I Should Have Known!!!

Dear Readers,

As I was pushing into one of the math classes I support, I was taken aback that a student I was helping in 9th grade didn’t know her multiplication tables. Now, this particular student is something. In the beginning of the school year she was constantly being put out of the English class for misbehavior. This goes with my post on the chicken or the egg years ago regarding students who would rather be thought of a “bad” than “stupid.”

I am so mad at myself for not connecting the dots faster. I was so shocked as I had to scaffold lower and lower to accommodate her lack of basic elementary foundational skills. She was just sitting there with a blank look on her face. Once I “really” saw that blank look, I knew that she’d been misbehaving at the beginning of school because she didn’t want anyone to know about her and her lack of knowledge.

I should have known!!!

Nerdy Me!

Dear Readers,

I feel like such a nerd!

“Why?,” you ask.

Well, I’ve just recently learned Google docs, Edmodo, Kahoot!, and a host of other online & tech programs I was previously UNable to use. Well, I spent the better part of Saturday morning organizing my Google docs, making folders for them and being happy doing so.

One of my favorite things to do is have my students share their work with me via Google docs. On Friday I was actually editing my student’s work as he was working on it across the room. One thing I like about Google docs, forms, & sheets is how it’s real time. One other thing I’m really enthused about is Google forms. Over the Veteran’s Day four day weekend, I took that time to create my monthly self-assessments for the rest of the year with Google forms. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. Since my decision to go paperless, I’ve been so gung-ho about all things tech, and I am loving it!

Dear Readers, what are you doing to incorporate technology into your classroom? Drop me a line and let me know!

Happy Me!!! Part…I Don’t Know

Dear Readers,

I’ve written so many posts entitled “Happy Me” that I’ve lost count. That’s not as important as why I’m happy, so I won’t even harp on them. I’ll get to why I’m so happy. I’m so happy because I’ve had a very stressful couple of weeks and I didn’t fall apart. Usually I would have gotten sick or at least taken a day off. I probably would have complained without ceasing to my husband. I mean the list could go on. The beautiful part is how I handled it. Can is just say that I handled it like a champ? Yes, I’ll say that I handled it like a champ. I did not crack. I did not complain. In fact, I stepped up my game and became even more organized. I created templates and lists for my most important tasks. Today, I began organizing my binder that first year teachers can use. It really would have come in handy this year if I would have had it. I can probably still use it next year. I’ll keep you updated. Bye for now!

(Almost) No NPs!!!

Dear Readers,

I’m very happy about my students receiving almost no NP’s! I checked grades last week before report cards were due and last night at parent conferences. Almost all of the parents were happy. Most of all, my students were happy.

After performing grade checks today with my 9th graders, we got down to the nitty gritty- I asked them three questions. I first asked them if they were pleased with their grades. After their response, which were positive by the way, we looked at the grades and the reason for the NP’s. I then asked them if they could have done more to get better grades. They agreed that they could have been more diligent. Lastly, I asked them what their next steps were; moving forward, how were they going to do better and get C’s or better!

I don’t remember all of the grades, but, overall, there were great improvements. One student was happy with receiving 2 NP’s because she was down from 4. We celebrated her success. Another student saw how messing up on one test caused her to get an NP. I told her how I’ve seen her looking at herself in the iPad, combing her hair, talking, and just generally not paying attention or doing her work in class. She nervously smiled and said she would do better. I really hope she meant it. Seeing the grades every week seems to be having a positive effect on them. I’m quite happy with the results, but there is still room for improvement.

We’ll see how things go for the next 5 weeks. I’ll keep you updated. Bye for now!

My Voice!

Dear Readers,

Isn’t it funny how certain events in our life seem to correlate with one another. I’m talking about my voice, literally and figuratively. For the longest time I’ve felt as if my voice hasn’t been heard; in my personal life, at work, at church, etc. Well, once my church got it’s new pastor, I decided to go to work. I joined the Praise team (choir), started going to Bible study, and teaching the little children at Bible study.

Even though the problem was there beforehand, I only noticed and began piecing things together during choir rehearsal. Since I am soprano, I naturally sing high. However, if I am forced to sing low, my voice virtually disappears. It seems really tiny. But my voice didn’t just seem like that in choir rehearsal. It was like that in almost every aspect of my life. At work, in my relationships, etc.

I actually had a disturbing dream the other day where I was running from an attacker and couldn’t call for help. I was opening my mouth but nothing would come out. I was so puzzled because I knew that I should have been able to voice my concerns, but strangely unable to. Once I woke up and calmed down, I knew perfectly well what my subconscious was trying to tell me.

I vowed to myself to get myself heard. I’ll say that it’s worked because now that I’ve been singing in the choir for a couple of months my voice is stronger. I noticed that my voice is not only stronger in choir, but at work and my everyday life.

Since I prize my voice so highly, no one is happier than I am with the new developments. I will continue to speak up for myself and let my voice be heard. Thank you for listening!

Bye for now!

I Can Talk About Her, But You Can’t!

Dear Readers,

One of my students was highly offended when one of the students from another homeroom talked about me. My student, who I’ll call Hunter, immediately started reading the other student, who I’ll call Hezekiah, while the other students laughed. I actually saw him when he got that look. It was as if he was saying, “I can talk about her but you can’t!”

You know, I’ve been wondering why I was hired. I feel like I am not making a difference. Apparently I was wrong. They really are very protective of me. I’ll write more later.

He Walked Away… (Not Today!)

Dear Readers,

I have a lot to learn about boys and their precious egos. What I thought was a good thing actually turned out to be a bad thing. It started Friday afternoon. One of my students (I’ll call him Conner) has been talking about wanting to leave the school and return to public school. I told him some of the things he needs to do in order for that to happen. One of them being the lessening of fighting. He said that he was going to do his best. Well, fast forward to the end of the day when they usually fight and he proved himself. One of my students were trying to egg him on. This is what he said, “You know what, I’m not even going to fight you!” He then walked away! One would think it was over, but no!

The problem- I informed Conner’s counselor that he walked away from a fight. While you, and others reading this, may think this was a compliment, it wasn’t in the eyes of my students. He was picked on today and as a result he ended up fighting after lunch. He sucker punched one of my other students smack in the face. He didn’t walk away today.

I am actually afraid of what could happen tomorrow. I’m going to ask the head of security to do a random backpack and pocket search just in case one of them brings a knife. While I really hope this doesn’t happen, the reality is that it could happen!

Pray for me as I navigate the turmoil, trials, & tribulations of an NPS!

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