Sunday, January 31, 2010

Great Weekend!!

After a rough week at school, we had a great weekend!!  Rachel, Lauren, Katherine, and Mark came down to stay with us.  They got here around 9:30 on Friday night, and we got to hang out.  On Saturday we went to College Station to watch the A&M vs. Tech basketball game.  We got there early and ate lunch at La Bodega.  It's a great College Station only california mexican food place.  They have great nachos!!!  Katie and Michelle joined us for lunch.  It was great to see Michelle, I have not seen her since this summer.  She spent last semester abroad in Ecuador.  It fun to hear her stories.  After lunch we hit up some of the bookstores for more Aggie gear (as if we don't have enough).  But we did buy a cute aggie door hanger to put on our hook outside.  It says "aggie fans live here".  It's the hook where we put the pumpkin welcome sign, the snowman christmas sign, and now we have a heart valentines day sign.  So it will be for football season, and perhaps always-lol. 

We forgot to grab Katie's parking pass so we could park on campus (you forget about those things when you haven't been there in awhile).  So as we are pulung up Russell goes we dont' have any cash to park.   I had 4 dollars, and Rachel had 2 so we pulled into the parking lot by the REC that said $5.  However, the guy monitoring the parking lot mistook my cycreek parking pass for an A&M one, so we got to park for free! The game started out kinda bad.  We were down by about 10 points halfway through the first half.  We kept trying to make 3 pointers, and not making them and wasting possesions.  However, then we stepped it into gear and was leading by halftime, and blew it away in the second half.  It was a good game, and a fun win.  After the game we went to Laynes (yes we are trying to pack all the college station only food places in when we are there-lol).  And it was just as good as ever.  We got home around midnight.

We did not go to church on Sunday, we just all slept in and then watched tennis and hung out Sunday morning.  Well, when I say we watched tennis I mean me and Russell did, and the rest were confused.  haha.  But it was the finals for the Austrialian Open.  It was great to see another Federer win!!!  While we were watching we were talking, but Rachel said we needed to liven things up.  And I quote, "we need to make it a party, you know turn on the lights or something."  Haha I LOVE her!!!  We went to lunch and then they headed back up to Dallas.  It was great to see them all, since we didn't go up to Dallas for Christmas, we haven't seen them since Thanskgiving.
The Aggie girls!!

Believe it or not, Russell's first Aggie basketball game


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Worst Day Yet :(

Today was a very frustrating/infuriating day.  My kids have had 4 class days to work on their projects over the American Revolution (as they have already learned this extensively in 8th grade, but they don't remember so we review it for the TAKS test).  It's supposed to be a fluff project-easy to bring up their grades.  First it was due on Tuesday but then most people weren't making signifiant progress I made Tuesday a work day and due first think on Wednesday.  But of course today I get all sorts of excuses of why its not finished.  I had a few people finish yesterday, so I know they had plenty of time (way more time than needed for this project).  So I was getting frustrated with all of those stupid excuses.  And trying to get them back to paying attention/listen to me talk mode since they have been doing whatever for the last four days.

Then I had planned a fun short activity of putting the events of the American Revolution in chronological order (thats time order for those 10th graders reading this that don't know what chronological means - a few groups gave me alphabetical order I mean really- OMG).  Again, we have studied this, they have drawn a cartoon of the events (in chronological order- or supposed to be- we shall see when I grade them), so it should have taken them three minutes to do.  So how I did it was put the events onto notecards, and divide the class into teams.  The team that got it right the fastest got 5 extra points on the quiz.  I first set my timer for 3 minutes, nobody was even close, so I gave them extra time.  Only two groups (out of 5 classes-with 6 groups each in them) got it right in a decent amount of time.  So that was frustrating.  I really thought this was going to be an easy short review, and it ended up being almost the whole lesson.

Also, I gave my students a vocabulary assignment two and a half weeks ago.  It was goign to be due on Tuesdya, buts since they were supposed to be working hard on their projects (ha) I pushed it back to Friday.  I am still getting complaints on.  I kept saying I gave it to you 2 weeks ago, you have had plenty of time to come beofre or after school to get the definitions if you don't have a book.  And I'm also getting complaints that no other teachers are doing it.  I keep saying well I'm not those teachers, you have me.  UGH.  Two weeks is plenty of time to get it done, especailly since that I have been reminding them everyday. 

I currently have 3 kids in DMC, and after 3 weeks of working there I still don't know what DMC stands for but it's like an inschool suspension.  So I needed to bring one of my kids some materials he needs for the project- which I would have done yesterday when he was in DMC, but he skipped (stupid kid).  So I went down there during lunch (and it's all the way across the school and my lunch break is only 30 minutes long).  So I wasted 12 minutes of freedom (i mean lunch-lol), walking down there and back.  UGH!

Finally when the day was over I went downstairs(which again is like a 10 minute walk) to make copies and the machine jammed.  Even bigger UGH!!

The last thing to make my day bad was I went to sonic to get a nice big cherry Dr. Pepper, and I missed happy hour by 10 minutes.  Had to pay full price.  But the day did get better, the Sonic guy gave me two cherries in my Dr. Pepper!!!  And I was home early, got to enjoy the night with my wonderful husband.  And we had 5 guys burgers for dinner (yummy!!).  And I get to sleep in a little bit tomorrow. I have to get my badge done during my conference period, and since I have first off and I pass by the security office on my way to work, they said I could just come in after I get it made.  Since the security office is so gay by only being open from 7 to 3, when all their customers are teachers who would be in school during those hours (so stupid). 

I am also looking forward to this weekend.  Rachel, Lauren, Mark and Katherine are coming down and staying with us and we are going to the A&M vs. Tech basketball game on Saturday where I get to see Michelle and Katie.

Thanks for listening to me rant!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Problem Child

So in the last class of the day there is this kid --lets call him Frank (not his real name since this is for anyone to read)-- who drives me, and the rest of the class CRAZY.  I told Russell yesterday that either I was going to kill him, or he was going to kill me by the end of the six weeks.  He is majorly ADHD.  He is always singing, up out of his seat, talking to anyone and eveyone.  And he doesn't listen.  He does ok writting down the notes, but as soon as he is done copying for one slide he is up and singing and talking again while everyone else is still writting stuff down.  Yesterday he was like "miss, why you always tellin me to be quiet, treating me like a dog" and I was so frustrated I said, well my dog at least listens to me.  Mean I know, but it's been like this for over two weeks now.

The other kids don't like him either.  Obviously, he is distracting and just kinda weird.  One other boy in particular, hates him.  But it gets really hot in my room, and I have a little fan, and they both get hot, so they sit next to each other in front of the fan.  So that adds a whole other dynamic.

For the next three days we are working on a major individual project.  They get three days in class to work on it (because lets face it they wont do it if you don't give them classtime- even if it is 30% of their 6weeks grade).  I was really worried that Frank would be all over the place and distracting everyone.  He has an aide that sometimes comes in to monitor his behavior (yes she even amitted that she was being paid for being a mom).  However, I had forgotten her name, so I emailed his counselor to see if she knew.  All the sudden she is emailing his case worker.  I just wanted to know her name so I could ask her to come in today.  I ended up finding her in the copy room, and she agreed to make sure that she stopped by.  So by the time 7th period came, Frank had two adults in their making sure he behaved.   I didn't mean to call in the calvery but it worked!!  They left about 20 minutes in.  And he behaved (for the most part) the rest of the period.  I made sure I thanked him for behaving nicely like 3 times.  HAHA!  I also made sure I had a stack of referrals ready- just in case.  I'm sure more Franks stories will be coming.  lol.

Yay for not really having to work had for tomorrow and Monday.  However, I will be at a development all day on Saturday starting at 8am.  :(  But it will help me be a better ESL teacher (hopefully-lol).  But I get a $100 stipend for going. 

On a happy note, we heard that Russell's grandparents started reading the blog.  So HI to grandma and grandpa in New York.  Can't wait to see ya'll in March!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Three Day Weekend

Russell has been really jealous that I have only worked two weeks, and now have a three day weekend.  He didn't get today off, and he is just jealous.  However, in February he gets Presidents day off, and I don't (however my students do).

It was a good weekend.  It started off with Friday being payday!!  It was nice to see our bank account have two full time paychecks in it!  To celebrate we make frozen pizza and watched a movie (I know big spenders).  Not too much happened over the weekend, just hung out and relaxed some.  I tried on Saturday to get into my school.  I left a piece of paper that had a few of my students phone numbers on it, so I can text them tonight to remind them to get up early and come take their quiz they missed, but all the outside doors were locked.  So I tried again today and the basketball team was practicing and they had the door propped open.  Ironically, one of the players is in my class, and one of the numbers on my paper.  I reminded his, and I said do I still need to text you tonight, and he wa slike yeah probably.  Good thing I was able to get in the building, or else I know nobody would remember over the 3 day weekend.

After, since I was over in the area, I went to the mall.  I got two new pairs of shoes (more confortable so my feet wont hurt by the end of the day) and a new pair of pants.  That was about the highlight of my weekend.  Now to go put grades in the gradebook. . .

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Feeling Better

I have a much better feeling about teaching this semester after today.  My team has been pretty unorganized and none of them have been teaching world history for more than 3 years, except one who is an older coach who floats into my room 1st period and asks me what I'm doing everyday.  However, my teacm leader went over to another school, from a teacher who used to work at Creek.  Now we have over 50 gigs of stuff.  Powerpoints with embedded videos, and activites at the end of each.  It is going to make planning for the week so much easier.  I had been pretty much planning, by myself, for everyday.  Now we will all have the same stuff.  YAY!!

Today, I also had a spot check from the DI (director of instruction).  She came in my room for about 10 minutes to make sure that things were going well, that I had all my objectinves and TEKS up.  I tihnk it went well, she left right before we started doing a review project-which would have looked better than the little bit of "lecturing" I was doing when she was in there.  Oh well, I still think it went well.

My team leader sent me an invitation to go to a ESL training day.  It is on a Saturday, and you get a $100 stipend. I tried signing up but it is all full.  I'm hoping someone will drop the course, so I can go.  Not so much for the stipend(though that would have been nice-lol), but so I can be better for my ESL class.  But so far they have done well, and speak great English.  All of them are native Spanish speakers expect one, she is from Pakistan.  Some of my Spanish speakers are are from Guatamala, Salvador, Honduras, and even Portugal, and of course Mexico.  They are a fun class.  All of my classes are except 7th.  And really it's only one kids that bugs me in 7th.  He has to go to the bathroom everyday, and when I dont let him go he complains the whole time.  Oh well, at least after I'm done with them I'm done for the day. 

Saturday, January 9, 2010

My First Week

I survived my first week of work !! AND I plan on coming back haha

Monday wasn't technically work, however I was able to get in the building to set up my classroom.  My wonderful friend Cody came and helped me (I helped set hers up in August).  However, sticky tack does NOT work.  So when we got back from lunch, most everything had already falled down.  I tried doing again, but to no avail.  Thankfully Russell came by afterwork with an arsenal of 3M adhesive products.  And now everything sticks.  Here are some pictures:

Looking in from the door.  My desk in the back corner.

My kids will be doing current events every 6 weeks, this is where they wil be posted.

Side wall (wall with door on it)

My rules, and for the most part they follow them- haha

My college board- and yes A&M is at the top center on purpose lol

The front wall.  So excited about my smart board!

My cabinet and bookshef, along with my supply table. Yes I am luck I have so many tables in my room.

On Tuesday we had inservice.  Those aren't fun. haha.  We had to do two online training classes.  As well as multiple meetings.  I was introduced in front of everyone at the staff meeting.  Everyone on staff was really nice, and throughout the week they would randomly come by my room and see how things were going.  Overall Tuesday was a good day and I felt more comfortable for Wednesday when the kids came.

Wednesday went well, I have first and second periods off, so it was a lot of anticipation that morning.  But once I had my first class all went well.  The rest of the week went with out problems, til the very last period on Friday.  My 7th period had almost 30 kids, the biggest I had all day, and the first two days they did really well; however, on Friday they decided at about 2 o'clock they were ready to call it a day.  No acceptable.  We still had quite a bit to do, so I had to yell.  But I think they were kinda shocked at that.  Besides my feet killing me everyday (on the agenda to get some new ones over the weekend) the week went well, and I am excited about the rest of the semester.

Friday afternoon, our new TV was delivered.  For those of you that don't know, Russell had a nice 42 inch TV, but since it was a dlp tv and they use mirrors to show the picture (remember the creepy girl and the elephant commercials where she says "its the mirrors") the mirrors kept getting stuck open, leaving white spots on the tv, and it became un watchable.  So we have been using my little tv, which looked out of place in the big opening out our house has for the tv.  We asked for money and gift cards for Christmas which significantly helped to buy our new 50 inch plasma tv!!! and yes that is Mighty Ducks we are watch- HAHAH flashback to 1992!

On a sad note, we took down Christmas decorations today and now our house looks sad.  And Russell broke on of our candle sticks that we got as a wedding present, while taking down the garland on the mantle ( you can tell on the picture above).  They were kinda expensive too, oh well things happen.  :(

Sunday, January 3, 2010

More Christmas and a New Year

Our New Years wasn't anythign too exciting, just a nice night with Russell's family.  Kathy and Max had gone up to upstate New York to visit her parents, so we picked them up from the airport on Thursday night.  Then we went to eat at a Chinese buffet (it was really good).  I don't get Chinese food that often, so I was excited about it.  Russell goes to get Chinese some for lunch at work, so he gets it more than I do, and was less excited about it- lol.  Majority rule!  Then we just spent the evening at their house watching football and the ball drop.  Some champagne to toast in the New Year, and the new decade!!

Russell's mom got a new cat, so I had fun taking pictures of him with my new camera.  Everyone meet Sparky!!

He curled up with behind Russell's legs. Here is my favorite picture of him: It's like he is on the lookout for something

Mom and Dad came to visit on Friday, for a belated Christmas.  It was nice to see them, because it has been awhile, the last time we saw them was Thanksgiving.  We opened presents soon after they got here.  Russell got some new tools, and I got a DVD and some stampin up stuff.  Also, they brought leslie and Jeremy's presents, we got Loaded Questions game (which if you haven't played you need to) and a cool cupcake carrier (hard to describe- but you can carry cupcakes without messing up the icing).  Dad also, gave us a proof of the 2009 silver dollar, to commemerate our wedding year! 

On Saturday we went shopping.  We went to the teacher store, so I could get some supplies, as well as the Container Store.  Since we were on that side of town we were able to eat at Freebirds.  I love that place, and wish there was one closer to our house.  Afterwards we came home, and watch the Proposal.  It's a really cute movie (thanks mom and dad for giving it to me!!).  And Sunday we went to church, came home and ate lunch, and started watching the Texans game.  Then mom and dad had to head back up.  Sad day.  On a happier note (at least for Russell), the Texans won, and have a winnign season for the first time.  However, Cinncinati doesn't want to win, and therefore there is no way the Texans are going on to the playoffs. 

Tomorrow I start work (eek!).  Luckily, kids don't come until Wednesday, so I will have a nice short week to get accustomed.  Tomorrow, I"m just going to set up my room (don't worry-i'll post pics) and Tuesday we have inservice.  And the real world has begun...