Thursday, October 1, 2009


Things were better this week. And not just because, thanks to Yom Kippur, it's only a four-day work week. ;) Mitchell and the rest of the administration are back to being more positive. He actually wrote this great e-mail last Friday with the subject "thank you," and he thanked every single teacher by name for some specific good thing that they'd done. I thought that was nice.

Random things about this week, since I'm too tired to really think coherently:

I called two parents this week about misbehavior, leaving a voicemail for one and speaking directly to the other.

We're going to start offering enrichment classes (electives that we teachers each develop ourselves) the last period of the day, and since Mitchell is swamped, I volunteered to make up the survey for the kids to select their first, second, and third choice for which enrichment they want to take. Even though it took some time, I really had fun writing the survey and finding a way to describe each enrichment class so that they would all sound like the most amazing class in the world.

Tomorrow we have to finish and turn in something called our SMART Goals, which I'm not finding very useful, and our teacher self-assessment and individual goals, which I'm finding much more helpful. I have a meeting with the special ed director next Wednesday to discuss my self-assessment and my goals. Hopefully it will help me improve, so I'm looking forward to it...

...even though she came in and observed for most of the seventh grade English class this morning while they were being rotten. Well, not *exactly* rotten, but enough kids were talking and fooling around so often that the lead teacher and I had to keep re-directing them and re-directing them, so I'm sure she'll bring that up during our meeting on Wednesday. I just hope she has some useful suggestions on how to deal with them, because some of those seventh graders just make you want to tear your hair out -- or *their* hair out! It's affecting instruction, or the lack thereof. Yesterday I had to finish up class with the "bad" seventh grade English class (the one that gave me such a hard time last week) when the other teacher had to leave and deal with a student who purposely pushed her as he walked out the door for a time-out. They were terrible, as usual, but I didn't let it get to me. Now, whenever I feel my blood pressure rising, I think, Two years from now, will they even remember this particular moment? Will I? And I just let it go and keep doing the best I can.

But also yesterday, I pulled three sixth graders out of study skills class because they needed extra preparation for their math test today. I helped them answer practice problems on the dry erase boards, and at the end of the period as I helped one student with his last problem, I turned around to see that the other two kids, having finished, were writing "Thank you, Ms. Artichoke!" (except they used my real last name, of course) all over the board, along with half a dozen hearts! Wasn't that sweet? They even spelled my name right. Teaching can be a thankless job, but yesterday, I was officially thanked by three of the people who matter most: my students. :)

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