Monday 3/11/2013: – It’s 7:59am, and I’m in another classic make it work moment. I’m working with about 3 hours of disconnected sleep today. My goal was to wake up an hour early so I could get to school with an hour to spar. This would give me time to accomplish some of the things still on my to do list. Reality – I woke up about an hour late. With just enough time to get to school before the opening bell at 8:20….maybe.
Major things in today’s to do list:
Create a draft IEP for student’s mother in preparation for our IEP meeting
Prepping for my Just Words lesson even though I left my lesson materials at school over the weekend
Prepping for sDIG/IT student technology presentations for their free laptops
Graduate class tonight (even though the university is closed for spring break.
Reflection: I just registered for summer classes and it looks like we only have to take one class per summer session, and we don’t have to teach summer school this summer. Part of me doesn’t know what I’m going to do with all this extra free time. The other part of me wants to capitalize by getting a part time job to get some extra $$$. I’ve been trying to prepare my students all semester for their digit presentations. Personally I’m not happy with the quality of the presentations or my time management leading up to the presentations. Students are supposed to invite a friend/parent to witness their presentations. None of my students had any, so I made them buddy up and present their presentations to each other. It was weird seeing even some of my strongest students in the class get nervous about presenting infront of a crowd. I had to work with students multiple times to contain their frustrations. Students let their nerves get the best of them. They literally started saying they weren’t going to participate 5 minutes before we were set to go on. I wanted to pull my hair out a million times last period, but finally we got through the day and the students. Grad class was decent. We’re working in groups to help create our own unit plans. Initially I think most people hated this idea, or were confused. Group work always seems like overkill when everyone is working with their own schedules and challenges. I like my group and I like being able to bounce our ideas off of each other. I’ve decided to create an english unit for my Race/Class/Culture course this trimester. My group members are creating units on Math – probability and Science – the building blocks of life. Today was a productive day.
Tuesday 3/12/13: Again I didn’t sleep much last night. I think I finally went to bed around 2:30 am. Only because Sesis (the internet program we create, and edit IEP’s with) shuts down at 2am. So… I couldn’t make additional edits to Student A’s IEP in preparation for my phone call with their mom today. It was a STRUGGLE to get out of bed today. I finally rolled out of bed around 6:35. I powered through my morning ritual. Sans brushing my teeth. I’ve just realized its easier to do that at school… On the train I listened to Kelly Rowland’s Kisses on repeat, I had about 3 swigs of coffee left over from last night. So I gulped them down before I left the house. Sitting on the train, I powered away reviewing and making notes for Student A’s IEP. I got to school. Normally there are things I need to prep for my first period english class. But today is the last day before of the trimester so luckily I didn’t have anything to print out or prepare. I was pleased with myself in class today because I feel like I was having quality check ins with my students as they worked to complete as much of their missing assignments as possible. 2nd period was a sluggish prep for my IEP meeting, followed by a micro planning session for my Rewards (reading intervention) class. Rewards is a fucking mess. I hate teaching this class. The students hate the class even more than I do… I have to figure out something to reinvigorate everyone in our final trimesters. I grabbed Student A, for the IEP meeting. Unfortunately their mother wasn’t available when I called. So I took the time to do the student’s vocational assessment. This was actually a great backup idea because I got some very usable data. 5th period was our department meeting. I don’t quite remember what I did.
Reflection: I’ve been coming home dead tired. I’ve also been putting off the work I know I need to do until late at night. I don’t know what bothers me more… The fact that I’m always getting more things to do. OR the fact that I never seem to get any of it done.
Wednesday 3/13/2013: Woke up 20 minutes b4 I needed to leave the house to get to school on time. Jumped in and out of the shower. Today was a Laid back day. We have early dismissals on Wednesdays. I tried to create a plan for my JW classes today. I got as far as knowing that I wanted them to use chart paper in groups to showcase their learning. But… when it came down to it just played a movie and made it a free period. I hate that I’m starting to rely so much on movies to kill time. I’ve been letting the students know that time is running out for these movies. Its been my go to after I finish the day’s lesson. I’m hoping that I’ll have more energy and time I create longer lasting lessons come 3rd cycle (trimester). Last night I made assignment templates for my Digit classes make up work called Amelioration. Amelioration is usually two days we save after the grading period ends to give our students a chance to make up any missing assignments (competencies/outcomes) in order to legitimately earn credit for their class. Today I was given (or reminded of, depending on who you ask) a ton of IEP work to do. Its ridiculously frustrating feeling like I never know everything due for my IEP students, nor knowing everything that is expected of me in regards to my role as a special education teacher. It always makes me feel like I’m not working hard enough/ keeping track of my responsibilities.
Thursday 3/14/2013: I woke up dumb fucking late 7:30…. again. I need Spring Break to get here NOW. Its imperative that I reset and recharge my body and mind with a significant rest period. I don’t know how I’ve made t so far. I’ve woken up late for school 3 times in the passed 2 weeks. This is crazy when I’ve been late twice the whole year before that. That is one positive to having a co teacher for my first period class. But it’s a horrible way to start the day. Today we’re doing credit amelioration as mentioned before.
Reflection – Today was a super long day. Amelioration went well. My and co teacher and I were ripping and running around the classroom all day frantically helping students. One of the difficult things about teaching young adults is they don’t realize when they’re being given a second, third, fourth chance. Their normal attitudes or resistance to authority/leadership can really be stressful to a teacher when trying you’re trying to create/manage/or repair relationships with a struggling student who doesn’t understand that you want them to learn and pass, and not suffer the consequences of failure. After school I went to a planning meeting for fundraising event me and some friends are putting together. Stay tuned for more details about Art of War, our inaugural fundraiser help on May 2, 2013 at Hotel Indigo. More details coming soon.
Friday 3/15/2013: I’m so happy today is here!!! I woke up at. 640. Which is still 40 minutes after I used to get up at the beginning of the school year. But, early enough to brush my teeth and hop on the train. Brushing my teeth, showering, or just running out of the house have been my only options lately. Today is another Credit Amelioration day. Yesterday I helped two of our digit students complete the class so they could get the free laptop they had earned. Even still there were two students who didn’t show up to amelioration. One came to school late and still didn’t come to my class to finish her work. Another got injured last weekend and has and excused medical absence. I’m looking forward to tonight. I’m planning out my weekend so I can get as much accomplished as possible. Here’s a short list of the tasks I can think of:
TAL 857 Class – Assistive Technology Project Research
TAL 885D Class – English Unit Plan Review
TAL 856 Class – Performance Based Assessment (incomplete class – 2 hours)
Scholarship email to fraternity brothers
Unit plan reviews
Organizing Computer files, Google drive files, and Grad School Files
Organize and Trash school files in room
Pack in preparation for the move
Complete the NYC DOE part of my taxes
Student A IEP: Complete Present Level of Performance (PLOP) and draft Goals
Student B IEP: Draft Plop
Uh oh… I just got a seat on the train. Lemme take a quick nap. Happy Friday everyone! 🙂 7:37 am.