting their anti-tobacco messages and I know it will go well. Simply because in these two groups, it ALWAYS goes smoothly. Knock on wood of course...

Tuesday, November 15, 2005 

Day 58: Cooking class: how to insert backbone into mollusks

What a day.... not only because it was 7 teaching periods in a row, with NO LUNCH BREAK because I was supervising a girl taking a test she missed last week, but because life as a teacher is a roller-coaster ride, and honestly, after 58 days, the Gravol doesn't seem to cut it anymore...

I'm still trying to reach out to that "challenging" class (see here , here and here) but I am starting to run out of ideas... I gave them one period today to work on their class project.

The Project Manager speaks extremely softly, won't raise her voice even though I've encouraged her several times to try and take control of the class before it's too late... People were doing other homework, and CHATTING, CHATTING, CHATTING incessantly about other stuff.
A few girls had good ideas, good comments, valuable points, and no one heard them.
It was a sea of noise, of girls who don't give a damn about their class project, about their peers, about the PM, and ultimately, who don't give a damn about themselves in the process.

I'm now debating whether to cancel the project for this class and find something else to fill the time - have them work on research papers or something like that.

Of course I'm fed up right now - perhaps I'll have a different perspective tomorrow.

On the bright side, the cavemen are taking a break tonight, so no loud and strange noises coming from below - actually, everyone but me is sleeping (and yes, it's only 8:34PM). I HAVE to get some stuff ready for tomorrow. Did I mention a teacher's work is never done???

Monday, November 14, 2005 

Day 57- part 2: Abracadabra - I want to reach out and grab ya!

Enough Steve Miller already... for those of you old enough to know this song...

As expected, we can all laugh (or cry!) at the fact that I only got 7 out of 10 things done today. Here's the breakdown:

1) go to Curves for workout - DONE
2) go through student surveys - 3 out of 4 classes DONE
3) watch video on magnetism and make notes - type the notes NOPE
4) type up some biology notes to hand out DONE
5) take a last look at the corrected biology tests NOPE
6) think of how I will be grading the anti-tobacco videos the girls will be handing in this week NOPE - Yikes: I need to get to that...
7) about 3 loads of wash - DONE
8) vacuum - NOPE
9) try not to go nuts with the Curves Nutritional Guide*** DONE
10) post at the end of the day to let you know how things went... DONE!!!!

Gotta go - dinner is cooking and I am sooooo ready for a little TV.

Something that was NOT on my list and that I got done:
Christmas shopping for the girls - bought a whole bunch of things (of course it SEEMS like a whole bunch because I have to buy everything in TWO sets...).


Day 57 - part 1 : The illusion

Well, for those of you keeping a mathematical eye on things, day 56 is missing because I didn't post about it - it was a ped day.

Today is day 57, and I thought I'd list out things I'd like to get done today and check in later so that we can all laugh at how illusive it is to make lists like these...

So here we go - and it starts well since one of the things is done already!!!

1) go to Curves for workout - DONE
2) go through student surveys
3) watch video on magnetism and make notes - type the notes
4) type up some biology notes to hand out
5) take a last look at the corrected biology tests
6) think of how I will be grading the anti-tobacco videos the girls will be handing in this week
7) about 3 loads of wash
8) vacuum
9) try not to go nuts with the Curves Nutritional Guide***
10) post at the end of the day to let you know how things went...

So that's it - as I'm violently sucking back a few cups of coffee this morning to charge my body, I think I'll leave my blog as a background to remind me what I need to do...

*** A Nutrition Guide was provided to me when I joined Curves. As I waited for a counsellor the day I signed up, I was reading and almost fell off my chair when I saw that people with Type 2 Diabetes should follow a HIGH CARB (HIGH SUGAR) DIET (these were the exact words).

I couldn't help myself and I told one of the counsellors that surely this was wrong and she checked in the English guide (I was reading the French one) and then said "No, no - that's right" and mumbled something else. I left it at that because I was suddenly unsure of myself.

When I got home I checked it out on internet, downloaded a nutrition show on Diabetes, looked at several books I have (I'm a bit of a nut about these nutrition things) and was happy to see that I was right.

My in-laws are both Type 2 Diabetic and I know what I'm supposed to feed them (or not) when they come over for dinner. This has been driving me crazy but I'm waiting for the right moment to approach the person in charge.

I'm quite anal about this type of BIG MISTAKE especially since it can impact someone's health, and I figure I need to wait until I'm all calm about it to address this issue - I don't want to appear more of a nut than I already am...
I noticed this morning more mistakes in the book, some typos about calorie content per portion (says one thing at the bottom of the page, and something else at the top for THE SAME thing) and I even question some of the nutritional calculations they make (lots of inconsistencies).

I know I will want to spend some time looking at this - but I can't afford to do that today...

Sunday, November 13, 2005 

The week-end is almost over...

... tonite is best tv night, and yet I feel like simply going to bed now and waking up tomorrow. Screw dinner. Screw the kids' baths. Screw The Housewives (not literally of course).

Sheer exhaustion from running after the twins all day yesterday and today. Exhaustion from trying to keep the mess they create as they move around to a minimum. I can't imagine what the lives of those with sextuplets is like. They probably live on caffeine pills - I could use a couple right about now...

Lots to do tomorrow to prepare for the upcoming week. Including getting those surveys counted and analyzed...

Gotta go - the cavemen* are calling for my help.

*cavemen: hubby and bro-in-law who are working hard on the kid trap - oops - I mean on the basement.

Thursday, November 10, 2005 

Day 54 and 55: I'm a corrections officer - just clowning around...

It seems I am falling behind - keeping up with posting every day is not easy these days...

Today and tomorrow are ped days - non-working ones - but of course I spent a good part of the day correcting. A pathetic corrections officer - not the type that keeps an eye on dangerous prisoners, but rather the type who should have a red pen permanently inserted into her right hand... that and a caffeine IV in the left arm because I am constantly fighting off sleep these days...

I also feel like the clown of the house, as I am juggling the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, the kids and whatever else comes up - while dear hubby hides in the basement and plays a loud tape that sounds like a cement drill...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005 

Day 53: Class council

Yesterday was a thoroughly exhausting day. After teaching for the full 7 periods (and I mean lecturing the whole time since we needed to get through some material before they can do any kind of exercise on their own...), I went into a 4-hour meeting they call "class council".

I knew what was going to happen, but I didn't realize how this would actually feel like and affect me in the end.

So all the teachers of each of the four groups of grade nine girls get together and examine EACH GIRL'S fist semester results in each subject, and give comments about their performance and behavior. The girls each have a file which follows them through the 5 years of high school so the notes of the previous year are available. Those in need of private tutoring are noted, those in "bad behavior" situation are assessed and troubleshooted (what can we do, how do we do it, etc).

I was shocked at the talent of these teachers to notice that this girl is having identity problems, this girls is a little depressed, this girl is slipping because she is hanging out with a gang after school, etc...

So many things about the girls are KNOWN to the teachers
(the REAL teachers) and I felt both shocked and inadequate as all I could really bring to the table was positive stuff unless the girl is a pain in the butt, or failing because she is lazy.

The whole exercise freaked me out somewhat and as I drove home at 8PM, starved and mentally drained from this loooooong day at school, I felt "dirty". I'm not one to speak behind people's back - if I have a problem with someone, one serious enough that I feel it should be adressed, I simply speak with the person about it.

I know this was the point, that the person in charge of each group will be getting in touch with either the girl or her parents about some of these things, but I still had an overwhelming feeling of having spent the evening bitching behind their backs. For their own good, but still behing their backs.

I went to bed, after drowning my sorrows with a 2-hr Law & Order Criminal Intent episode, accompanied not by my dear hubby but rather by a pounding migraine.

And since one of the kids woke me up at 4:20AM looking for her sucee, I decided to get up and prepare today's lectures and go through the little surveys I handed out the students yesterday. More about those in the next post...

Monday, November 07, 2005 

Day 52: The sound of the drill is driving me nuts!

I'm sitting here with, to my left, about 4 hours left of correction and grading for the last biology test they wrote Friday.

And downstairs, in the basement, are my lovely hubby and his brother, drilling away at the concrete floor.

We had this house built 7 years ago - the basement was the next project to be tackled (until other stuff got in the way.

Things finally got "out of hand" enough to prompt my hubby to get started. By "out of hand", I don't mean physical abuse (as it was the case in this post) but I mean between the three kids, their strollers, the dolls, all the doll clothes, the small pop-up tent, the pic-nic table, the puzzles, the books, the Game Cube, the games and all the DVDs, it's a true miracle we haven't broken any limbs or twisted any ankles.
We were thinking of renting out our place to the Army Reserves for training. Take your pick - it can be a bombed area (plenty of places to look for hidden bodies), it can be a tornado-stricken area (that what it looks like after all), it can be a perfect obstacle course for those in need of physical activity.

But it CANNOT remain this way forever. I need yet another area where strollers and dolls can be happy - out of the high traffic areas which include the kitchen, living room and hallway, and most of all, OUT OF SIGHT.

As an added bonus, we can put a lock on the basement door, and safely get rid of the kids for a couple of hours... definitely worth the noise...

Sunday, November 06, 2005 

Day 51: Looks like I'll be damned...

Day 51 was only 2 days ago - but now I see the value in posting every day rather than taking a little break from blogging and trying to remember memorable events that happened more than 48 hours ago...

Since it was a test day, it was a rather easy one - of course hell follows shortly after when I have 100+ tests to correct.

I decided to make this one an easy one - I still need to calculate this to be sure, but I think 90% of the marks were questions taken straight out of the quizzes or the exercises we did in class.

I quickly corrected some questions and am flabergasted to see that some students didn't even manage to get those right.

I just don't understand kids who don't study. I don't get it, I can't imagine why they would choose to have a bad mark over cracking the books a little.

So all week-end I've been racking my brains to figure out yet another way to make them study - it seems for some the 12-page biology homework did not really make a difference. I'll have to look at everything closely - analyze the marks and their owners - and find a way.

A way for them to have good marks AND know their stuff.

I just won't lower my standards to meet the lazy ones - they each have a body, and I'll be damned if they don't understand how it works!!!

Thursday, November 03, 2005 

Day 50: My brain is mush and my heart won't go for "tough love"

My brain is mush - I had great post ideas during the day, and now it seems these ideas have escaped the maze that is my brain (or more likely these ideas are lost somewhere between the codeine receptor and the sleep deprivation center).

One of my girls is simply not sleeping anymore, and I've been battling another migraine since I stepped out of school today. And guess who's winning?

Sleep deprivation is something I know very well - when the twins were born, the first three months were all about that, with less than 3 hours of sleep in a row - all I did was breastfeed and change diapers.

The human body is an awesome machine - I don't know how I got through that. And now, once again, I feel sleep-deprived because Christine wakes up every 2-3 hours and gets up between 4:00 and 4:30AM.

The pediatrician today said there isn't much we can do - giving her Benadryl or other stuff of the sort won't make her sleep in later. I personally would have enquired how much Vallium a 30-lbs toddler can take without permanent damage to the liver or other vital body parts.
The pediatrician also suggested (to my hubby) the best method may be to coach her into staying quiet in her room and keeping busy by herself.

If my head hadn't been throbbing when hubby told me that, I would have physically thrown myself on the floor and rolled around laughing. That's how I feel about "coaching" her anything - she's our little Hitler, telling everyone what to do, how to do it, and if you dare speak to her while she is giving you orders, she tells you to "zip it" - these are HER words. And she's all of 38 inches tall...

I have to make this post short (but I think it's too late for that already) - I need to enter the last bit of information about my students into the special grading software.

I thought that grading essay questions was difficult, I thought that being swamped with a million tests to grade was difficult, I found (and still find) it very difficult to see some girls fail the first semester - but just when difficult was getting easier, I found out I have to give each girl two grades (letters): one for their work (quality)and one for their behavior in class. Why can't we just let the numbers do the talking????? I've said enough already...

All this for tomorrow of course, and even though I would love to cut some of these girls up in small pieces, throw them in my crockpot for the low-temp 10-hr and feed them to the wolves (even if there aren't any in this area), it will be very hard for me to give them grades that will make them feel bad about themselves. I think I'm really not made for the "tough love" part of this job...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005 

Day 49: A Tim Bit to lift their spirit

I stopped by Tim Hortons this morning, Canada's favorite donut shop, to pick up a big box of Tim Bits (donut holes). One of my classes performed particularly well yesterday in the project management activity and I wanted to reward them quickly (before they did something to undo my happiness).

This class is usually very participative, so much so that I have trouble getting through the material because everyone talks at the same time. (this is NOT my dreaded group by the way- group which I have described here, here and here ).

Needless to say they were very happy about this - it was the first time since the beginning of the year that I praised their work this way (2 other of my classes have been treated to either Tim Bits or Whippet cookies before). I can't do this every time someone does something right because
- the girls would eventually gain weight
- they would constantly expect a treat in exchange for good behavior (Pavlov anyone?)
- I would go broke in the process - obviously, this is NOT the type of expense the school would pick up.

Bad migraine today - what a drag - I was happy to leave the school early (noon) today and I napped this afternoon but I did not get my grading done and of course this is bothering me now.


Another hair comment today that probably raised the barely tamed short locks I have...

Teacher: "Wow - your hair!"
Me: "Didn't you see it yesterday?"
Teacher: "Yes, but it looks shorter today."

I thought hair was supposed to GROW. I did not expect anything to show overnight, but if it's starting to look SHORTER every day, I will have to start wearing a tuque and adopt a more hip look.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005 

Day 48: A series of miscellaneous events...

Today was one of those days - you know, one that ends with you being exhausted with no particular reason. Or was there a reason?

Since we turned the clocks back an hour, Christine my early bird is an even earlier bird. She was up at 4:30AM this morning. I don't think this even qualifies as "crack of dawn" - perhaps I should send her out to live on a farm where early risers are much more appreciated...

The day went OK - I am debating what to do with 4 students (all from the problematic class) who were late in handing in an assignment - assignment which I gave them to better their grade - with much warning that I would not, could not, accept if handed in after the 31st of October.

I found out today that I have to assign a letter-based (A,B,C, etc) grade to each student best describing their behavior in class. This won't be easy - it will be simple for the good students, but for the bad ones, I need to think it through. I'm discovering that I'm a real softie and that it really affects me when students are not doing well in my classes.

The twins went down howling tonight, which is never a nice way to end the evening. I'm so tired at this point, I think the only thing I'm good for is hitting the pillow.

For those of you who may want a little chuckle after this serious post, here are two of the comments I either heard or received directly today from various students - regarding my new haircut:

"Didn't you get your hair cut a few weeks ago?"

"Did you get your hair cut?" (to which I should have answered: "No, why do you ask?")

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About me

  • I'm Lolita
  • From Canada
  • Challenges... don't we all love a good challenge? University, married life, a mortgage, kids, keeping my sanity while we cruise through life at 100 MPH... why not try my hand at teaching for a year. After all, a school year is only 180 days - anyone should be able to survive 180 days, right? Well, I'm about to find out - follow my journey and enjoy my trials and tribulations as I embark in this 180 day rollercoaster ride of teenage hormones and drama, spiked with discipline, homework, exams and surprises I'm sure...
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