Hello August!

Wow, can’t believe August came so quickly! This summer passed by so quickly. I’m really not sad to see it end even though it was a good summer. I accomplished some goals this year that I’ve been trying to accomplish for quite some time. Since my summer is so unstructured, I am usually very unproductive (that’s putting it mildly). That’s why I decided to get a summer job. Once I decided to get a job, it fell into my lap. LMU emailed me that Lindamood-Bell was hiring. I went, interviewed, and was hired.

I finished working there on July 18th. Overall, I liked it but had a problem with favoritism; but I guess that’s many jobs though. The research based techniques will come in very handy.

By working @ Lindamood-Bell, I conquered my summer slide of being terribly unproductive. I was also able to work through the place where I plateaued regarding teaching students how to read. I didn’t get a chance to learn as much as I wanted to learn, but am happy with what I did learn.

I also secured an RSP position from amongst five other job offers. It’s close to my daughter’s school, which is about 12 minutes drive from my house. This is only the second time (of my 4 teaching positions) that I’ve been hired before the school year began. That was my wish and I got it. So, I’m a little sad to see the summer leave but am happy to move on to another position, where I will hopefully be for a long time.

So, Hello August! Nice to see ya’!

Interviewing is Not for the Faint of Heart! Part 3

Dear Raders,
I was exhausted after wrestling with the Demo lesson plan, so I took a nap and woke up around 10 p.m. From that time on out, I alternated between working on the lesson plan, watching T.V., and doing some oh-so-important Facebooking and internet surfing.
Yea, it was like that!
In my previous post, I wrote about how I struggled with this lesson. I also wrote about how I confused the standard I was given with another standard. Well, my demo lesson was @ 10 a.m. down the street from my house. I realized the mistake I’d made around 8:30. What do you think I did?
I rewrote parts of the lesson plan. It took about 40 minutes. Right at that time it was around 9:15. I knew that I had to begin to get ready to leave the house. I put the finishing touches on the lesson plan and made my way to the site.
After getting there, I thought about a few things, so I took out the copies of the lesson plan and looked it over. Sure enough, I found mistakes right away. I took out my highlighter, highlighted them and put them away.
Since I had 10 minutes before the Principal and the rest of the team were ready to see me, I looked over the lesson plan and mentally ran through it in my mind.
I’ll write about the rest tomorrow. Bye for now!

Interviewing is Not for the Faint of Heart! Part 2

Dear Readers,
So…the demo lesson. It didn’t exactly go as planned. The first problem was the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) which I do not have a lot of experience with. I was given a very vague standard (Apply grade 7 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g. “Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims”).) and could not make sense of it. Maybe someone else with more experience with CCSS would have known what to do with this, but I didn’t.
So, I call in reinforcements- my friend Danika. She has more experience than I do. So, she gave me some ideas, told me how the teachers at her last school used to do it (pair it with a state standard), then I set about writing a lesson plan.

I paired the writing standard with a Social Studies standard about Hammurabi’s Code of Law. Problem: I totally misunderstood the standard. My goal was to use a current event (Young girl in Santa Ana, CA who lost her life chasing a suspect who stole her cell phone) and have the students act as a jury and decide whether or not to convict the suspect (who’s still at large) based on Hammurabi’s Code of Law. They were going to use Hammurabi’s Code of Law as their literary text.

Problem: This did NOT align with the standard. I confused it with another standard where the students have to Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text- CCSS:ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1.

So, my lesson plan was written according to the wrong standard. When I got my critique, I was told to remove everything regarding Hammurabi’s Code of Law and only use the article about the young girl as the piece of literature. Once I removed Hammurabi’s Code of Law, the lesson plan made absolutely no sense. Now, I had to go back to square one. When I say I wrestled with that standard, I seriously wrestled with it. I thought I had it nailed until I had my critique. After that I was so confused. I spoke with Danika’s friend, Tracy, who didn’t understand the suggestions either and she has much experience with the CCSS.

After speaking with someone with experience with the CCSS, I felt better about my confusion. She didn’t understand it either, but I knew the show must go on! I will explain how the lesson went wrong in my next post. Bye for now!

Interviewing is Not For the Faint of Heart!, Part 1

Dear Readers,
Here is a little bit more about what I’ve been through while interviewing these past couple of weeks.

Green Dot Process

The first step: Phone interview
The third step: Panel interview and lesson plan critique
The fourth step: Demo lesson plan

I struggled greatly with the demo lesson plan because I’m not all that familiar with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and didn’t feel as if I had a firm grasp of the given standard.
I’m not sure if this is a new trend in interviewing, but all of my interviews have been panel interviews. The one that I had with Green Dot actually had six candidates with a moderator sitting in the center of the room with about 10-12 administrators (I lost count) around the periphery listening to our responses to the questions being asked.

  • After that was over, the candidates were allowed 30 minutes to answer questions from a writing prompt.
  • After that, the lesson plan sent in earlier was critiqued in preparation for the demo lesson.
  • Then, candidates met with the school(s) that were interested. From there, an appointment was set for the demo lesson.

I was at the Green Dot office from 10:00-1:40. Whew! In the next post, I will write about the demo which didn’t go as well as I planned. So, bye for now!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Dear Readers,
Today I’m 44 or 22 double as I like to say. I cannot believe it. Where has the time gone?

Tomorrow, I Start!

Dear Readers,
I’m nervous. Tomorrow’s the big day-my first day at my new job. I have 9th/10th grade RSP. I just got my schedule today. I don’t know what to expect. I guess I’ll see in the days to come.
I’ll keep you updated. Bye for now!

School Shopping???

Yes, Dear Readers,
I went school shopping! Not for my children, but for myself.  I like well made dresses, so I shop at Talbots & Banana Republic, but don’t want to pay full price. Believe me when I say, when they have sales, they have sales!

I didn’t have to have new clothes, I just wanted them. I’d bought various dresses throughout the school year, but hadn’t done any bulk shopping for myself at the beginning of the school year year since my first year of teaching.

I will post various pics throughout the year. For now, here’s a list of what I bought: Continue reading

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