Integrated Enrichment writing period means that I write as well, so that the kids know that I don’t believe that they should be doing it by themselves. I don’t always remember to model everything, but I try to do so when i can. Why not use this time productively, right?
In truth I haven’t done much that’s been productive recently. What I thought was just a cough was the flu. Steroids and antibiotics and elevated blood sugars because of the steroids! Wheeeeee! So. much. fun.
MCAS begins tomorrow for 10th graders across Massachusetts. Some students take PARCC. I imagine some students are involved in opt-out movements. My tenth graders will be taking it, as far as I know. Although, I heard from one student that another student might be out because she’s in some other state?!?!?!? Why would parents/guardians take a student out of classes to go to another state not only NOT during vacation, but DURING mandatory state testing. This kid is focused and, I imagine, will do fine. But it seems like such a set up.
Night school is over. I didn’t think it was going to be such a bad thing, but the wife was right. I have no business teaching Night School during February. In some ways, it might have helped. It gave me some focus during a time in which I usually fall into the doldrums. However, because I do fall into the lack-of-light/grey-and-dark/when-will-winter-end? doldrums, it made the whole thing that much more intense for me. (I won’t lie, the extra money was nice.)
My students are currently practicing their writing over extended amounts of time. I have an integrated enrichment class with my ninth graders. The first day of every week that I have them I make them write for 25 minutes, silently. They can write about whatever they want. I’m not particular about whether or not it has to do with their shop (Collision Repair or Auto Mechanics respectively), as long as they know that if it is about hurting someone, hurting themselves, or being hurt, I have to report them.
As they write in their journals, I write this entry. It’s sort of entertaining to see all these young students try to reach a place where they understand that I want them to write and examine what goes on in their brains. I’m not asking for perfect. I’m asking for them to practice sustained writing. They were falling asleep, so I put on a Pandora dance station. MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This!” is the first song on. It’s cute to see the kidlets bopping along to it while they try to tap into their thoughts.
It’s only my second week doing this with these students, but last weeks entries already revealed what it’s like to be a student in Springfield. One student wrote about a dream in which she was being repeatedly drugged and raped by her father’s friend. Another student wrote about how he had moved from NYC because his uncle had been shot, and his dad needed to get out of the city. He was explaining how he tries to keep his dad safe. On the flip side, another student wrote about going to church, and another talked about going on a date with a girlfriend. Yet another is writing a dystopian zombie-apocalypse novel, and he uses the 25 minutes to work on it. Ah, Springfield. We definitely run the gamut here in terms of our students experiences.
Clean cup, move down!
The Western NY Teachers Pay Teachers group is having their conference. I’d love to go to it. I need to buy a ticket, and find out about buying just a meal ticket for the wife. If she can’t do that, I’m not sure she’ll go. It’s not that I can’t do these things by myself, but I enjoy going on adventures with her. This would be an adventure.
Teacher burnout, party of one. That’s me. It’s not so bad. Not quit my job and run off an join the circus bad, but I’m dragging today. And when I’m dragging, I find that everything I’m doing is futile. Honestly, I think this is left over from the Super Tuesday primaries. I cannot believe that so many people voted for a man who celebrates anti-intellectualism to such an extent.
I fear what will happen to education.
I fear what will happen to my job.
I fear what will happen to my marriage.
I am afraid of a lot of things right now.
And that, my friends, is burning me out.