At the end of a long week of political fears and work at school it is important to be able to blow off steam with good colleagues over some good drinks. My coworkers and I went to Abilene's to take a break together, talk about work (or not), clinks glasses, and have some bites to eat. It was a very nice thing to do (especially after learning that my bike had a flat tire again! I am grateful to the place I work and those I work with.
It's this time of year (when grades are due for credits) that students, parents, teachers, and administrators are all stressing out. In my own case it is because so many students failed themselves and did not attain mastery of concepts in my class. Despite that, for some there is legitimate reason to allow for an incomplete to be provided for them as long as they have a contract to fulfill later on. Some of our students will have to come to tutoring sessions; others will need to take tests they missed; still others might have to complete community service time. It's a wonderful (and unfortunate) way of allowing kids to demonstrate mastery later. Sometimes it can be overused and abused - I just hope what I'm doing this year is not that way.
On Wednesday afternoon there were a few teachers tasked with watching the 6h grade students during a movie so that their grade team could have planning time for second semester. There were a number of energetic students involved, a lot of talking, some disrespect, and a lost iPhone. This student had so much energy he couldn't stay in his seat. So, my colleague took in outside the doors to run up and down the stairs for about five minutes. Here he is on lap #4. Incredible.
I am really excited to take part in two awesome courses this semester through Math For America, especially since they will seriously allow me to geek out on technology and pedagogy. I am particularly happy about this since I did not get to register for ANY of the classes I really wanted to go to last semester. This time I set multiple alarms and made sure I was in a specific location at the time I needed to be for this to work. I am so happy I will get to do this and spend time learning useful things!
I missed the last staff Crew due to unforeseen circumstances so I was happy to learn that they had discussed how to interrupt and educate students (or adults) who use language that may not accurately represent their feelings and thoughts. We discussed how to go about combatting this language use and apparently there were some role plays that I missed (Darn!). Overall, I'm happy that we discuss this as a staff to make sure we all understand the importance of terminology and language in the classroom and the world.
This is yet another great example of students working together eagerly. They were conversing about the work in front of them and asking each other prodding questions to get to a deeper level of understanding. It was truly gratifying to watch it happen!
The student who owns this notebook (and candies) is one that definitely pays attention more often than not and can come up with great solutions/conversations in her group. It just so happened that on this day she had some M&Ms and was displaying a bit of her desire for exact-ness in organizing them. I thought it was quite funny and sympathized with her desire to keep things in order.
Unfortunately it does happen that I will miss a day or two. In this case it had to do with late nights at Emergency Rooms. All are okay right now but I was not at school and couldn't make up a photo.
All senior students today took part in a private screening of the film Fences that we organized at the local Cobble Hill Theater. Last year they had read the play in their ELA class and this year are reading another play from the same author. Even though we organized this event only 10 days ahead we probably had about 75% of students attend. They were mostly respectful throughout the film and definitely appreciated going.
On the way there one of my students dropped his wallet and so we had to retrace our steps all the way back to school. After not finding it for 30 minutes despite asking each business owner along the way if anyone had returned it, calling our school, and calling the local precinct, I eventually found it on the way back next to a Christmas tree on the curb waiting for pickup. My student was incredibly happy and grateful and then we had a lovely time at the movies!
As part of the Math for America Master Teacher Fellowship I get access to all kinds of classes to attend on a regular basis. Unfortunately, this semester I registered too late and only signed up for one. Another activity I wanted to attend was the screening of the recent film, The Man Who Knew Infinity, which was shown at the Simons Foundation on Thursday night. It was a really interesting movie mostly because I've never heard of the Indian mathematician Rananujan before and his work has influenced so many. It was a lovely night with free dinner and some nice conversation. I can't wait to sign up for spring semester classes and take part in more.
I am a math teacher in the New York Department of Education. I infuse technology and real-world problems into my curriculum in order to prepare my students for the future. I would love for people across the country to recognize we teachers can't do it alone. If you don't believe me, come visit my classroom!