Week 20

Spirit Week. Homecoming Coronation. This was the obsession of my life this week, I only had class on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday was spent putting our backdrop together and decorating the stage for our "Evening on the Nile". Friday morning was spent rehearsing for the coronation and Friday afternoon was our spirit assembly with competitions between the classes. Our dress up days this week were Stoplight Day (wear green if you're single, yellow if it's complicated, and red if you're taken), Character Day (movie/tv/book), Generation Day (baby, toddler, adult, or old), Decade Day(any decade), and Class Color Day. Each class gets points for certain activities throughout the year and this week such as can food drive, penny for patients drive, breast cancer awareness drive, dressing up each day, and for the first time in years, a wall decorating competition.  Winner gets 4 points, second place 3, then 2, then 1. 

On Friday some of our class competitions were the duct tape wall, peanut butter popcorn toss, tug of war, jello eating contest, balloon pop, banana pass, how many will fit, scavenger hunt, egg walk, and 3-legged race. I could not have done all this on my own and I am so glad that I have my co-sponsor. The competitions got hectic because each class would come yell at us and defend they're class if something went wrong. I wanted to disqualify them every time that happened but my co-sponsor said we would have to disqualify everyone every time because that's just how it is.  

I'm so tired of our answer being "This is the way we always do it" or "We're never going to do this again". Why is not changing always the option? Either we do it like we always have or we aren't doing it all. Why don't we ask how we can help, how we make it easier, how can we better organize, how can we fix or improve it, instead of how can I do the least amount of work with the best possible outcome?  When is it okay to not change?

(steps down from soapbox)

In other news, I taught point-slope form to my algebra students and it went over decently. We'll see how much sense it really made on Tuesday when we try it again after a week. I basically presented it as a shortcut to getting to slope-intercept form when you don't have the intercept a.k.a. you have two points. I still have some people who struggle to understand the slope formula, which I don't understand how that is possible. But I plan on wrapping up this linear equation thing this week if at all possible and moving on. I feel like I'm making good progress throughout the material in my curriculum but I don't know how much they're truly learning. I know they like me and enjoy the class which at least is making them a tiny bit more favorable toward math but I don't know how much I'm really preparing them for the future standardized tests and harder math courses.

I wish I could just teach life. That's what I know about. That's what I'm good at. That's where I could make a difference. This whole math thing just makes things complicated.

Let's just say this...I will be 100% better in my second year as compared to my first. Is it wrong to feel like I'm betraying my older students because they have me at my crappiest?

In geometry, still trying to get through SSS, ASA, SAS, and AAS. I'm just...really bored with geometry. I guess I just want to skip ahead to reflections, transformations, and such because I enjoy artistic, creative things. I think they would enjoy it too but I can never be sure. I wish that I could make everything fun to learn.

If I could combine Dan's WCYDWT with math games and puzzles, I wonder if every topic in math could be taught in a more entertaining way. I know life is not about being entertained but I figure life is hard enough, why can't high school math be fun?


  1. The first year is always hard... there is so much to learn, and unfortunately there's always a class or two of kids who have to bear the brunt of it. Hopefully, as teachers, we are ALWAYS better from year to year. When we get to the point that we realize that this year was exactly the same as last year its time to consider if this is the right place for us to be. Every time I learn something new, I feel bad for the kids that missed out. Especially when I can name the kids specifically it would have helped. It's that feeling of "I know I could have done better" that keeps us growing into ever better teachers.

  2. Grr, I just hate knowing I'm not giving them the help they need most. Will we always be behind?

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