Friday, March 27, 2009

Do I Look Like?

Either of these two girls?

In the last two weeks I have had (2) Random strangers come up and tell me I look like Taylor Swift. (1) Co-worker/teacher tell me I look like Taylor Swift. (3) Male students tell me I look like Taylor Swift.

I have also had (2) female students tell me I look like Victoria in Twilight.

What do you think? Random.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Daily Soap Opera

that is teaching high school. Here is my top 10 from the past two weeks. I promise it is funny!

1-I discovered while making a grading rubric for 5-paragraph essays that if you leave the “h” out of Thesis Statement, spell check will correct your phrase to say Testis Statement.

2-The 2nd highest grade in my 11th grade class this term is a Hispanic gangster kid—he has gotten a D- every other term, this term an A+, telling me that Huckleberry Finn can reach all students—including my minority students.

3-I got asked to the prom in an essay this week, and I quote: “Ms. E, you are the most beautiful girl in the hole school I would die if you were my girlfriend it would be really cool if you went to prom with me but I understand if you have other plans, love ------.” Had to turn that one down, but couldn’t help laughing!

4-Two of my Hispanic gangster girls told me I remind them of a VAMPIRE—in a good way---. Something to do with the Twilight generation, I think. I choose to take that as a compliment!

5-We listened to Kanye West’s Golddigger in my class this week. Don’t worry; it was the radio-edited version. It is actually the perfect song to use while teaching Lyric Poetry. It has end rhyme, slant rhyme, repetition, allusion, narrative, meter, and euphony. Nice.

6-“[If you give me an A] I will tell you where Mr. W lives---I know where he hides his spare key!” (Had to turn that one down too).

7-Phone Conversation: “I think if my son (who is earning at 30% in your class) at least comes to your class every time (but doesn’t read or do homework) deserves to get at least a D in your class.” LOVE Badgering parents.

8-“Miss E, have you even tried eHarmony, why not? I think you should.”

9-Angry, ANGRY, A-N-G-R-Y parent who thinks we are smearing his daughter’s name and making her sound loose because in her student highlight in the school newspaper it says that she said that if she were stranded on a desert island she would bring a b-o-y with her. Yeah, definitely makes her sound like a prostitute. Hmmhmmm. I’d be concerned too! Our student newspaper—spreading smut one issue at a time! We do what we can.

10-This amazing poem written by one of my little gangter boys:

I wish I had dimes
for every one of my crimes
What a rich man I'd be
If I had that kind of money
If that was the case
I wouldn't be in this place
And work all day
Without a pay
I wish I could fly
Up so high
If I could have all the dimes
I wouldn't have to do my crimes
But in the end
All I need is a friend
That will be there till the end

-F.C., age 15

Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm Not Special Ed

Thanks goodness, but it was a close call! Last week my visiting teachee gave me the 2 1/2 hour special education assessment. She is graduating this year with her MA in School Pshychology, and she needed to administer the test as practice. It was soooo long, but a really good experience for me as a regular education teacher. It really opened my eyes to how hard the test really is! It made me have empathy for my ELL students who are learning English! There was a section where they give you a word or phrase and then there are four pictures that represent very similar meanings, but you have to choose one that best fits the word or expression. If I didn't know English very well, I would have gotten every question in that section wrong! I can see why a lot of the Hispanic kids get evaluated for Special Education.

I also realized how much math I have forgotten! I am sure that I would be put in special ed math right now if this test was for real. I forgot how to do fractions....I know, I should not admit this! And I put pie as 2.14 instead of 3.14. I was getting test anxiety, started counting on my fingers, and mumbling....It was a hard test! I know I missed some of the math questions just because I had some serious test anxiety--even though I knew I wasn't really going to be put in Special Ed!

I'm not allowed to know my score, but my visit teachee told me yesterday at church I scored very high, but wow, great experience because now I know what being evaluated for special education is all about. Whew. Close call!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

My Budding Journalists

A few of my little budding journalists at the Deseret News Journalism Conference 2009

Just a little bragging moment about my journalism kids. We returned from a regional journalism conference/competition held at UVU last week and we took home five awards! We won best overall news column, 2nd place best (straight) news article, honorable mention best news article, 3rd place best sports story, and 2nd place best photographs! There were schools from all over Utah Valley--Tooele/Salt Lake down to Nephi attending the conference, so there was some tough competition!

When we attended the conference last year we only took home one award, and people were like "Where is Payson?" And this year we took home 5 awards and I tried my best to not squeal too loudly as they kept saying Payson, Payson, Payson over and over again! I'm so proud of my little journalists! We placed in all categories but 3!

Needless to say we didn't place in the layout or graphic categories because I don't know enough about computers to teach the kids about that kind of thing, but I am proud that we won awards for our writing. Part of what I love about teaching journalism is the opportunity I have to really workshop with these 12 kids about their writing. We tear apart and rebuild their writing (and try not to hurt their feelings) everyday--and looks like it paid off!

It was one of those little moments that reminded me that teaching is worth it and hard work pays off. Congrats to my crew!

And then today at our faculty meeting I was awarded the Yellow Jersey Award, an award that recongnizes hard work done by a faculty member the principal awards once a month. The prinipal wanted to recognize me for my work with the students in the journalism class and for all the work I do as the school PR person.

So, I'm not trying to toot my own horn, but it felt really good to be recongnized for my long hours of hard work with those kids! :D