Monday, January 29, 2007

The fun of exams!

So I have this very weak student. He is identified which means he is entitled to special considerations such as extra time for test and assignments, extended due dates, etc. He is a very good manipulator as well which is why he has made it to grade 11 without being able to read and process information really well.

Conversation I had with dad:

ME: Hi there, I was calling to let you know that S___ has an exam today. He has not shown up yet, and only has until 1:30 to get here to be able to write it.

DAD: What? Ummm, he had an exam today?

ME: Yep, it's his [insert course name here] exam. He really needs this exam as per our conversation last week about him not turning in his major end-of-year assignment.

DAD: Well, I was under the impression that he was finished all his exams. That's what he told us, so I took him to [insert name of town 3 hours away from here] to hang out with some friends for the weekend.

ME: Unfortunately that's not the case. Our exam period runs for another 3 days. You might want to take a second look at the exam schedule that was sent home with report cards at the beginning of December to make sure he's not going to miss any others.

DAD: I'm going to call him now and find out what's going on. Obviously he won't be able to make the deadline.

ME: That's unfortunate. I don't think that S____ will be receiving his credit for this.

[end of conversation]

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Is what I wanted to yell into the phone. Here's a kid who struggles, is not very bright, probably needs a good number of hours in order to review for his exams, and you just let him go on a mini-vacation? Without double checking his exam schedule??

Why is the schedule not posted visibly on your refrigerator so that you have a clue as to what's going on in your son's life? I'm not saying you need to hold his hand, but you can sure still be on top of his homework and educational progrees. Especially a kid like this who constantly needs extra support.

I just don't get it. Well, actually I do. Sadly I see this far too often.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Another reason why I love my job..

I hate that I am so conflicted about that. I love my job, but I really need to do something new - anything. Well, no not anything. Please don't ever make me teach Grade 9 geography again. Please!

Anyway, things like the following keep reminding me that for now my job is still pretty darn good!

I received this email during our current 'exam break'

Greetings and Salutations Ms. Teacher,

I would just like to express how much i enjoyed the class, and im am sad to
say this will be my last high-school class with you. You were my favorite
teacher throughout my four years, and i really do mean that from the bottom
of my heart. I promise to come back and visit you whenever i get the chance
next year!


Aw, shucks! That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. (and yes, the typos are his - good luck university profs! hehehe)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

You're IT!

Ms. Smarties has tagged me. Once you have been tagged, you have to write a blog with 5 facts about yourself. Then choose 5 people you want to tag and list their names. Then leave a comment on their blog letting them know they’ve been tagged.

1. I love Doritos, even if they smell like stinky feet!

2. I watch FAR too much reality television - it's actually hard to admit that one!

3. I've been taking social dance lessons for 6 months

4. I want to change up my career a bit but have no idea how.

5. I love that we now have winter!

I'm going to tag:


Wow, a chain letter blog...hmmm Not sure how I feel about this.

And to add to my list...


Sunday, January 21, 2007

An oldie but a goodie

A friend sent me this email today. I've seen it before but I thought it would be good to post it here. Now, I do feel that some of it is a little too overboard, but it's certainly something that I would like to say to those who believe that teachers don't do much and all we do is work 9-3 and have summers off.


The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.

One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education.
He argued, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"

He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about teachers:
"Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach."

To stress his point he said to another guest; "You're a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?"

Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied,
"You want to know what I make? (She paused for a second, then began...)
"Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor.
I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't make them sit for 5 without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental...
You want to know what I make?" (She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table.)
I make kids wonder.
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.
I teach them to write and then I make them write.
I make them read, read, read.
I make them show all their work in math.
I make my students from other countries learn everything they need
to know in English while preserving their unique cultural identity.
I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.
I make my students stand to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag,
because we live in the United States of America.
Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life.

(Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.)
"Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant...
You want to know what I make?

I MAKE A DIFFERENCE. What do you make?"

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Funny things happen in the new year...

The first week back at school after the holidays is quite a strange time. People should be relaxed, ready to go and excited to be back. But we are not. Students and teachers alike. It's been a crazy busy week trying to plan for the last 2 weeks before exams and writing those darn things.

However, some interesting things do happen.

1) One of my students inherited 5 million dollars. Yep, 5 million. I have no idea what I would do with that kind of money at 17. My jaw hit the floor when I heard this. After picking it up from the floor, I wonder what type of parents would send him to school without at least counselling him about why he should not be running around the school telling everyone this. Ah, but maybe that's my jealous streak.

2) Another student, while working on her major project for my class recevied a phone call from a former Prime Minister of Canada. How cool is that? She was able to interview him for her project as I require she finds and uses primary documents. I guess this interview would count. Her mother I guess, knows a former assistant of his, and he got in touch with him and told him about her project. This former P.M. asked her when her presentation was so that he might stop by. Sadly, he'll be out of the country the day she's presenting. It would've been incredible for her to have had him come by for her presentation. Not to mention for the rest of us!

3) Two of my students were travelling to France over the Christmas holidays - seperately. They bumped in to each other, walking down some random street. That's pretty wild. I mean, what are the chances?

Anyway, that's all for now. With exams coming up I'm sure there will be some interesting things coming up - I'll keep you posted!