Tuesday, November 17, 2009


pretty decent.

eight students were asked to go speak to the reviewer regarding the school environment, academics, etc. one student came to tell me she talked about how great i was. i thanked her for the flattery.

then in the presence of some school staff but no other teachers, my principal said that while she would never say this in front of the teaching staff, it was clear when discussing the teachers that the students overwhelmingly favored my class.

pretty awesome although i sometimes question my principal's motives and wonder if she's being 100% truthful. either way, it's a pretty effective strategy to help teacher feel confident in their practice.

oh also i found out the final regent's passing rate for last year including summer school: 78%. kind of overwhelming because i think it will be highly impossible for me to attain that again this year.


note to self: i know that right now, i can't make my lessons interesting to the students every day. sometimes i even go day after day of difficult skills and practice. i found that right now, for me, the best way to engage the students is to alternate fun topics and projects with rigorous skill development. maybe one day i'll be masterful enough to teach every topic in an interesting, innovative manner. but for now, i'll stick with infusing the curriculum with chart paper, markers, projects, and games every 2-3 weeks. i stick out the tough stuff as much as possible, and push them to their limits of pure mathematical skill. then we take a breather and enjoy an easy, project based unit.

i know some teachers teach everything inquiry and project based but i haven't gotten to that point. in some ways what i do is a cop out, but OTOH it works for my students and i think the change of pace every few weeks invigorates them.

i'm interested in what my take on this method of teaching will be a few years down the line.

Monday, November 16, 2009

quality review

the inquiry meeting wasn't bad. i hope we got a proficient, but either way i found it to be a nice experience to talk with someone from the doe and get a feel for what kind of questions they ask, as well as what direction they want the school to go in. the woman gave us a lot of advice in terms of one issue we were having with part of the inquiry process.

so they were only able to visit two classrooms today out of 12. of course my principal brought them to mine. i know i should be proud, but it's so stressful!! my principal caught wind that the students were presenting projects they worked on and i guess she wanted to show them off. my kids actually did extraordinary well, except for the one group that burst out laughing in the middle and cursed each other :)

they're gonna be back again tomorrow. not sure exactly why they need two days, but i should be in the clear. i've already been observed by them and met with them about inquiry and about general school environment questions.

now i have to prepare for my observation on thursday. my professor is observing me in my CTT class, as usual. and i'm going to be out the day before so i might walk into pure chaos.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

quality review

the quality review team is coming to my school in just a few short hours. as one of the inquiry team coordinators, i'm going to have to meet with them. i've been told just to listen to the other members BS and jump in when i feel comfortable. ugh, so not me.

i'm also giving the final assessment of the team based unit to the CTT class tomorrow. trying to get them above a 48% pass rate. i already have one special ed kid move to the passing side since this unit started. i have a few more who are getting much higher grades, but their homework is still holding them back. i have to figure out an action plan to get more work out of them or they still won't pass since they're test grades are borderline as it is.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


i met with my principal this past week and scored 2 more per session hours a month (and a new responsibility-- i now have someone reporting to me!) so now i'm up to 14 steady hours, plus whatever random jobs i pick up.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

such a headache

there is so much drama in my school and i just feel drained.

i'm trying to figure out whether last year there was drama and i was just oblivious to it, or this year there happens to be a lot more issues, or if it's a little of both.

i am not taking sides and i try not to get involved in any of the nonsense but it's still hard to constantly listen to what everyone is saying about each other. and, at the same time, wondering if they're talking about me, too.

i seriously hear complaints and gossip about people at my school on a daily basis. what really got me was yesterday, the assistant principal took me aside with the dean had the audacity to complain about a who i thought was a highly respected teacher, and then accused her of a conspiracy theory. who am *i* to be privy to this information? why do i even have to hear it? sometimes i wish i was still a clueless first year.

i know that the administration likes and respects me (for now) and i've been giving an increasing number of responsibilities (and per session money-- yay.) but with this responsibility has come the enormous burden of hearing all the bullshit that goes on in my school and it's wearing on me.