So I had an interesting incident with a student today. I confiscated his cell phone and he called me a "douche." "Douche?" I think what bothers me the most was his lack of creativity. If you're going to call a teacher a name, and get suspended for it. you might as well make it a good one. Here are a few suggestions. How about calling me "old grayhead?" I'm getting pretty white around the edges. Older professorial type men are sometimes called "graybeards." "Grayhead" would have been a good one. Here's another. "Thaumaturge" When said in just the right meter it can sound rather nasty. In case you're looking for a definition you'll find a picture of a teacher doing her best to work wonders with seniors who have about 8 weeks to go. How about "Sesquapod?" I am one! Although I dont use big words to sound smart. I try to teach them to you so YOU sound smart. You could have called me a "Synderette." Indicating that I am a follower of fund slashing, union busting Governor Rick Snyder . Now that would have been an insult indeed.
Okay. I understand that there is a Sc ience to Education. I get it that we are, or need to be "data driven." There are those in our field who look directly at the numbers, and then there are those of us who intuitively know that if we make the numbers the ulitmate goal, then the art of the job is lost. I expect my students to think, make critical decisions and go beyond the norm. Am I proud when they answer a 55 mulitple choice hour long test expertly? Sure. But I am more proud when I hear a break through..when they make a connection to a concept that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. By limiting our course offerings because the "numbers' haven't been achieved, we are moving backwards instead of forwards. Programs take time to grow. Minds take time to wrap around things.
If teachers are expected to have a vision, then we need not to be limited to what the numbers say. Education is not exact. It is a living breathing complex field. Scores are only a part of the picture.
Really Old Man winter? I thought you were done with us. It feels like you looked over your shoulder and tossed us one more parting blow. At least you're not complacent. Complacency seems to be the foe to moving forward. We get satisfied. We think we've done enough. We settle. Not good. Why work so hard to be average and stay there? Seniors, this is your last hurrah. make it count. Don't end on an average note. Keep moving, growing and stretching. We'll walk in to Spring before you know it.
I am so not a seamstress. I am home today with Taylor and since I have lesson plans done and papers graded, she and I decided to take on a sewing project. We are doing one of those build a bear home kits. Pretty simple? No...not for a word girl. Seems I sewed the front of the right leg to the back of the left leg. Kind of a funny looking bear. I'll stick to weaving words together, thank you. I can teach my students to cut for clarity, and add a seam or two here or there where their papers are knitted a little loose. Its nice to have a day off, but I'll be glad to get back to the classroom. As for the bear, we'll hand him over to Grandma. I'm good with a pen and words. She's better with the needle and thread.
Welcome to the new trimester. Im always sort of sad when we reach this point. This is my last chance to spend time with the seniors. I tell them they are like grains of sand slipping through my fingers, or like bubbles I'm trying to catch. What possibly can I give them, teach them in 8 more weeks? I've started a process with them called Problem Based Learning. Each group has a different real world problem to solve. This kind of work combines critical thinking, writing, and presentation skills. Plus, I become guide instead of leader, which helps me let go of them a little easier. May 22 will come all too soon, and then they'll fly. And I will miss these people. They've gotten under my skin.
I love my job. Teaching is an art and I enjoy learning and growing along with my students. I can't think of any thing else I'd rather do.