The Big Let Down

Here it is 4 days after my portfolio was due and I am trying to let myself enjoy the downtime. But I can’t.  I’m ready to get started again. I want to get back to loving all of it.  AIMS is mostly over.  We just have to do the field test on Monday, then it’s back to business.  I’m not really sure I know or believe in what that means.  I think in the last efforts to prepare my students for 4th grade, I am saddened that I haven’t done more.  We are short on time now before they go to the fourth grade.  There is so much still to do.

Then there’s the other part of reality.  Teachers got notice that they’re being laid off yesterday.  That is sad that we have to let some of our school go.  What does that mean for those who are left?  Our job just got harder with way less resources.  As if it weren’t hard enough. I hope that those of use who are left can band together and keep some consistency with the good things we have going so far.

What is our state thinking?

Yes, everyone is in financial stress right now, but really what is in the best interest of kids is not cutting the budget by almost a billion dollars.  Our district is taking measures to address the cuts, bit it is going to be painful.  I realized the first of many hits when I realized that I can’t order the live animals that I need to finish my science unit.  This is a problem since I need to complete my science entry for my National Boards and time is running out.  I hate to think how it’s going to be when the subs really stop.  We had a trial run today, but on a regular basis, this is going to get old really fast.  

Kagan Cooperative Learning

It’s been a while, I know.

This Monday and Tuesday I was fortunate enough to participate in a Kagan training.  It was great.  I have heard so much about it in the seven years I have been teaching, but never had the opportunity to participate.  There are many things that I will be able to use right away on Monday. It is good to know many of the things that I do already have in place just need to be tweaked.  Unfortunately Monday is coming much to fast when I realize that I haven’t done nearly 1/3 of what I planned to do this week.  It’s nice to take a break though.

Where does the day go?

I was driving home and thinking that it has been a while since I have posted on here.  Then I was reading Chris Lehmann’s post, Sustainability, where he talks about how overwhelmed  teachers are and  a lot of them are not blogging.  I’ve had good intentions, but time has not been on my side.  I decided to take the fall break off and not work except for the 2 hours I went into school on Friday.  Now I sit here with regret at how much work I have to do now.  So off I go.  

Here we are…

Well, the school year is only a month into it, and my classroom has already undergone many changes. My class started out at 18 students. Perfection if there ever was one. Then 10 day leveling happened and my class blossomed to 32, and at one point 34 students. Not perfection, but we managed. Then thanks to the suggestion of Ms. Houser, I was able to settle down to 24 students. WHEW!
So we are making our way to progress report time and I am just getting into a rhythm.

So I have chosen now to start keeping up here because I think everything has settled down to a state I can call normal. More to come…

Imagine that

David Warlick’s March 23 post stated:
I’m going to close here by mentioning that the technology mentors are doing something that I haven’t seen before for professional development. They come into a school with three substitute teachers (they call them supply teachers). They go to the classrooms of teachers who have expressed an interest in learning some specific technology skill or piece of software. They drop off the substitute and then take the teacher(s) to the PD lab for an hour or so of training. What strikes me about this procedure is not just that it is incredibly efficient, but it also sends the message that professional development is part of the job. It isn’t something that happens after work, on weekends, and during the summer. But it is important enough that it is part of your work day.

Imagine that.

Give me my computer

Today, we were lucky enough to have Tony Vincent present an afternoon of handheld computing. I have been one of the fortunate ones who have had a handheld since Technology camp in June. I have used it with my students since the second week of school. The Palm Tungsten E2s hold much more than I ever thought they would. Today, I found even more opportunity to increase student skill practice. The opportunity for language arts and math skill development is so vast. I can’t wait to check out a class set and get started with my class.
Also, I want to thank Mr. Vega for completing the enormous task of unpacking and preparing those 275 handhelds.
(And yeah for me..this is the first time I have posted a photo!)