Sunday, February 26, 2006

Tired... so tired.

I'm worn out. Burned. Fried. Just call me crispy.

Get the idea?

This year hasn't necessarily been any harder than others. I'm not teaching any more students or more preps. I don't think the kids this year are any more challenging than the average 7th or 8th grader (which is plenty challenging as it is!).
Maybe I'm just ready for a change. I've been teaching for 9 years.; that's waaaay longer than I've ever had any job before. I still love the kids, but there's just so much crap that goes along with the job.

I'm probably just frustrated. Spring break is coming up soon... that should help.

Friday, February 24, 2006


Polski3 Said: "Why are you district GATE coordinator? Do you get paid extra for this? I am looking for tips in helping my high achieving students (who are usually in GATE L.A. and maybe a our one "higher-level-than-the usual-basic-math-class" apply themselves more and learn more in my social studies classes."

I'm GATE coordinator as part of the fieldwork experience component of my master's degree/admin credential program. My wife actually held the position in our district last year, and "encouraged" me, in only the way wives can, to volunteer this year. I'm not getting paid any extra, although I suppose I could get the hourly rate for O.T., but I'm doing it for the experience. This year, anyway.
I see the same issue in some of my honors classes, with GATE kids who don't apply themselves. I don't know if it's because they're not being challenged, they don't want to be challenged, they're used to being successful with trying too hard, or if they don't think it's cool to be smart anymore. Unfortunately, despite my lofty title of GATE Coordinator, I'm no expert in GATE students or getting them to perform to their potential. The instructor of the class I'm taking now, though, suggested GATE contracts; students and parents agree to a certain level of performance necessary to remain in honors classes. GATE parents tend, I think, to be more involved than the average... Threaten them with being kicked out of the honors class, they may pressure the kids to do what they need to do to be successful.

Or, they may not. You may just get more parent phone calls and complaints to the principal. I don't promise success here.

Monday, February 20, 2006

More than 6...

My friend Ms. Cornelius has requested more than 6 words... this is more than six. :)

Anyway, it's been a long time. An excuse? Not really. I've wanted to blog, but haven't taken the step of actually opening up Blogger to write anything. I've even kept away from reading blogs, knowing that I probably wouldn't put out anything of my own. Silly, isn't it?

Regardless, here I am now. What have I been up to? I've resumed my classes for my admin credential, taken on the role of GATE program coordinator for my district, taught my classes as best I could, and did my job as husband and father. ('Course, that last job is the most important!)

So, what have y'all been up to? I've missed you, even though my absence was self-imposed.

Hey, did anyone read the LA Times series on high school dropouts? In yesterday's paper, they had a sampling of responses to the series, one of which said, in effect, that if a pediatrician had a 50% fatality rate amongst his patients, there would be a criminal investigation, so why isn't there one when schools fail to graduate 50% of their students? An interesting point, to be sure. But there is a significant difference: kids who go to the doctor want to get better, but they don't always want to be academically successful. It's easy to say, "Oh, the schools are failing our children!" It's a lot harder to say, "Oh, our children are failing in school because they don't friggin' care!"

Friday, February 17, 2006


Back tomorrow. Promise.


I mean it this time!