Monday, June 22, 2009

math regents

about 70% of my students passed.

not too bad. 72% of the students that sat were level 1s and 2s.

i'm aiming for at least 75% next year though. there's so much i plan on doing differently.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

attention all first year NYCTFers!

I have been privy to a number of resumes received by my school from first year hopefuls trying to find a job. I have also sat in on some demo lessons as well. What I've seen makes me embarrassed for some of these would be teachers, as well as embarrassed for the fellows as a whole. No wonder people find it difficult to find a job... use your common sense, people!

A couple of pointers based on what I've seen in the past month:

#1: If you are sending a resume via email, do not make your cover letter a separate attachment. The body of your email should be the cover letter itself! If you write a boring, generic, or casual email and expect anyone to actually download a cover letter or resume after that, you're wrong. You may have only 8 seconds to make a great impression. Please utilize your emails wisely!

#2: Get the name of your school right! There is no "Brooklyn University." If you sound clueless, certainly we have no reason to believe you're not!

#3: Having a world travel section on your resume makes you seem downright pretentious. And actually, I'll just laugh behind your back from this.

#4: If you are invited to an interview, come on time! In fact, come ten minutes early. Bring extra copies of your resume and dress professionally! Capri pants are not the ideal interview attire.

#5: If you are invited to do a demo lesson, have a lesson plan with you!!! I understand you're not teachers yet, but there are plenty of resources online. There is no excuse to show up empty handed. In addition, a lesson where you present an interesting topic and the students ask questions for 45 minutes is not acceptable! There should be clear parts to your lesson, including some sort of group work component and sharing if you want a chance at landing the job.

#6: If you are asked to give a demo lesson in earth science, it is not acceptable to teach a lesson in astrology!!!!

That's all I have so far. I'm sure the readers of this blog (are there more than 2???) have more sense than to make one of the above blunders, but you never know. I do hope that those teachers who were not called back, or did not get the job, reflect on what they can improve for subsequent interviews. After all, even I went on 4 interviews before I landed my job!

Monday, June 15, 2009

i'm done.

pretty much. tomorrow begins regents week. no more lessons, no more teaching. this is getting way exciting.

it just remains to be seen how my kids do on the exam. apparently last week there was a rumor floating amongst the students that the math was the most important exam to pass. i'm not sure how this came to be, but hey why not? even the school secretary told me that lots of kids came into her office talking about how they really wanted to pass the math exam.

somehow i don't think my results will be all that great, but supposedly my administration isn't expecting greatness. how much can you do with a school basically filled with level 1s and 2s??

Thursday, June 4, 2009

musical histograms and other news

interdisciplinary connections in action:

upon reviewing histograms, i overheard one student ask another about the difference between a histogram and a bar graph. the response: in a bar graph, the bars are staggered, but in a histogram, they're legato."

most excellent.


the end is near and i'm getting excited. i am no longer nostalgic; rather i'm quite sick of the students. they have been poorly behaved this week and they're getting on my last nerve. but i understand it, really. they all know that what they do this week doesn't matter; if they pass the Regent's next week, that's all they need.

at 8am my homeroom students come in and work dilligently. they want to pass and they take full advantage of having an extra hour with the math teacher. every single student in that class who completed a practice regent's this week passed to my surprise. but once 9am hits and the students *have* to be in math class, they get antsy. overall i'm hoping for at least a 50% pass rate. the dean tells me i should get around 75%. it's difficult considering nearly the entire school came in as level 1 or 2. but yes, half of them should pass which i hope means that i raised some of those level 2s to a level 3.

in other news, i decided to teach algebra next year. i was truly leaning towards continuing with my current students into geometry, but really I'm sick of them! also, i completed 2 courses in geometry this semester in grad school and i hated them. i could barely do the work. i'm looking forward to getting another shot at teaching algebra and perfecting my lessons. then maybe once i have a handle on teaching in general, i'll expand to do geometry.

so, one more day of teaching left for me this year! monday will not be a regular class day in my school, and tuesday starts regent's week. it's been fun, but i'm so done!