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missladyj
this is why we have screen names.

has anyone been to ratemyteacher.com?

I just need to vent. This week wed and thurs we have two days of testing. ON wednesday it is freshman, sophomores and juniors. then after testing we have an workshops. ON thursday it is just juniors who get tested for three hours , then we have classes each one is 27 min. What the fuck am i gonna do for 27min? the seniors aren't coming thursday or friday because, well they are seniors.

Oh and to top it all off tomorrow we also have an assembly in the middle of the day which also shortens classes.

I am looking forward to all this , not!
missladyj
p.s.
some students decided to disrupt the assembly by throwing water balloons filled with various materials, they were removed from the assembly , arrested, suspended for 10 days . ect.
missladyj
found out they were pee balloons, charming
aquagirl2
EW, Lady J!!!!
I HATE, HATE, HATE my 5th period. They are just such rotten little pricks. I wrote up 6 of them today. (10th grade, by the way.) There are 3 boys that sit by the fish tank on the side of the room and passively-aggressively throw trash in it constantly. (it is empty) and it drives me INSANE but I don't move them because I keep trying to catch them so I can punish them, and then the next day I forget again!!!!

I HATE these kids! I really love a lot of my kids. But sometimes, I want more than for some of them to be punished. I want to punch them. I wish I could think of something to really, really punish them rather than just writing them up all the time. Too bad the field trip is over.
missladyj
I have noticed that 10th grade boys and up have a hard time keeping their hands to themselves. they just can't stop touching each other.

I would suggest assigning seats and moving those three away from the fish tank

summary of my day

1st period. One of my students built this amazing tank for the rat snake that is over 5ft long in my classroom. It is beautiful my snake has a new home

5th period I tell the kid who is wearing a shirt with a picture of Bob Marely smoking a splif to turn it inside out and he does without giving me a hard time. I wonder how the hell he got to fifth fucking period wearing that shirt!

6th period a student asks to go to the nurse. she looks like she is about to cry I ask her if she is in pain she doesn't answer. I ask her if she wants someone to go with her she says no. She ends up collapsing in a hallway and leaves school in an ambulance.

afterschool I talk to a student who was harrassed in the hallway by a another student who flashes his nazi tatoo. skinhead boy is suspended for ten days until they search his swastika plastered locker and find a razor blade, then he is expelled.

only 21 days till the year is over. I will survive.

and sometimes I wish I could just tell my kids to SHUT UP!!!
wilhelminawonka
I just got a job as a "home school" teacher for a kid who was expelled until the end of the year. It's a board position, so I'm hoping that I'll finally be able to apply for the internal jobs! It's only going to be for 6 weeks, 6 hours a week.
I'm really glad. It should be a good job. I hope I can help this boy pass grade 8.
aquagirl2
Most Horrible of the 5th period boys just got assigned to ISC (bad kids' suspension school) for the rest of the year. Ha, ha, ha.
cellijenni
this is my first post in the teachers thread. and i'm sorry that it will be a bitchy one...

i really need to vent!!

i direct an orchestra program in multiple schools, and the parents CONSTANTLY show up late to pick up their children from the rehearsals.

Today I sat outside on the steps for an hour. GRR!!!
missladyj
cellijenni,
no need to apologize venting is what this thread is here for! bitch away!!


congrats aquagirl! It is always amazing to me how easier a class is to manage when just one obnoxious kid is removed
cellijenni
Apparently, I have nearly killed this thread.

If you busties are anything like me...you're now counting down the days until summer vacation.

Any wonderful plans for summer break??
missladyj
Cellijenni
we can't let this thread die!

two more half days of finals for me. Then a week of a paid workshop, the two weeks in Boone N.C. for gradschool and lots of hours by the pool

what are your plans?
octobersky
I just went through hell to get my student teaching placement changed 'cause the teacher I was supposed to be with this fall made me super uncomfortable in our initial meeting.

I now have a better placement. I'm not teaching yet; I'll be in school all summer :-(
cellijenni
missladyj,

I'm done next friday. Can't wait.

I'm performing in a pit orchestra for 2 weeks on cape cod, then teaching summer school in july. but orchestra..so its voluntary ;)

Then, the boy and I are going to france for 2 weeks in august to see his friend get married. can't wait!!

What do you teach?
missladyj
Celli,
I am officially done! Yee Haw!

I teach science. Have fun performing? Are you a music teacher?

Octobersky,
check in with us as you start your student teaching. Let us know how it goes.

I just finished my eigth year teaching. Can't believe I have been doing it this long!
laurenann
hi, i've never posted in this thread before.

i'm getting certified in severe needs special education. i'm doing my teaching practicum next year. i'll be an aide for a 5th grader with autism and epilepsy. the last time i was in an elementary school was, like, twelve...yeah, twelve or thirteen years ago!

anyone else here teaching in massachusetts?
cellijenni
Good luck, lauren!

I started teaching in elementary school this year, and I was in the same situation as you. Everything is all miniature, and there are little signs everywhere. Very nonthreatening, and you'll recieve enough hugs for a lifetime.

I grew up in mass, but now I teach in CT.
wilhelminawonka
Well, I've gotten a job as teacher! I had an interview last week, which I thought I bombed, and I found out on Friday that I got the job. I'll be teaching either grade 1 or grade 1/2. I'm so excited, and nervous too. So much to do!
tempest
Congrats, wilhelmina! I used to teach primary grades...you'll have such fun!

I just switched to a high school English job that starts in a few weeks. I'm used to elementary, so am reading furiously to get an idea of how I want to run my new classroom. Do any experienced HS teachers out there have any tips on effective, positive discipline and reinforcement? I'd love to know what's worked for some of you. Thanks!
sweetmelissa
Ladies,

Just 'cause it's summer doesn't mean that we can't keep this thread alive!!

I'm an early childhood special education teacher... Portland Oregon

Hello all.

Wilhelmina... what does your name mean? My name is very similar.
missladyj
I agree melissa, I love this thread it is the reason I joined the lounge to begin with.

temptest- I also teach high school and classroom mangement is the hardest thing to get a handle on. My first suggestion is to be very very clear about your expectations for their behavior and the consequences . You have to make sure that you follow through. Remaning calm and not letting them get the best of you works nicely.

For example, I was lecturing some freshman biology students using an overhead. I had to leave the room to get something. I came back and while they were very quiet I could tell something was up. I turned around to look at the screen and saw that someone had stuck a piece of gum on it. I put my overhead marker down and gentley said " I am going to wait until someone removes the gum from the screen and then I will continue." There were a couple of seconds of quiet, which bothers them because that is not the response they wanted what they want is for me to really freak out and lose my cool. Finally a student volunteered to remove the gum, I thanked him and went on with the lesson.

Also they will try to argue with you about a rule, ect. I don't get into arguements about things with them , What I say goes and they have to know that. I will just say " I am not debating this with you." and move on to something else.


Remember YOU are the adult and they are the children. Good luck!!
missladyj
It is an annual event with me.This happens every year

I had my first back to school nightmare.


I'm in my classroom and kids cell phones are going off so I take them away and start yelling at the class. The next period I am being observed , then some woman walks into my room and just starts talking to my students. I ask her to leave because I am in the middle of some deomonstration. Then I have students from the previous class coming in andtrying to get their cell phones back. At the end of the class, a former student tells me that I have to go talk with an administrator immediately . There are still five more minutes of class and I refuse to leave before the period is over because I don't want to leave my students un supervised.
samiam
I am in class right now! The kids are converting a list of instructions in to an actual paragraph, so I'm goofing off at the computer.

I teach middle school, and for whoever was talking about classroom management before, i couldn't agree more. The other day I looked over a few books in Barnes and Noble about classroom management and a few I found really appaling. One was 1-2-3 Magic, which advocated counting whenever a child really annoyed you. I don't know, but I remmeber having this done with me and just getting really annoyed and feeling like my thoughts were not important at all. In fact, just reading the book made me feel like an unwanteed 6th grader again. Ugh. Terrible thought, that.

Anyway, just saying hello.
tempest
Oh, samiam, I know what you mean about ineffective tactics.

A good book I'm reading at the moment is called, You Have to Go to School--You're the Teacher. It has some, um, interesting rolleyes.gif strategies (give each class your home phone number!) but also some great organizational tips, such as ways to detail your student information files, and some good behavioral strategies, like getting the kids to identify and cease tacit approval.

I start a week from tomorrow, and I'm really looking forward to the new year. My school is using lots of technology, like wireless microphones and ceiling-mounted cameras with our projectors. My old school was of the minset, "You'll use a dry-erase board, and you'll like it." Here, we're encouraged to use PowerPoint, SmartPads, etc. It's a refreshing change.
knitpug
Hi. I am new here. This will be my 7th year teaching. I am not at all excited to go back this year. Has anyone else had similar feelings during certain years? Usually I am very excited.
missladyj
I will be starting my ninth year and am NEVER excited to go back. It is always such a culture shock to me. I go from hanging out with tatoo covered bartenders , being out till 3 am, seeing tons of live music, barbaques, etc to being surrounded by co workers who are all uptight suburban christians. It is a total trip.

I love the students it's the other adults that I work with that I can't stand!
sweetmelissa
I work in early childhood special education and we go year round. I LOVE IT! I still only work 190 days a year, but we get lots of little breaks (a week for thanksgiving, a week for president's day etc.). I never get burnt out and am always ready to go back. I think that this would probably be beneficial for teachers and students of all ages.
tempest
Just wanted to pop in and say...I'm only in my second year of independent teaching (i.e., the only teacher in the room). I love it! I taught elementary before, and now I'm teaching high school, which feels like my niche. I thought I would be a kindergarten teacher forever, but I found something I love even more. I teach English, and opening my kids to literature and getting them to appreciate proper syntax is the most rewarding thing I've ever done.

But I work with several people with the same sense of humor and tendency to quote obscure movies, so that really helps.
missladyj
I went in to school yesterday to get shit copied for the first two weeks and take care of my classroom snake.

I love teaching high school couldn't imagine shifting from kindergarten to high school glad to hear you are enjoying it. I think in a previous life i was an english teacher.

I am ready for school to start, but I don't want it to.
aquagirl3
Hi, everyone, I'm a high school biology teacher and I've been back for 2 weeks already. I can't believe I'm already having discipline problems. I just really suck at it, I think. Misslady, I like your gum-on-the overhead thing. that's one of the hardest things, I think, when there's a problem and you don't know who caused it! Today I was at the computer trying to look something up for someone and I kept hearing loud noises like people throwing scissors into the box, and I told them twice to cut it out, and then someone did it again. So I said I'm keeping the whole class 2 minutes after the bell (and that was their lunch! horrors, horrors!) I was happy I thought to do that because I think then they police each other more...if you don't know who did it, punish them all and they will be mad at the person and maybe keep them from doing it next time.

My problem is I WANT TO BE LIKED. Sentence of death for a high school teacher. I wish I could get over it.

I had such a rewarding moment with a "bad" kid the other day, though. I kept him after for having his ipod out, and he cleaned up the classroom a little and then he was sorting out gum drops for an activity...I sat down to sort with him at the desk and started asking him questions. He really started opening up about how both his parents are in jail, and he lives with older friends that have a baby that keeps him awake, and he works at a burger place SIX days a week 4pm-10! And he even started talking about how he didn't know what he wanted to do after school but he is worried and doesn't want to be a bum, and I was trying to help him figure out what he might be interested in and he said he was maybe interested in photography and I was encouraging him to talk to his counselor to get into a photo class. He was allowed to leave at 3, but continued to stay and talk and sort gumdrops until we were done at 3:20!!

I felt such immense satisfaction. I felt like all those inservice lessons were actually happening, like how boys open up more if they are actively doing something with you while chatting, and how "bad" kids are better for the teachers that have personal relationships with them.

I don't know. It was just cool. I'm sure you teachers know what I mean. biggrin.gif

Of course, then we had Open House last night and I offended a Hispanic heavily-accented parent by mistaking her daughter for one of my ESL students. rolleyes.gif It's a roller coaster, people.
missladyj
Aqua girl,
they do NOT have to like you. I think that is a big mistake that high school teachers make. Trying to get the kids to like you leads to you behaving like them. You are the adult and what you say goes, wether they like it or not. This does not mean that they can't have a relationship to you , just that the relationship has to be between a student and teacher, not two friends.

Nice work with getting that student to open up. Sometimes we forget that there are usually really serious issues going on for students who act up and we focus so much on just the behavior and not it's root causes.


I have had three full days of school and already have one student who will be suspended for five days for being high in school. why anyone would want to come to school high is so beyond me.

Hope everyone is either enjoying the remains of vacation or getting their year off to a great start!
micorazondiablo
hey missladyj!

I'm an english ed student at university of illinois at chicago and i'm looking for a high school class to observe a few hours each week-you game?
missladyj
Hi micro,
do you want to observe an english class? I teach science you are more than welcome to come visit me or I could put you in touch with the english division head at my school.

We do a summer reading program where the staff generates a list of books and over the summer the students can pick which book to read and we meet in the fall to discuss a book with kids. I get to be an english teacher for 45 mins. I love it. I picked fareheit 451 and had a great discussion with students. I think I was an english teacher in a former life
micorazondiablo
hey lady j,

we're working on a tutoring/reading project in this class now, not just observations (and yes, it's gotta be an english class). Buuut, if you think your school might be interested in some sort of read-writing-english workshop w/ uic students and high school students, let me know and i'll post more details when we get it figured out.
missladyj
micro,
the big push at my school is to get students to do well on the ACT reading section because we haven't meet standards and need to get test scores up. My school is out in the burbs, would UIC students be able to get out there? again the best person for you to talk to would be the english division head. Let me know when you are ready and I can give you her info.
j
kelkello
Ack. The push at my school is to get the NCLB test scores ever higher. The group of kids I have this year have completely flat lined on their scores since fourth grade. I feel like my principal sees the kids with "basic" "proficient" or "advanced" floating above their heads. They aren't fucking test scores. Pardon my language, but they are kids. Humans. And now one test a year decides the fate of my school. It makes me seethe at my very core.
minx
I am exhausted, but in that really nice, cathartic manner. Today was the first day back here in the Twin Cities and it was lovelylovelylovely.

More perhaps tomorrow. Time for beddybyeboo.
wilhelminawonka
I've been a grade one teacher now for three weeks, and I must say it is friggen hard.
The first week had me in tears on the weekend, wondering, "What the hell am I doing?", but I must say it has gotten better.
It's so tough because I have some kids who know all their letters and can read, and some who when I was assessing them thought the letter M was a 9.
I enjoy my crazy class, there are some really nice kids in there, and some kids who have obviously have had some troubled lives so far.
laurenann
what kinds of experiences with inclusion do you all have? i started as a special education aide this year - i'm in a master's program for special education licensure so i'm also using this job for my practicum. i'm assigned to work with one girl with severe special needs. maybe i am naive or ignorant, but it is so much harder to do a good job including her than i thought it would be! all of the classes i took made inclusion seem like the solution to all of special educations problems. i am having a hard time putting everything that i have learned in class into practice.

hm, i feel bad that i don't have any comments for anyone else. i'm new at teaching!

missladyj
I have found that there are some students who do well in the least restrictive environemnt and some who clearly can't function in a normal classroom. YOu just do the best you can with what you have got.

Educational theory is just that a lot of theory that can never be practiced in the classroom . I think this has only become worse because of NCLB.
ellenevenstar
Hi all,
It says a lot about our workload, I think, that there have been so few posts since your US school year resumed! I work harder, have studied for longer yet get paid less than pretty much all my friends.... Oh but the holidays are so sweet.

Haven't dropped by here for a long time but I just wanted to express my EMPATHY with lady j's comment, way back in August, about loving the students but having problems with colleagues!!

We began our Australian Term IV last week. Monday was a pupil-free 'staff preparation' day. This day was a blessing in many ways, but I came home and cried and felt like I hated my job because so many people I work with (particularly my heads of department, who I am supposed to defer to and respect) are such wankers!!! Then on Tuesday morning as I walked into assembly, the greetings, waves and smiling faces of my amazing, energising students gave me a buzz that is still with me. I love it.
octobersky
I'm student teaching this quarter 8th grade history and am completely overwhelmed. Not so much with the classes, but with all the politiking and fees I keep getting slammed with. I'm beyond frustrated - to the point where I don't think I even WANT to teach once I'm done with school. Anyone else feel this way? I knew going in about the "No Child Left a Dime" crap, but I really didn't know how pervasive it really is. I'm pissy, frustrated, angry and at my wits end. My university is getting one lengthy, nasty, critical letter from me once I have said diploma. It's going to everyone on that campus, plus the student paper.

That said I really do like my students (most) and enjoy teaching the classes - I love it when they really get into a topic and start asking all kinds of questions. However if I make it through student teaching without throwing a few of the kids against the wall it will be a miracle!
missladyj
thanks ellen, I needed to hear that.

this year has been so crazy and it all has to do with craptastic administrators who make stupid decisions and it has created much more work for all of the teachers at my school. Everyones stress levels are really high. What is interesting is that this is the year that we negotiate our contracts. I have a sinking feeling it is going to get ugly.

I also feel like I am surrounded by morons. Especially my division head. He is such a jackass. I don't want to get into specifics but he is like all administrators who make too much money for being idiots. I am focusing on just trying to get through the year in one piece. I has been a rough couple of first months.

This is my ninth year teaching and I said when I started I didn't want to do it for ten years but I am still here. I am working on my master's in educational media with a media literacy concentration. I am also looking into getting a phd or edd in health education. I want to focus on comprehensive sex education using media literacy to get students to think critically about the way sex and realtionships are presented to them and then have them produce their own media.
ellenevenstar
Lots of marking. It's hard work.
nickclick
QUOTE(missladyj @ Oct 14 2006, 07:12 PM) *

This is my ninth year teaching and I said when I started I didn't want to do it for ten years but I am still here. I am working on my master's in educational media with a media literacy concentration. I am also looking into getting a phd or edd in health education. I want to focus on comprehensive sex education using media literacy to get students to think critically about the way sex and realtionships are presented to them and then have them produce their own media.


what a great goal. keep it up.

i'm not a teacher (yet i work for an educational children's book publisher), but just about everybody i know is - my boyfriend, aunts, uncles, cousins, roommate, friends, from 1st grade to high school - and while being jealous of your jobs in the summers and on many a holiday, i certainly don't have the patience for such a job. i've heard nitemare stories about parents, coworkers and administrators, but hardly a one about the students.
octobersky
I'm student teaching this quarter and based on all the admin crap that is piling higher and higher on teachers, I have no intentions of working in teaching. My university dumped this crapload of work on us halfway through the quarter and left us high and dry when it comes to getting answers about what exactly they expect. If we don't perform well on this - ie getting 3 out of 3 on all the scoring rubrics we fail our student teaching and have to repeat. This is why I am NEVER going to set foot in a classroom! mad.gif

On another slighly lighter note - I was teaching a lesson on geography today to my 8th grade class and one girl actually thought that Italy was in Ohio. Be afraid for the future, very afraid. blink.gif
ellenevenstar
Nickclick, that is certainly one to remember about the psycho nightmarish parents and colleagues, but not the kids. That is very true in my job!

Octobersky, what a shame. Adminstrative work SUCKS. It fully takes away from what you are employed to do which is make learning fun and effective while developing relaxed and respectful relationships.

Wow - we had a crazy storm today at lunchtime. I was in the common room and the staff there kind of realised simultaneously that it had suddenly become really dangerous outside with debris and hail - the students were all outside with nowhere much to go! Some were still screaming in excitement but some were crying and scared! So I went into adrenaline-powered mode, opening classrooms and getting SOAKED by a kind of tidal wave of tropical rainwater blowing over the verandahs and trying to convince kids that they couldn't go to the toilet or get their bag or whatever because they might be hit by a flying branch!! It was mad. No injuries.
ellenevenstar
Oh my, I am seriously going to have a breakdown.

I think I have more work to do than I have ever had to do before in my whole life. I am living on caffeine & doing (what I think is) a poor job of my marking. After I finish that (only 25 essays left to mark...) I have to calculate LOTS of grades and then I have 168 reports to write by Monday. Yee-hah. Ooh, don't forget all the fricking report writing guidelines - what I can and can't say.

I also have to report back on a conference I went to about 2 months ago to some heads of year on Friday morning. WHY NOW????????

There is a wall being built in my office, meanwhile, and before the end of next week I need to have the entirety of my stuff packed into boxes because I am getting a new desk. Admin have no idea - "the boxes are ready, if you'd like to begin" UMMMMM, I STILL NEED MY STUFF!! I AM STILL TEACHING CLASSES AND EVEN IF I WEREN'T, EVERY WAKING HOUR IS BEING SPENT WORKING AS QUICKLY AS IS HUMANLY POSSIBLE (or venting in the Bust lounge late at night as a mental health necessity)!!!

My friends bitter-sweetly ask about my holidays and I tell them without that summer break there would BE NO TEACHERS! IT'S INSANE!!!!!!!!!!
ellenevenstar
Feeling better now. Just 19 reports to go. I am achieving what I need to achieve.
missladyj
I am counting the school days until winter break. there are now 9 left
kelkello
For those of you not fond of the "f" word, skip this post. I'm NCLB exhausted, and frankly, the "f" word is the only word that makes any sense anymore in the business of teaching.

Okay, I'm getting fucking fed up with the federally mandated so-called "No Child Left Behind" act that pushed through legislation the minute the George W became president. I have myriad complaints about this piece of shit legislation, and here are the ones that are ramming their annoying selves like knives into my brain. In no particular order:

*8th grade special education students should not be expected to pass a test that is the same for regular education students. Ahem. If a child has a 3rd grade reading level, he isn't going to pass an 8th grade level test. However, the dumb asses that be think it can and will be done, or they will take our funding away.

*Taking more and more time away from music, art, gym, foreign language, and all of the other special area subjects will not make kids want to read and do math more. It makes them resentful and angry and it takes away the one thing at which they may actually excel and see success.

*Loading teachers, who get paid crap and already are laden with more work than can possibly be done in our contracted 45 minutes a day of planning, with even more senseless paperwork that fits the "Cover Your Ass" category is a good way to make sure said teachers have nervous breakdowns. I don't care how many "Plans for Success" I fill out, until there is student and parental accountability, not just school accountability, some of these kids just won't pass this test. They don't care.

*I have kids whose parents are crackheads and crack dealers. Hell, I have KIDS who are crackheads and crack dealers. I have kids who never saw a book until the first day of kindergarten. I have kids who have been so entrenched in generational poverty that I hear them talking, all dreamy-like, about the day they get to go register for their own benefits. There's a dream for you. I have kids who, in all seriousness, plan out who their "Baby-daddies" (yes, friends, that is plural) are gonna be. And I'm supposed to be their inspiration to pass this test? Tell me how I'm supposed to get those kids to care about passing a test for the sake of passing a test? They don't fail 8th grade if they fail the test. Hell, they don't fail 8th grade if they flunk every subject, every marking term. Social promotion....whose great fucking idea was that?

*A school can be considered a failing school if only a tiny percentage of the kids fail. An entire school can be sanctioned, penalized, and have its reputation ground into the mud because 3% of the population refuses to give a shit about "THE TEST" or are mentally unable to handle the rigors of "THE TEST."

*Scores are disaggragated by race, gender, income, ability to speak English, and special education status. Therefore, if the school scores a 90%, but if, say, the black males or low income females, or the English as a second language kids don't do well, we all fail.

*"THE TEST" rules everything. It is a machine. It drives my curriculum, my objectives, my activities. Anything I do not related to "THE TEST" is considered null and void and I can be written up for doing anything in my class that is not part of preparing for "THE TEST."

*There's so much more, but I've got myself worked up into such a tizzy, I need to go drink steadily until I pass out.

I'm going to channel Samuel L. Jackson here...I am sick of this motherfucking test in this motherfucking school!!!!!!!!!!

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