Friday, January 28, 2005

A huge milestone

Today is the last day of second quarter. That means that I have made it through the first half of my first year teaching! HURRAH!

I gave the midterm today (a multiple-choice test), and added a writing portion (a four square and then a five paragraph essay) for Classes A and C (Class B only has one period on Fridays, so they just got the regular test). It proved excellent for behavior control, which surprised and delighted me. The scores, however, proved that I'm not doing a good job of preparing them for the big city test this spring. Out of all three classes, two students got a high of 25. Out of 33. That's not so pretty. I decided to be kind and grade it on a curve. Most of the students will still get Ds or Fs, but at least I'm making an effort to make up for my own lacking.

On a positive note, with all the students silent and engaged in the test, I was able to quickly mark all the homework. Way to multi-task, me.

So it's Friday. I need to finish up the grades. I got the notebook checks done yesterday (whee!), but I still need to grade the posters, the speeches, and the reports themselves. Good god, that sounds like a lot. Oh god, plus the written midterms and the written holiday packets. Jesus, that IS a lot. Then lots of numbers will need to be entered in the computer.

Boo hoo. This is a weekend that I would really love to celebrate with lots of relaxing and alcohol, but instead I'll be at school tomorrow morning, and spending many hours working my ass off.

The grades are due on Tuesday, but if I get them done by Monday, then, hey, I'll be pretty proud of myself, and I can focus more on my lesson planning.

After school, I stayed for two hours, correcting some papers and changing around some posters. I put up a couple new ones and took down older ones. This quarter I really slacked off with charts. Partly because there's not that much room to put stuff up on the walls. They get crowded very quickly. But even so, I need to be better. It theoretically helps the kids remember things, and it helps me with evidence of my teaching for admin and parents.

Tonight there was an "East Indian Cultural Extravaganza" that was organized by Class C's inclusion teacher, and that several of my students were participating in. It was supposed to start at 6.30, though, and I was bored and needed food. So first I went to the library (grabbing two donuts on the way), got four YA historical fiction novels, then stopped at a grocery store for snacks to tide me over. The show started late, of course. But it was fun. My students did well, and the audience was really excited. And, they held a raffle at the end of the performances, and I won a prize! It was a good one, too, a L'Oreal gift bag.

Stay tuned for more AmeriChapters! I was pleased with the amount of things I remembered from my journey to the Point. The next piece I remember a good amount too, but the whole first month sort of blends together.

Damn you, Travelocity. One-day sale to London, Paris or Frankfurt for $233! Just right in the middle of school and the trip I've already planned. Paris! How I miss you, even though it's only been a year.

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