Thursday, June 2, 2016

Day 180 - can't

I can't do it. I'm not ready to be done- with my blog. School yes. To be continued.....

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Day 179- one to go

No students to teach or test to give, but I feel like I can't get anything done.  Helped with graduation practice, did some yearbook finances, sold some yearbooks, cleared out one drawer, sent a few emails, finished some grades, but lawdee lawdee lawd...I cannot find the time to sit long enough to grade the US History essays.  I hope tomorrow is the day...but not looking good with graduation practice and a very long Cabinet meeting.
Today seemed forever and a day.  We honored many folks leaving and staying at our school today but there were definite awkward , uncomfortable, sad moments. One teacher made her goodbye statement with a song on her ipod and some signs she held up.  There was definite animosity in the signs and I'm not sure anyone knew how to react. Prior to the signs there were folks speaking undeniably about her worth and impact, so the juxtaposition just threw me.
At least one of my peers nominated me for an award too, and I was grateful to be honored in such great company but just wanted the luncheon over.

The day/ night ended with a Senior Sunset Dinner and the kids enjoyed the food(except my veggie riblets), the music, the games, the company and definitely the water balloon war at the end- along with a baby pool dunk.

A-ha: Mole and brussels sprouts!!!!

Reminder: Its okay to pause and think before I speak.  No need to rush.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Day 178 - BAM!! last week

The Memorial Day holiday kind of threw all of us into vacation tease and all of a sudden a very short week to finish everything. SO relaxed all weekend knowing its three days, then BAM - reality hits in that you only have 3 days to get everything done- then graduation!!!!  Yes, its always something- but mostly something wonderful.
The final in US History was pleasantly surprising.  All but two students scored proficient and higher on the content  multiple choice and the civil rights issues presentations were very thorough and entertaining.  The third part was the research paper for their presentation and its obvious the students spent time and care in their work and are becoming better writers and researchers. Except of course for the three students who gave up and decided to not do any portion of the final (heartbreaking).

Emotional times these are.

A-ha:  There are not enough opportunities for the staff at my school to enjoy each other and get to know each other.

Reminder:  Keep making efforts to sit and talk with different people. Don't only play it safe.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Day 177 - pink slips and yearbooks

This day was crazy.  Last day for Seniors to get pink slips(graduation clearance slips) signed and last day of classes for them.  Ya see, I always put the finla and/or the last portion of it on their last day.  I sign their slips after everyone takes the final.  This year, I was not expecting so many people so close to failing that I had to do all the math and grading-- along with after school and at break and at lunch students bombarding me with wanting to purchase and retrieve yearbooks.   Now I know for next year.
The bummer part about all of this busyness is that I didn't get to really say goodbye to any of my seniors.  I guess Graduation practice will have to do for that.

A-ha:  Kids want to buy yearbooks during finals week.

Reminder:  Do it different next year.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Day 176 - vultures

So much. I was on the verge of tears in Advisory as I realized I won't be seeing my Seniors after next week.  They all want me to sign off on their graduation slips...but...WAIT...I need closure, I'm not ready for goodbye to just be my sloppy signature. But they are.
In yearbook we talked about the loud voices of complaint versus the praise we so quickly forget to hear or give. Creating a very public creation is scary and risky---they should be proud and they are but it is a hard life lesson to learn about handling criticism.  We used sentence starters today to give feedback that empowers.  Every negative rumor/tweet/chat they heard had to be inserted into one of those. Yes there are typos, but the good news we know what good spellers and close readers we have at our school, cuz I have not seen skills like that displayed in any of my classes! ;)!
After school the vultures(Seniors) were circling my desk, keeping me trapped at the computer, hollering and laughing at their own desperation, "okay I emailed you, now can you grade it? I fixed it now, can you grade it? all I need is your class..etc., etc. , etc.   I couldn't help but laugh at this situation with them...but then back to work.
Adult ED Graduation happened tonight too, and talk about not giving up. Those are the best graduations. Its very powerful to see students from last year who didn't graduate--get to finally graduate.

A-ha:  Positive feedback has a lot to do with timing. Some folks at my school have had great timing this week.

Reminder:  Proofread every single page on the big screen/whiteboard next year, not on the chromebooks.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Day 175 - community

A little lighter today, as yearbook distribution went smooth and more importantly- the kids were proud of what they made.  Their words of approval to each other made my heart feel like it was covered in soft fur, and purring. School is crazy busy and so many things are happening all at once, for everyone. There was a baby shower today for two very loved friends/colleagues thrown by another Wildcat family member whose birthday it was.  Another teacher's World History class wrote letters that inspired a visit from Jimmy Panetta today(I heard he had to bolt a little early to go meet up with Hilary in Salinas). At the end of the day, I bumped into our sports medicine guy who has been out with cancer--back at work today!  He just hugged me and wouldn't let go as he talked about how much the WHS Wildcat community supported him.
I work in a very special place with some very special people.  I don't think all teachers are this lucky.

A-ha:  There is a lot of myself that I haven't shared with the WHS community.

Reminder: To be connected, to know and believe in the connection- I must reach out.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Day 174- circle of mistrust

Heart broken as I learn some of my students had my school password and knew others had it---but no one thought it would've been a good idea to mention it to me.  They have been using it to override video games and blocked sites. At least one tried to change a grade but most of them, it seems from all the conversations today, know that teachers get emails as soon as grades are changed.  Tired...negative emotions wear me down. Thankfully not too many days like this.

A-ha: In the midst of drama is not the time to decide my future behavior or how I think students are going to act from this day forward.

Reminder:  Just because people act untrustworthy, doesn't mean they get to take trust away from my heart.